I am obsessed with molding in our home. I mean, seriously. Obsessed. I can't even remember the first project I did with it, all I know is I've always loved the look of wainscoting, beadboard and chair rails. So when we moved into our house, I set out to figure out how to do it on my own. I've gone from using an electric saw (REALLY REALLY not the best idea) to cut my wood and pounding in every nail with a hammer to now using my trusty miter box and a nail gun. The next level would be to finally just get a table saw to cut the wood, but even I'm not there yet.

Molding, I believe, is hands down the No. 1 way to update the look of your home. It makes it feel fresher, more customized and it sets your home apart from all the others in your neighborhood.

The greatest part about molding is it is easy to do. I'm not just saying this -- it really, really is. I was handy with a hammer before we moved into our home, but nothing else, so if I can do it, so can you. There are three main tools you need to install molding:
  • A miter box with saw. These come in a set for about $8 at any home improvement store.

  • A level. These vary in size and price, but all you need is a little one that will cost a few dollars.

  • A nail gun. I know, not quite as simple as the other two! If you don't have one, you can rent it from any home improvement store. They are SO simple to use -- just plug it in, let the air fill up the tank, and put the gun against your surface and shoot. It is FUN to use a nail gun. My first time I put about 20 extra nails in, for good measure. I just couldn't stop!
  • If you don't want to use a nail gun, just do what I did when I started out...nail every hole in. It takes longer but it works just as well. Use a drill bit to drill a hole for the nails though, because the wood may split if you just hammer the nail in.

Once you have your tools, it just takes measuring to see what length you want your squares. Use your miter box to cut the ends of the molding at 45 degree angles. That way, they match up in the corners to create a box. Make sure the wood is level before nailing in, and then go for it. I like to paint my projects white when everything is installed. It gives it a nice, crisp look. This is what I did to the island in my last post, but with black paint obviously.

Here's another example:



Once you do it one time, you'll be a pro!! The best part -- it's CHEAP. The molding is typically comes in 8 foot sections and these run anywhere from $3 to $10 a piece. So you can transform your room, stairway or hall with around $25 to $100, depending on the project.