Picking up Nickels

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Panel moulding project complete

Mrs. Frugalson (aka "Home Improvement Mom") and I finally finished the dining room panel moulding project that I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. I didn't think to take a pristine "before" picture, but these pictures should give you a good idea of what a difference this project made in our plain jane tan painted drywall dining room even after the recently installed wood moulding had been painted white:









Sarah at the Thrifty Decor Chick blog gives a nice primer on this type of project including design considerations, layout, materials, and installation. She makes it all sound so simple, but be warned that this is a labor intensive project! The materials aren't terribly expensive, but the design, prep (filling, sanding, priming), and installation (cutting, nailing, filling, caulking) can be very time consuming.

Let's begin with our materials list:

  • (6) 8' pieces of chair rail moulding from Lowes ($59.35 out of pocket (oop) after 10% off coupon)
  • (21) 8' pieces of accent moulding from Lowes ($95.80 oop after 10% off coupon)
  • (1) gal Behr Harvest Brown paint and (1) gal Ultra Pure White paint from Home Depot($59.98 oop)
  • (1) three pack of paint roller covers from Home Depot ($8.47 oop)
  • (5) white electrical outlets and covers to replace the tan ones from Home Depot ($4.30 oop)
  • White primer, paint brushes & rollers, nails, construction adhesive, wood putty, painters caulk, drywall spackle, sandpaper, etc. were "in stock" from prior projects.


Total cost: $227.90 oop

Next, on to the tools. This project can be done with a level, hammer, nails, hand saw, and miter box. However, you will get a much better result with far less work with power tools. This was particularly true with the 19 moulding panels, which were made out of 76 pieces of wood that required 152 total miter cuts!

Here's what I used:



Finally, some tips and techniques that I found helpful:

  • How to install molding (with videos, yikes!) (Thrifty Decor Chick blog)
  • How to cut crown molding inside corners (youtube)
  • How to cut a crown molding outside corner (youtube)
  • How to cut crown molding square dead ends (youtube)
  • Triangle Troubles (how to cut acute angles on a miter saw with a sub-fence)
  • Check ebay for Lowes/Home Depot coupons to reduce the cost of your materials. I picked up a few Lowes 10% coupons for about a buck each that I used for some of my materials.
  • Try to do as much painting as possible before installing any moulding. Trust me, it is much easier to neatly paint bare walls and uncut moulding. :)
  • Mark all wall studs before installing moulding.
  • If installing panel moulding on drywall, use construction adhesive on every piece and tack pieces into place with small brad nails (I used 1.25" brads) until the glue dries. For panels, try to sink nails into studs whenever possible, although that will not be possible for most vertical pieces.
  • Have extra pieces of moulding on hand. You are only one misfire or mental mistake away from not having enough material on hand to complete your project.
  • Recruit a helper for when you position, level, and fasten moulding. It will make getting a good result much easier.


And that's about it... Two weekends of work and ~$230 later our plain drywall dining room looks so much more finished. Now I just wonder what Mrs. Frugalson has in store for our next home improvement project!

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