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DIY-able Wall Molding Ideas to Add Character to Your Home

Use these simple tutorials for adding wall moulding and wall trim to make your home feel upscale and custom for the fraction of the cost of a professional.

When you live in a builder grade new home, adding some architectural interest is the best way to create the illusion of a charming older house. If you’re new to DIY, installing trim details is way easier than you might think! 

8 DIY Wall Molding Ideas to Add Character to Your Home

Over the years, we have used trim pieces to create design elements for a classic look in our home. It’s a relatively inexpensive way to create the custom feel of traditional design.

That’s the magic of a trim treatment. You can take a flat, lifeless room, and the moment you add wall trim, it instantly feels upscale!

Get all the tips in this guide for choosing the best paint for interior trim and decorative wall molding with recommended tools to get the job done correctly. 

8 Wall Molding Tutorials to Elevate Your Home

If you know you want to add decorative trim to your home but you’re unsure what type of molding to choose, these 8 tutorials can help you decide. 

When Robert and I first moved into our home in 2017, we had never installed decorative moulding. The most we knew how to do was nail shiplap wood paneling to a wall.

But in our new-to-us traditional colonial house, we envisioned it coming to life with architectural details in ornate designs. All these years later, we have added so much extra personality in these rooms with each easy project.

picture frame wall molding in a nursery with white walls and gray doors

1. DIY Picture Frame Molding

This traditional style of molding is perfect if you want your rooms to feel elegant and more luxurious. 

Paint the trim, molding, and walls all the same color in a satin sheen to make a small room look bigger.

Interior designers will often use picture frame molding in a long hallway to add visual interest to the narrow space.

Design Tip: You can also create an accent wall by adding trim work around sections of a wallpaper mural. Here is how to hang wallpaper inside box molding as a focal point in a bedroom.

crown molding wall molding

2. Beefed Up Crown Molding and Baseboards

If you already have crown molding in your house but it’s on the skimpy side, adding a thin piece of trim an inch or two below crown molding and above existing baseboards is a great way to upgrade the room.

You can use this same trick on Craftsman design style trim too. 

Paint the trim and 1-2″ bit of wall in between the same color as the crown molding to create the illusion of a thicker crown quickly and for less money. 

grid molding focal wall in a bedroom with French bed mirrored closet doors and black paint

3. Grid Molding

This wall moulding is perfect for a focal wall on a large blank wall on stairs, behind a bed, or behind a sofa. Don’t worry about adding art. 

Just let the molding do the work. It’s an easy way to try your first trim project since the simple grid trim design doesn’t require any mitered saw cuts. (You can see more of our primary bedroom here.)

gray vertical shiplap with white walls and wood vanity in a bathroom - wall molding

4. Vertical Shiplap

A more modern take on farmhouse shiplap, this vertical shiplap works well in bathrooms and hallways as a wainscoting to brighten up small, tight spaces and add texture.

It’s beautiful integrated into a coffered ceiling in a living room or dining room too. 

(You can see more of this California casual powder room makeover here.)

wood plank wall treatment with white built-ins in a playroom

5. Wood Planking

If you love rustic decorative elements, a stained wood plank wall adds a ton of character for very little expense.

Check out this DIY plank wall and how these different color wood stains look on different species of wood to help you decide what color to stain your wall. 

I recommend staining the wood prior to nailing it on the wall. Or you can use this natural, inexpensive stain made using basic items from your pantry. (You can see the rest of the playroom makeover here.)

white shiplap wall molding in a foyer with entryway table

6. Traditional Shiplap

It’s farmhouse all the way, but it’s always a classic. Buying tongue and groove planks ready made from the hardware store makes this wall treatment install go super quick. 

Paint it white for classic farmhouse or coastal style or paint it dark for a more modern, industrial vibe. (You can see more of our foyer in our old house here.)

Romabio Midsummer green baby boy nursery with wallpaper mural and board and batten wall molding

7. Traditional Board & Batten

Board and batten works so well in entryways and mudrooms, but it’s perfect for basically any room of the house. 

Take it all the way up to the ceiling or just run it halfway up the wall to add character in any room. (You can see the rest of this baby boy nursery here.)

planked board and batten focal wall in a bedroom wall molding

8. Planked Board & Batten

Another great one for a focal wall (or on a ceiling). If you can’t decide between shiplap or board and batten, mesh both together this way. (You can see more of our primary bedroom in our last house here.)

how to refinish wood furniture without stripping

9. Beadboard

This classic style is one of the easiest trim ideas that can be installed as wall panels or tongue and groove.

Our daughter’s bedroom already had chair rail molding when we moved in, so we added panels of beadboard as wainscoting for a charming decorative feature. Beadboard is great for covering up popcorn ceilings too. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of paint finish do you use on molding and trim?

Satin sheen is the most recommended by designers and contractors. I personally prefer Benjamin Moore Advance for molding, trim, and doors because it cures quickly to a hard finish that won’t peel or scrape as easily.

What tools should you use for installing molding?

What are the best paint colors for trim and molding?

Benjamin Moore Simply White is the most versatile in my experience. It’s the perfect bright neutral white with still just enough creaminess to feel cozy. If you want to be a little more daring, try these gray trim paint colors to make your trim and molding the star of the show. 

Is it spelled molding or moulding? 

Molding is the typical spelling in the United States. In the UK and Canada, it’s spelled moulding. Just like the word color vs. colour or favorite vs. favourite. Both are technically correct, just culturally different spellings. 😉 

There are so many other kinds of molding I would love to attempt installing one day… like this DIY reeded wall (swoon). But these 8 are perfect for the basics.

Have you ever installed one? Or ever wanted to? Or attempted it once only to fail miserably? I promise those gorgeously molded walls are SO WORTH IT!

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17 Comments

    1. Hi, Rod. A few different wall art options were shared through this post. Can you reference the picture you are interested in more details?

  1. I keep seeing your add on Amazon it’s the one with the blue vanity in a bathroom with 2 wood framed mirrors over it. I really would like to purchase those mirrors can you please let me know how to purchase them.

    1. Hi Carrie! Those mirrors originally came from Kirkland’s but unfortunately they were discontinued a couple of years ago. I’m so sorry! I haven’t been able to find any other brand that carries them.

        1. Hi! I found our bed in a sale out warehouse in Rock Hill SC. There is not not a brand stamp or tag anywhere to share for this bed. However, I do have a post with some beautiful alternative options. https://www.blesserhouse.com/upholstered-combination-beds/
          The one in our guest bedroom is a second hand purchase from EBAY, the girls’ beds are from stores but not the same ones. Each bed are linked here
          head boards
          https://rstyle.me/+2xSL9hiRKviW1JSTiU6ABg
          https://rstyle.me/+3wIlCMAWJqqMJYtQ2sG6TQ
          bed frame
          https://rstyle.me/+iEJ5IpFe0ewL4q5q3lpu5w