Thursday, June 23, 2005

Home Improvement Project: Upgrading your Mouldings




Do you have old dingy mouldings that have been painted so many times that you aren't sure where the moulding stops and the wall begins? Well, if you live in a really old house you might find that characteristic of your house charming, but if you are like me, you would rather update the mouldings for a fresh and clean new look.

Replacing your mouldings is not that hard, it's more time consuming than anything. But hey, most home improvement projects are, right? I've done a single room with just a handsaw and box, but I would recommend purchasing a miter saw if you plan on doing any more than one room because it can get to be a little much.

The tools you will need to change your mouldings are: an exacto knife, moulding of your choice at least as tall as the existing moulding, trim paint and roller or brush (I recommend at least a semi-gloss because it is much easier to clean), handsaw with miter box or electric miter saw, crow bar, tape measure, pencil, finish nails, and caulk (honestly, caulk is my best home improvement bud - it will make any job you do look professional). I know this seems like a lot of tools, but you probably have most of them already in your garage. The biggest expense will be the moulding, but it is fairly inexpensive as long as you install it yourself.

The first step is to take your exacto knife and cut along the top of the moulding as deeply as you can. What this does is separate the moulding from the wall. If you skip this step you may run into many more projects you didn't want to do because part of the wall will come off as you pull off the existing moulding.

Once you get the moulding off, measure the length needed for the new moulding by going from wall to wall. Make sure you cut your inside corners at a 45 degree angle so the longest part is at the back of the moulding. for inside corners, make your cut go out so the angle sticks out further than your measurement. Once you get it cut the right length, use finish nails to anchor it to the wall. Repeat this step for each wall.

To finish everything off, caulk the gap between the wall and the moulding and use touch up paint anywhere that got dinged while you were working with the moulding.

For more information or more great advice for you next home improvement project, check out this home improvement site. If you've gotten stuck on a project, get advice from an experienced carpenter in this home improvement forum.

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