Helpful How-To's & DIY Tutorials

Looking for your next DIY project? Perhaps you need some inspiration on how to make your house a home? Our growing library of how-to's, DIY tutorials, and home improvement articles are here to guide you through your DIY adventures.



Interior Design & Decor

8 Moulding Ideas to Add Character to Your Home

8 Moulding Ideas to Add Character to Your Home

It’s amazing what you can do with a little moulding and some imagination. Roll up your sleeves and get ready for a fun DIY project that will add interest and personality to your home.

You can choose from many styles of moulding to complement your home’s décor or create your own original design. At Notre Dame Castle, we believe that DIY moulding gives your home a finished look without a lot of cost or effort. If you’re handy and feeling creative, it’s a satisfying DIY project that lets you practice your basic woodworking skills.

Take a visit to your local lumber supply centre for some inspiration. You’ll find moulding profiles that can be used alone or combined to create your own unique design.

The sky’s the limit with moulding, but it’s usually used to decorate:

  • Walls and ceilings
  • Baseboards
  • Doors and windows
  • Chair rail
  • Picture rail
  • Panel moulding
  • Wainscotting

Watch video tutorials for each project for specific instructions, along with tools and supplies required, but here are some items you’ll need:

  • Compound mitre saw
  • Coping saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Cordless finish nailer
  • Level
  • Tape measure
  • Caulking gun
  • Caulk
  • Drill
  • Hammer
  • Moulding
  • Constructive adhesive
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • Wood putty
  • Paint or stain
  • Nails
  • Dust mask
  • Drop cloth

Bring home a sample moulding first

When purchasing moulding from the store, ask for a sample to take home. Check it out in your room to make sure it’s the look you want. You don’t want to purchase the entire amount you need until you know it will suit your room’s design and décor.

Let moulding acclimatize

To prepare the moulding for installation, allow it to get used to your room’s temperature and humidity levels.

Moulding tips

  • Cut a little more moulding than you’ll need to make sure you have enough.
  • Paint or stain your moulding before you install it!
  • Some moulding comes prepainted or primed. You can choose the paint colour or stain that best complements your home’s design and colour scheme.
  • Moulding in high traffic areas will benefit from durable trim paint in a semi-gloss finish that resists scratches.
  • Warm and natural wood stains look beautiful on moulding in contemporary homes as well as in traditional homes.

Crown moulding styles

Moulding can be very ornate and elegant as in Victorian styles, or it can have simpler lines. Whichever style you decide to use, make sure it is in scale with your home’s ceiling height and room size, and suits your home’s design. Generally, rooms with higher ceilings will look better with wider moulding.

Familiarize yourself with the architectural style of your home to narrow down the type of moulding you want. A few moulding styles are Georgian, Colonial Revival, Traditional Revival, Greek Revival, Early American, Craftsman, and Federal.

Photo: Artsy Chicks Rule

Photo: Artsy Chicks Rule

Traditional crown moulding

In a busy renovation, moulding can sometimes be left until the end, but it’s never too late! See how this couple refined their home’s rooms by repurposing moulding no longer needed in their dining room. The results transformed their hallway! See the project on Artsy Chicks Rule.

Supplies needed for this project:

  • 4-inch crown moulding
  • Door casing
  • Reused old crown
  • Paint in eggshell finish
  • 15-gauge finish nailer
  • Brad nailer
  • Wood filler
  • Caulk

2. New moulding and door trim made to match the original

This homeowner wanted to open up a doorway to the living room that had been closed off in a previous renovation. Sometimes you get lucky and find old trim and moulding in the attic. Alas, this was not the case. A talented carpenter, however, did his best to replicate the original moulding in the living room. Can you tell which one is the original?

3. Calm and peaceful “Federal” moulding

Moulding doesn’t need to be ornate to add charm to your home. This subtle and simple crown moulding, known as Federal style, transformed a plain living room into a room with a peaceful personality.

4. Crown moulding on doors and windows

Moulding wrapped around your room where the walls and ceiling meet adds warmth and a finished feeling to your home. Continue this architectural detail with crown moulding above your French doors and windows. Complete the picture by attaching a curtain rod and rings in the same colour.

5. Chair rail moulding

Originally designed to protect walls from being damaged by chairs, chair rails are now more decorative and are sometimes installed on wainscotting.
Look at various crown moulding styles in a variety of materials from wood to PVC for some inspiration. Ideally, chair rails need to be placed 32” to 35” high from the floor, adjusting for window positioning and ceiling heights.

No wall is perfectly even and as a result, chair rails tend to expose any faults in the wall. Walls shift over time and a chair rail, though attractive, can reveal these gaps. This means you will need to add shims and even grout to even out the wall and make it look attractive.

TIP: To join two pieces of moulding, make a 45-degree angle cut. This way the pieces will join seamlessly together.

6. Picture rail moulding

Picture rail moulding, found in older homes, was used as a way to safely hang pictures without having to make a hole in plaster, which can easily crack and crumble.

Now picture rails are an attractive way to decorate new homes, and let you switch up your artwork without having to make new holes. You can use different hook sizes to adapt for different picture sizes.

A picture rail is usually quite narrow at about 2” wide. You install it near the top of a wall, from an inch to 2 feet below the ceiling. You’ll need to install it securely into the studs in new homes.

7. Plate rail moulding in bedroom and kitchen

Wider than picture rails, plate rails are an attractive and secure way to display your collectibles in any room. In the bedroom, it can be installed above the bed as a focal point. You can choose any type of moulding you like.

Show off your beautiful plates on a plate rail you make yourself with a flat board or moulding. You can use this simple design to add a plate rail above any doorway in your home. Add moulding to the wall below the ceiling to complete your room.

8. A simple DIY art gallery made with moulding

Choose one wall in your home to create a mini art gallery with themed artwork or photographs. Create smaller frames with moulding to fasten to your wall. Paint an accent colour on the wall inside each frame to make the artwork stand out. Hang whimsical drawings by your children, photographs from a recent vacation or your own artwork. Frame the entire group of pictures with long pieces of moulding.

If you have any questions or need more information, feel free to visit Notre Dame Castle for assistance. We would be happy to help you in any way we can.

Disclaimer: The information and resources in these articles and on this website are available for informational and educational purposes only. The articles provided on this website are created with every reasonable effort to ensure completeness and accuracy. In doing so, the article writers, publishers, and the business that this website represents assume no responsibility for errors, omissions, or opposed interpretation of the articles and under no circumstance will these parties be held liable for any direct, indirect and/or consequential damages of any kind incurred from undertaking tasks outlined in the articles or on this website. In addition, it is suggested that readers check by-laws, zoning laws and building codes of your local area and country.