I have recently become obsessed with picture frame molding. There is something about the subtle sophistication that I simply cannot get enough of! Naturally, as I was designing my primary bedroom makeover, picture frame molding was at the top of my list. I have never done picture frame molding but I was amazed at how easy this transformation was! I have to give a big shoutout to DAP for sponsoring this post and putting out great products to make this project so easy to execute.
|Tools Suggested||Materials Used|
|Eye Protection||DryDex Spackling|
|Hearing Protection||DAP Plastic Wood All Purpose Wood Filler|
|Pin Nailer||Alex Flex Caulk|
|Miter Saw||PVC Base Cap Molding|
|Tape Measure||Alex Fast Dry Caulk|
My bedroom has gone through several changes over the past few years. I have done the “light and bright” look. I have embraced the “farmhouse” style and adorned the walls with shiplap, but this time I wanted to take bold, sophisticated approach. The first step in this transition required a blank slate! I removed the shiplap from my room and skim coated my walls. ( This is not a necessary step and after doing it myself I don’t know that I would recommend this step. It was A LOT of work. I am convinced this look would still look stellar on a textured wall.)
I honestly think that deciding on spacing was the hardest part of this project. (Seriously, this is such a great beginner DIY project.) When deciding on a layout I would suggest using tape or objects to visualize the space. As seen below I used yellow to plow out the general size of my headboard. I would heavily suggest taking any furniture in the space into consideration.
After plotting out the general spacing, I needed to decide on how many “boxes” I wanted on my wall, I also needed to decide how much spacing I wanted in-between my molding boxes. For example, if your reference the image below you will see that I have 3.5″ in-between my picture frame molding boxes. I also used this same spacing at both the top and bottom of my picture frame boxes. * So I have 3.5″ in-between the bottom of my boxes and the baseboard, and the top of my boxes and my crown molding.
Draw in spacing
Once I had determined the layout for my wall I proceeded to transfer my design on to my wall. While there are many ways to add molding have found this method to work best. It takes a little more planning but it makes the application process a breeze! I simply used a pencil, tape measure, and a straight edge (or a level).
As pictured above, I used 3.5″ spacing in between my picture frame boxes. I found the best way to create even spacing is to utilize a spacer block. ( I simply used a 1×4″ board as a spacer while drawing in my lines.)
Honestly, this next step should have been my first, but live and learn. I found that I had a handful of holes and divots in my walls that I wanted to fill. It is much easier to do this BEFORE you have a hole bunch of trim on the wall!
I like to use DryDex Spackling by DAP when repairing drywall. I love DryDex especially for this application, it doesn’t require priming after use, meaning it won’t flash your paint! It also won’t shrink or crack and it even has a built in “ready” indicator. It goes on pink, and when it is dry it turns to white! Nifty, huh? Once the DryDex had turned white I lightly sanded it using a drywall sandpaper.
Measure and Cut
It is time for picture frame boxes! In order to create the picture frame boxes I used PVC Base Cap Molding. It is available in most big box stores, I purchased mine at The Home Depot.
Lucky for us, most of the think work is already done! After drawing the boxes on the wall with a pencil I went through and measured all my perimeter lines and wrote in the needed trim length for each section. (Not pictured) In THEORY all of the boxes should be the same length and height. This was the case in 95% of mine. (I have a few wonky walls and wanted to keep the spacing between the boxes and the wall even as opposed to straight.)
So the next step, is transferring the measurement of the boxes to the base cap trim and then cut. When cutting the trim I use a miter saw set to a 45 degree angle. Remember when cutting you measure from the longest point to longest point.
Now that I have my trim pieces cut and ready, it is time to install. Typically when installing trim work an adhesive or caulk is used. I have found that a good flexible caulk is just the ticket! I like to use DAP Alex Flex Caulk and DAP Alex Fast Dry when working with PVC trim.
After installing a lot of trim, I have deemed this the easiest way when working with flimsy base cap… apply the caulk directly to the wall! I already have my lines drawn in and so I know exactly where it needs to go. This is especially handy technique when handling long pieces of trim! (Imagine trying to put a 73″ piece of flimsy trim on the wall (well over your head) with caulk on the back. As you can imagine the caulk often times gets smeared on the wall in places it should not be.) By putting the caulk on the wall I simply press the trim on to the wall, and it is a little more forgiving as I push it into place with less mess and smearing.
Something to Consider: There are differing opinions when it comes to adhesive vs. caulk when applying trim. I like using DAP Caulk on PVC trim because it does an excellent job of holding the trim but it is a little more forgiving than an adhesive and less damaging to drywall should I ever choose to remove the trim. For heavier trim and paneling I ALWAYS opt for DAP DynaGrip.
Attach Base Cap
Seeing as the boxes are already drawn on the wall, it takes a lot of the think work out of the install process. When securing the base cap to the wall I like to use a spacer block and a pin nailer. (Remember before how I said that I used a 1×4″ board when drawing in my lines. I also used the same 1×4 when installing the base cap.) It works as a great spacer and makes for perfect lines! As far as securing it to the wall, PVC base cap is very light and does not need heavy duty fasteners. In all reality just DAP Plus Caulk is all I would need to hold it securely, but I am impatient and a pin nailer is the perfect clamp to hold the trim to the wall while it dries.
When securing the trim I like to nail directly at the to top go the ridge. While many DIYers try to hide their fasteners in the grooves, I prefer have the fastener hole top and center it makes for a quick fill and repair!
Repeat the application process on all four side of your boxes. Again, if you outline your boxes on the wall with pencil this is a nearly painless process!
Again, I’m a HUGE advocate for using a pin nailer on light weight trim. It is the perfect gauge for the job and creates a very small hole. It makes for a very quick repair using DAP Plastic Wood. It only takes a very little bit of DAP Plastic Wood to fill all the holes.
Remember how I said that I like to drive the pin/nail directly through the top ridge? By doing so it makes it incredibly easy to fill, and subsequently sand! After the Plastic Wood is dry I follow up using a sanding sponge. The nail hole completely disappears!
Last step for creating beautiful picture frame molding, is hiding all the flaws. When it comes to hiding flaws DAP Alex Fast Dry Caulk is your best friend. It can take a mediocre trim job to a seemingly flawless execution!
I run a small bead of caulk around the perimeter, as well as the interior of each trim box. If you want to see more about this step make sure you check out my saved highlight reel on Instagram along with my video.
It’s time to paint! (Great news, Alex Plus Caulk has a dry time of 20 minutes! As soon as you get all your paint supplies assembled you are pretty much good to go!)
(If you so choose you can add a primer. In the past I have found that if you use a good paint with primer you can forgo this step when painting drywall.)
Well, there you have it folks… what do you think? I used about 20 pieces of trim on my main wall, which comes out to a little over $100. I think the money and the little bit of elbow grease was definitely worth it! Picture frame molding took this blank boring wall and transformed this room into a moody, sophisticated space.
Thanks for following along and make sure you check out the full room reveal coming soon!
- Paint Color- “1905 Green” by Magnolia Home Paints
- Floor- Select Surfaces “Cocoa Walnut”
Jennie M Johnson says
This is just so beautiful Cory! I think I’m going to give it a try in my new build!