Installing your own picture frame molding is not nearly as difficult as it looks. It’s one of those projects that with a bit of practice, you can quickly work your way through it, and it packs a big punch in a room…a win / win for any DIYer!
Stage 1 of my picture frame molding wall is complete, and I COULD NOT be any happier with how it turned out.
I started off moving kind of slow… just really taking my time to think through every cut, not wasting too much wood (not going to lie…there were a few mistakes along the way!), and being sure every piece was level (and stayed level) as I nailed it to the wall. Once I got through the first box, I picked up the pace, and moved through the rest of the wall surprisingly fast.
There are two big components here:
- Lots of boxes that need to be square. The nature of this design makes any pieces that aren’t level really stand out!
- Cutting your wood not only to length, but also on 45 degree angles at the ends to miter the corners.
To help you achieve both of these goals, I have a list of tools, some tips, and a video!
Nikki, In Stitches
PS…Take a peek at my inspiration for this project, and how I sketched the entire thing out here. The sketching part is so important. Please don’t skip it! It helps you more accurately calculate how much trim you’ll need!
TOOLS AND SUPPLIES
Most of these are things you probably have on hand. I’m going to add some notes here and there below, but I also talk more about most of these things in the video. If there are still questions though, leave me a message in the comments and I’ll clarify the best that I can!
I’m also going to provide (affiliate) links to as many of these as possible if you need to add them to your supply of tools!
- Trim (There are so many options here! Take your time when picking out your wood. And remember, you can don’t have to do it just like mine! You can just do one box, you can use thicker pieces, you can use more intricately cut pieces that have designs and motifs cut into them. Make it your own!)
- Tape Measure, Pencil, and a Quick Square or Speed Square (This is a triangular piece of either metal or plastic that not only helps you measure, but also lets you easily draw lines on 45 degree angles. Seeing the lines drawn on the wood always helps me ensure I’m cutting my angles in the right direction!)
- Level (I treated myself to a laser level for this project and it made a HUGE difference! I have one that projects both a horizontal and vertical line onto the wall, which as you can imagine made getting my boxes perfectly square so much easier. I just attach it right to my camera tripod!)
- Miter Saw (You all know I love DeWalt tools so I linked to the saw that I have, but you DO NOT need one this big. No need for compound cuts or a slider for this project!)
- Miter Box and Saw (The wood I used for the inside boxes on my wall is really thin. My electric saw was just shredding it. So I had to use an old fashioned miter box and saw to cut it by hand.)
- Brad Nailer and Brads (This is a must. Nailing these pieces to the wall by hand is not going to happen. If you don’t have one of these guys yourself, you can usually rent them at your big box hardware store!)
- Hammer and Nail Setter (There will be brads that don’t go into the wood flush. It happens to everyone. I always have a hammer and nail setter close by to just tap them all the way in!)
- Wood Filler and Sand Paper (Take a peek at the video below and how I fill nail holes by hand. As you get better at filling nail holes, you need less and less sand paper!)
- Measure twice, cut once. (Do I have to even say this one? LOL)
- Cut your biggest pieces first…you’ll have less small pieces you can’t use.
- Draw your cut lines on your wood…this way you can actually see what the cut piece is going to look like before you cut it. You’ll get your angles right more often.
- Unless you are going around an outlet or a switch, all of your cuts should be in the shape of a trapezoid. This will give you mitered corners! (The longest side of your trapezoid is the measurement of the side of your rectangle.)
- Remember wood filler is your friend. It hides all your mistakes!
So this is where I’m going to show all of this stuff in action!
- I’m going to help you decide if investing in a laser level is the right move, or if you can get by with the level you already have in your tool stash.
- You’ll see how I set up my miter saw.
- I’m going to give you tips for using a miter box.
- I’ll show you how to cut your wood on an angle to hide any seams you might have (and extend the length of your boards just in case you’ve made any miscuts!).
- I demonstrate my favorite way to fill my nail holes and any gaps in the corners of my boxes.
I tried to cover all the little things that would be better demonstrated, than typed out here in words. Nope, I didn’t show myself actually nailing the wood to the wall because that’s the easiest part! However, once again, if you have any questions, please leave them for me below in the comments and I’ll do my best to walk you through it!
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