All About Moldings

Learn about the different types of molding and how to use them in your home.


Seen here is a selection of moldings in a typical room. The effect will vary according to whether they are painted or maintain a natural wood finish.

Photo by: gary ombler ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

gary ombler, 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Seen here is a selection of moldings in a typical room. The effect will vary according to whether they are painted or maintain a natural wood finish.

Molding selection can transform a room. Traditional egg-and-dart and dental moldings, as well as less detailed trim packages, line rooms in homes across the country. The difference between past and present molding options include material choice, which can greatly affect the ease of installation and price. No longer do you have to choose just wood or plaster, as foam and plastic options are also available.

Types of Molding

The most popular type of trim in a home is baseboard. Lining the joint where the wall and floor meet, it’s available unpainted or primed. Shoe molding is sometimes used at the foot of baseboard to cover a gap of a newly installed floor.

The trim that covers the gap around the outside of a door in called casing. It also provides extra stability to the door opening.

Crown Molding
A popular DIY project is installing new crown molding. It is located at the seam between the ceiling and the wall. Some install crown molding just below the ceiling height in very tall rooms. White crown against a richly colored wall makes a dramatic statement. Crown molding is also a great way to hide paint that has not been cut-in perfectly.

You can partially or totally cover a wall with paneling. If it’s applied halfway up the wall, to the chair rail, it’s commonly referred to as beadboard or wainscoting. If you have a masonry wall, paneling can be attached to battens on the wall.

Chair (Dado) Rail
Chair rails protect walls from chairs and other items that are pushed against them. The division in a wall’s surface can be both practical and decorative. For example, the lower part of a wall often suffers knocks, or is marked by children. If a rail separates this from the upper wall, you need redecorate only the area below the rail to restore the decor.


Self-Adhesive Panels (Image 1)
Used on flush doors to create the look of a panel door, these can also be used on walls to imitate raised paneling. Most have double-sided tape on the back.

Pressed Panel (Image 2)
Normally hardboard, pressed (molded) to resemble a raised panel.

Moisture-Resistant MDF Paneling (Image 3)
This has been routed to resemble tongue-and-groove paneling. Moisture resistance makes this paneling suitable for use in a kitchen or bathroom. Once painted, it performs well as a backsplash — around bathtubs or sinks in a bathroom, for example.

Radiator Cover

This provides a decorative alternative to an exposed radiator. You can make your own, or buy a kit that can usually be adapted to fit most radiators. Kits are often supplied pre-primed, and sometimes finished. Covers are usually made of MDF. The grill may be metallic or wood fretwork and is usually pre-finished to avoid the need for paint.



Photo by: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement, 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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