Hi friends! As promised I’m sharing how to install panel moulding like we did in our recent dining room makeover. We are so happy with the results and I can’t say enough about how much the moulding and trim add to the overall look of the room!
There’s a couple of different ways you can approach this project… full DIY installation of panel moulding OR you can hire it out. Or if you have a handy friend, you could ask them for help and you can assist and learn along the way. We considered doing the installation of the moulding ourselves, but in the end my husband was too busy with work and other responsibilities so we decided to have a trim carpenter come and install it for us. We did the measuring and ordering ourselves through Metrie and I definitely learned some important information during that small part of the process. You can find my tips here, along with the big mistake I made, so you don’t have to make the same mistake too!
Once we had the material, the trim carpenter came to install and I stuck around to watch and observe so that I could learn enough to give you a rundown of how to do it if you want to go the DIY route.
Steps for Installing Panel Moulding
1 >> Plan your design and draw it out on the wall. I played around with a few different configurations for our moulding and drew them out to scale on paper so I could see how they would look. Once I decided on our final design, I used that for the measurements to order the moulding. TIP >> One great tip I learned from Metrie is that you can use painter’s tape to try out different designs on your wall before deciding. It really helps to get a vision of how it will actually look once it’s installed! The trim carpenter used my paper drawing to then pencil his guidelines onto our walls. He used a level of course and made sure it was all evenly spaced and looking good before cutting or installing any moulding.
2 >> There’s not necessarily an exact formula for the spacing that you leave in between your panel moulding or picture frame boxes. You do want to keep your spacing consistent though so we went with 3″ because that looked good to me and then we used that for all the spacing — spacing from the edges, spacing from the floor and ceiling and then spacing between the panel moulding boxes and between the boxes and the chair rail. I think consistency is the best tip here so that it all looks even and flows well. You can look at images online to see how different amounts of spacing will look.
3 >> Measure and cut your moulding to size. I don’t have any technical tips here other than to be sure you know what you are doing or enlist some help. You wouldn’t want to ruin a bunch of beautiful moulding. The corners are mitered so that’s the trickiest part and you want your corners to come together seamlessly for a beautiful look. You can create the boxes before attaching them to the wall and then put the whole box onto the wall at once. Or you can attach each of the four pieces to the wall separately and create the box as you install it. I’m not sure there is a right or wrong here, other than preference. Our carpenter created some before attaching them to the wall and others he attached piece by piece. I’d imagine the really big ones would be harder to attach as a whole box so that might be the difference.
4 >> Once you have all of your moulding installed, you’re ready to caulk and cover the nails and paint it! This is another step that you can DIY or hire out. You’ll want to fill each nail hole and caulk along the edges of the strips of moulding so that you don’t see any space or gap between the moulding and the wall. To create the look we have in our home, you will paint the entire wall and the moulding with the same color and sheen of paint. We chose white to flow with the rest of our home in a satin finish. There’s lots of different looks you can create with paint. You can paint the walls a color and the moulding white to get a more bold and graphic look, which will really highlight the design of your moulding. Or you can also choose your color and paint the walls and moulding the same color… Similar to what we did with the white, but with any color you can dream of. I’ve seen lots of beautiful rooms with all different colors and the looks are stunning! From light pale colors to bold dark ones like black or inky blue! So many possibilities!
And finally you can step back and enjoy your beautiful finished room with your newly installed moulding! As a parting thought, my biggest tip is to think about the moulding and trim early on in your design or building process! It is much easier and more seamless to install it during the beginning stages. But either way, it makes all the difference and you will love the look of your new room once you have it in!!
I hope you’ve found my tutorial for how to install picture frame moulding or panel moulding helpful! Let me know if you have any questions!
This post was created in collaboration with Metrie.