Kitchen Home Improvement

Installing Molding To Add Interest To A Living Room

By Alyssa Davis

It can be argued that a living room is the heart of a family home. More awake time is spent in the living room than in most other rooms. Installing molding to add interest to a living room is a great way to enhance the space and make it more visually pleasing. It is not difficult to install molding, but it does require the appropriate tools, time, energy and patience.


When considering whether to add molding to a living room, the first step should be to measure the amount of molding that would be needed. Measure around the perimeter of the room, as close to the ceiling as possible. This is especially important in older homes where the walls may not be square and can even be wider at the ceiling height than they are at the base. To get the proper measurements, the job may require two people, so have help available before beginning.


Purchasing Molding

Molding comes in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials. There are intricate and elaborate moldings that would accent the fanciest of living rooms. There are also relatively simple moldings that might do better in a Craftsman style home from the turn of the century. Choose the look that will complement the home and the room the best. Also decide which type of molding material will be the most cost effective and easiest to install. For some homeowners only solid wood molding will do. This, of course, raises the cost of the project and guarantees that an assistant or two will be necessary to have on hand during installation. Other homeowners are not as concerned with having traditional solid wood moldings and opt instead for moldings made from MDF, or a wood fiber that is combined with a synthetic resin material. MDF has distinct advantages. It is lighter in weight and much easier to cut than traditional molding. The drawback to MDF is that it almost always needs to be painted. Wood molding can simply be stained to match other woods in the room, but MDF requires a coat or two of traditional paint. Again, choosing the best material for the job will make the project run smoother.


Installing crown molding is a relatively easy task. The challenge comes from making the correct cuts at the corners and transitions. Many professional installers suggest that the homeowner lay out the pieces of molding around the room and think of the room as a giant frame that is being looked down on from above. The cuts to the molding then become clearer. When hanging it, place it flush against the ceiling if the walls and ceiling are square. If that is not the case, slide the molding down about 1/4″ from the ceiling and nail it in place there; mark a level guide line first with a pencil to keep things straight. Most gaps of 1/4″ will not be visible, but if they are, apply a line of caulking to the space. It is helpful to have an assistant available who can hold the molding in place while it is being hammered into the wall.

Installing molding in a living room is not a difficult task. With patience, an assistant, and the right tools, the molding installation can be completed in an afternoon. The addition of the molding will draw the eye up and add interest to the living room that may have otherwise been lacking. Molding also adds charm and increases the resale value of a home, so it is a wise home improvement project that is worth the effort and expense.

About the Author: Alyssa Davis, writes exclusively for, and specifically about designing with

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