This weekend I had the itch to do a little project. Key word: little. Just a tiny something that wouldn’t take over my life like this bathroom has the last couple months. I had been swooning over Pinterest pics of picture mouldings (see below) and decided to add a little of this beautiful style to our bedroom.
Photo Source: 1 & 2
My version is a little less grand than these inspirational images, but it gets the job done (and at a tiny fraction of the cost too). Before we get started, let me show you what I started with.
Here it is! Let me just say, this bedroom has been through a lot already. Navy patterned walls, grey walls, new floors, new furniture, etc. It’s just been struggling to find it’s moment and true potential. Let’s change that shall we?
Shoe Moulding or Other Decorative Moulding (I used this.)
Mull/Case Moulding or Chair Rail (I used this.)
Paint to match your wall. (My walls are this color.)
Paintable Caulking (I used this kind.)
Brad Nailer (I have this one but I’ve heard good things about this one.)
Large Level (I have this one.)
Paint Brush. (I love these ones.)
Paint Cup (Not required, but those Handy Paint Cups are my fave.)
First, even before you go shopping for your moulding, you’re going to want to prep your wall. Take everything off of it and measure the length and height of the wall. My wall is 108″ tall by 188″ wide. By trial and error, I decided to get the look I was going for I wanted do 6 frames across the wall on the top and bottom, separated by a chair rail. After playing around with a couple different measurements I also decided I wanted 8″ spacing between my frames. Now I had to do a bit of math:
8″ spacing x 7 spaces = 56″ 188″ (across the wall) – 56″ (spacing) = 132″ 132″/ 6 frames = 22″ wide for each frame
Still following? Once I had the width for my frames, I decided I would space the top of the frames 6″ down from the ceiling. From there I eyeballed a good height for the chair rail based on the height of our nightstands (ended up being 32″ from the floor) and set the frame 6″ up from my arbitrary chair rail height (38″ from the floor). Based on these numbers, my top row frames were going to be 49.75 inches tall. After all that math, I did a super official mock up with washi tape to make sure I was on the right track.
Looking good. You’ll notice I only taped off 2 and a half boxes. That’s because I ran out of tape. But, I got the gist of what it would look like with just these boxes up so it was all good.
From here, I marked the outlines of all of the top row frames on the wall using a measuring tape, pencil and a level. Starting 8″ off the left wall and 6″ down from the ceiling – with your level, draw a 22″ wide and 49.75″ tall rectangle. Then measure 8″ off the side of that rectangle and 6″ down from the ceiling again and draw out your second rectangle. And so on and so on. If you’re thinking to yourself, “I don’t have a level so I’ll just use a straight edge” – don’t do it! Let me just quickly remind you that most houses shift over time and your walls that you’re going off of for your measurements are probably not level. So if you don’t want crooked frames, level up!
Once I had the top frames marked out, I marked a level line across the whole width of the wall for the top of the chair rail. Then I used the same tactics as I did for the top frames, to get the measurement for the bottom frames and drew all of those onto the wall in pencil as well. Orrrr that’s what I should have done. I was actually too anxious to see some trim go up, so I skipped this step. Things escalated from there. I may have mounted the chair rail in the wrong spot and had to pry it off the wall to move it down. Basically, learn from my mistakes and just pencil in the whole dang thing before you get started! It’ll go a million times better for you than it did for me! In the end, I (should have) ended up with pencil lines that looked something like this:
Once every thing is measured and marked, it’s time to start cutting your moulding! You would think this is where it gets fun, but it’s actually just more math and measuring. The fun part comes later when you’re all done and can just stare at your beautiful creation.
I used primed MDF for everything. Primed because then I don’t have to prime it (less work, duh), and MDF because it’s not going to warp or curve like real wood will. Based on my boxes, I needed 24 – 22″ pieces, 12 – 49.75″ pieces, and 12 – 13.5″ pieces. You’re going to want to cut your pieces so that your measurement is on the outside edge. I cut each piece with two 45 degree inward beveled ends. Like this:
From there, it’s pretty simple (yay!). You line your shoe piece up inside your pencil edge and secure to the wall using your brad nailer, shooting the nails in at an angle for extra security. Some people like to add some construction adhesive to the back before they nail it up but I think it’s nice to not go that route for a couple reasons. If you need to take a piece off the wall to reposition it, it’s a lot easier (like if you accidentally shoot a nail out the side of one of your pieces – which I definitely did not do) or if you change your mind about it a few years down the road you can more easily remove it (that’ll never happen).
I like to start with the bottom piece, then add my two side pieces but leave about 6 inches between the tops of the side pieces and my last nail going up. Then I position the top piece, pinching the two top corners to make sure they both line up at the same time. I secure the top piece with masking tape (super official) and then nail the corners to permanently secure them.
The chair rail piece was a little different than the frames. I just lined the top of my mull case up with my level line and secured it to the wall. Because my wall was so long, I ended up needing three pieces for my chair rail. I back beveled the trim where the two joints met up for a more seamless installation.
Once all the boxes were up, I filled every hole, seam, gap and crack with paintable caulk. This is always my least favorite part. Side note: someone should invent paint that also acts as caulking. As you can see here, I also patched all the holes where I (allegedly) installed the chair rail at the incorrect height.
Last step is painting all your moulding to match the wall! (Home stretch!) I needed two coats to get the job done.
In case you’re wondering, my budget breakdown for the project was $54.00 worth of shoe and mull casing I got from Menards. Everything else I already had at my house. That being said, even if you needed to purchase paintable caulk and paint, this project would make it in well under $100.00. How crazy is that?!
I LOVE how this turned out so much. I feel like I’m at a fancy hotel every time I step into our bedroom.
I feel like the shapes are very traditional, but the monochrome brings it into today’s day and age. What do you think?? I’m curious, would you ever install something like this in your house? Or is it still too traditional for you? Let me know if you give it a shot!
Thanks for reading!