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The Magic Of Moulding And Trimwork

Apr 25, 2008
Did you know that adding moulding and trimwork and instantly change an ordinary boring and boxy room into an elegant living space? The amount of character added with mouldings and trimwork is of great substance.

Considering that most people can install moulding themselves it is a sure-fire way to add true class to any room or home.

Today I would like to go over some basics with you and let me start at the most basic level. Since the 1950's simplicity has been the main factor in home builders, thus lacking in ornamental details and architectural detail. The point that I am getting at here is that moulding and trimwork are used as a design tool to add superb and remove boring. Not to mention that adding trimwork often makes the room look larger.

The most common type of mouilding is casings. Casings are used to frame doors and windows. Just about every doorway has a casing around it. Go and take a look at your bedroom door. There is more than likely a casing there to frame the door and add an appealing look to the entryway. Now take a step back and imagine that doorway without the casing and the door going flush to the drywall. That would not look good at all would it?

Another good example of a casing is a window stool. That 5 inch worth of trimwork at the bottom of the window adds instant elegance to the window itself.

Adding casings is not too difficult. There are a lot of guides out there. In fact, you can pick up detailed guides at your local home improvement store.

Since casings are usually already there around windows and doors let's move on to some more trimwork and moulding. Crown mouldings and chair rails. These are both examples of horizontal trimwork. A crown moulding runs along the top of the wall against the ceiling. This adds instant beauty to a living space. Crown mouldings are available in many different sizes and material types.

Chair rails are used as decorative trimwork to divide an ordinary wall into two different areas. This makes decoration possibilities endless.

Base moulding is another common example. This moulding is used at the bottom of a wall where it meets the floor. It is used as a transitional material to add decoration. Most bases are around 4 - 5 inches tall, but can range widely depending on the wall size and owner preference. It is important to take into consideration the size of the wall and room to determine the proper size of a base. Just as with a crown moulding, if you pick on too large it becomes an eyesore rather than a nice looking accent.

You can get all types of moulding in many different materials. Your project will dictate what you material type you should use.

For most indoor projects I would suggest real wood mouldings. Paint grade poplar is the most common wood species to purchase in. However, this is not good for staining. If you want the real wood look, pick up your moulding in maple or perhaps red oak. Stained real wood mouldings look fantastic. No other way to put it.

Outdoor projects I would suggest polyurethane materials. Polyurethane mouldings will look just like wood, but stand up to the sun and weather much better over time. It is still relatively inexpensive too.

For you first timers, expect a certain degree of a learning curve when it comes to the installation. Installing will take you some time. There are several how-to's out there and I suggest you look at a few of them. Take your time and your project is sure to have great results.

Look around at examples of mouldings and trimwork installations to find inspiration for project. There are practically endless options when it comes to your choices for size, shape, and material.

Good luck on your project!
About the Author
David Chauvin has been in the millwork industry for over 30 years. For online custom mouldings and more check out http://www.yourmillworksource.com
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