Learn about the different types of wood moldings and baseboard.
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Moldings provide a decorative finish to many areas of the home. Baseboards, crown molding, and door trim are the most noticeable examples, although finer moldings are often used for detailing on closets and bookcases, and to create panels on doors or walls. Here's a look at the uses of this type of trimwork, and the techniques for applying it.
Moldings usually need either paint or a natural wood finish (e.g., paint or varnish) after they are installed. Some types need no finish. Baseboards, for example, may be made in the same color and style as a door. This saves time, but requires careful installation: mistakes are not easily covered with caulk or paint.
Baseboard and Casing
Probably the most common molding, baseboard forms a decorative, protective edge at a wall and floor junction. Casing creates a decorative joint between a door jamb and wall. Casing usually has less depth than matching baseboard. For example, 4" baseboard is often used with 2" casing. Provided you measure carefully, both are straightforward to fit.
A common alternative to wood, MDF moldings are normally primed and moisture-resistant. MDF is only prone to splitting at the ends, and has no knots. It also has some flexibility, making it easier to attach when there are slight contours across a surface. A tighter fit to an undulating wall surface will also reduce the need to fill gaps between the molding and wall.
green color indicates moisture-resistant MDF (Image 1); ogee baseboard (Image 2); ogee casing (Image 3); prefinished ogee baseboard (Image 4); chamfered bullnose baseboard and casing (Image 5)
Excerpted from Do It Yourself Home Improvement
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