How to: Install Picture Frame Molding

By: Rebekah-greiman Aug 06, 2012

created at: 08/06/2012

Hello! I'm Rebekah from Potholes and Pantyhose where I share and photograph detailed tutorials of my DIY projects, recipes, photography tips and remodeling endeavors. I am in the middle of remodeling both our living and dining rooms.

I was inspired by this professionally designed living room and wanted to make changes similar in mine. Molding can transform a bland wall into a showpiece, creating several interesting focal points throughout the room. So today, I'm sharing a quick guide to this inexpensive way of changing a space.   Skill Level: Easy
Time : Approx. 30-45 minutes per frame, depending on size
Tools and Materials

  • Chop Saw (or hand saw and a manual miter box able to cut a 45 degree angle)
  • Brad Nailer and 1 1/2" brad nails, or brad nails and hammer
  • Level 
  • Tape measure 
  • Stud finder 
  • Molding 
  • Paint & paintbrush
  • Spackle
  • Bright white painter's caulk (no silicone) and caulk gun 
  • Blue Painter's Tape (if painting the molding a different color from the wall) 

Steps 1-4 1. After determining the size of the picture frame, cut the molding to length. I had (4) pieces, cut 2' long to make my frame. Set the chop saw to cut a 45° angles from right to left.
2. Cut a 45°  angle right to left on one end of each piece of trim.
3. Switch the 45 degree angle on the chop saw to cut left to right. On the uncut end of the trim, cut a 45° angle left to right.
4. Make sure the trim fits together in each of the four corners.  

Steps 5-8 5. Using a stud finder, determine and mark where the studs in the wall are in relationship to where you will be placing the frame.
6. Use the level to adjust the top piece of the frame. 
7. Position the nail gun over the stud and shoot through the molding and into the stud. (If there are no studs where you desire to place the trim, shoot the nails through the molding at an angle, coming first from the right, then the left and so on until the molding is secure.)
8. Now, repeat these steps with each of the vertical side pieces of molding and finish with the bottom horizontal piece.  

Steps 9-12 9. Once all of the molding is installed, fill the nail holes with spackling.
10. If you are painting the molding a different color than the wall, use the blue painter's tape and first tape off the wall surrounding the picture frame, leaving an 1/8" gap between the molding and the wall. Caulk the corner seams of the molding with Bright White Painter's Caulk.
11. Caulk the inside and outside seams of the molding. If you are painting the molding a different color, the caulk will seal the seams and create a barrier between the wall and the paint color.
12. Remove excess caulk using an index finger, sealing the seams.

Next, paint the picture frame the desired color. If applicable, remove the blue tape carefully once the paint is dry. You should have a clean paint line created by the caulk between the molding and the wall.  

The picture frame molding is now complete! Now, off to find things to decorate the middle of my picture frame.

Thanks again, Chris for having me here today. Feel free to stop by my site, Potholes and Pantyhose, for more recipes, crafts and remodeling projects. I would love to hear from you!
Love, Rebekah.
Inspiration photo by: Woodson and Rummerfield's House of Design

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