Hey everyone!! Did you see the full living room reveal earlier this week?! As promised I’m back to share the tutorial for our much loved picture frame molding from our living room makeover. We are still just over-the-moon with how this living room renovation turned out. The easy DIY picture frame molding has such a big impact on this space and it really was SO EASY to do. I did it 100% by myself, with minimal math, in about 2 days including wood filling cracks, caulking and painting. You ready to learn how to tackle your own easy DIY picture frame molding?
*This post is sponsored by Osborne Wood and Ryobi, who provided me with the materials to complete this project. All opinions are my own. See full disclosure here*
*This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. If you purchase anything through that link, I will get a small commission at no extra cost to you. Win win!*
First of all, you absolutely can do diy picture frame molding on a textured wall. We wound up getting texture on the walls in this room when we had drywall installed. Texture is common here in the west and I’ll be honest, I’m not a huge fan. This southerner/east coaster likes a smooth wall. But I also like to not spend a ton of money and texture means less labor. The end. The texture also hides all of the wall imperfections you tend to have in old houses. But no worries, the molding is still amazing on a textured wall!
For our space, I really just wanted to break up the monotony of this long wall and kind of mirror the height that is happening on the opposite wall that has the tall pocket door leading into our library. First, you will decide how tall you want your picture frame boxes to be. I let my lengths of molding from Osborne Wood dictate that. I used this molding. It’s not super intricate but has a nice detail to it and super affordable! They were 96 inches tall, so to make fewer cuts, get the tallest box I possibly could and waste less, I just made my boxes 95 inches tall. This molding is beautiful and I highly recommend Osborne Wood. They shipped wonderfully packaged pieces and one end of each piece is mitered at a 45 degree angle already.
We loved this trim so much that we decided to use the leftovers on the fronts of our diy window seat built-ins. They are plywood so the trim gave the edges that showed a nice finished look and carried over the nice millwork details to that side of the room.
For this DIY Picture Frame Molding project you will need:
picture frame molding
electric miter saw OR miter box and hand saw
wood glue (optional) (I did not glue mine in place because if I EVER want to remove them I didn’t want to deal with that nightmare)
Now that you know your height, you need to figure out how many boxes you want then the spacing that will be in between each box. To do this, measure the length of your wall, decide how much space you want between the boxes. Make your life easier and make this an easy number that you can use a space for. Common board widths like 3, 4, 6 inches etc. I had a 3.5 inch board on hand that was perfect for a spacer so that’s the number I used. Now that you have these numbers, use this formula to figure out the width of each box.
# of spaces (for 3 boxes I had 4 spaces) x 3.5 (the width of my spacer) = 14 inches of total space between the boxes
Now subtract that number from your total wall length. Mine looked like this:
144 inches (total wall length) – 14 inches (total amount of space between all boxes) = 130 inches
Now divide that number by the number of boxes you chose
130/3 = 43.3 inches wide, per box Now round down or up because nobody knows or will be able to tell that you don’t know what.3 looks like on a tape measure, haha!
Now you can lightly draw the boxes on the wall. I did mine too dark and had to do extra coats of paint to cover it. Now this is ONLY for the outer rectangle box. I’ll explain how I did the inner boxes next, hold tight! To draw the boxes, you need a long level, a pencil, your spacer and a tape measure.
Starting at the left corner of my wall, I put my spacer right in the corner then adjusted it to make sure it was level (because my house is not!). Holding the spacer in place, draw a line then move the spacer up and down if it’s not long enough, so that you have a line drawn from the top of your wall to the bottom. Move over to the right the width of your box, in my case 43 inches and draw another level line from the top of the wall to the bottom. Put your spacer to the right of this line and draw another line from top to bottom. Do this as many times as you need to in order to get the number of boxes you want.
Once the vertical lines are all drawn, draw a level line across the entire width of the top of your boxes and the bottom of your boxes. Now you’re ready to start cutting trim and then pin nailing it to the wall.
This pin nailer that Ryobi sent me is a life saver on a project like this. The pin holes are so tiny that they don’t have to be filled with anything. A coat of paint fills the hole easily! The tool is super light weight and comes with a handy hook so you can hang it on your jeans or tool belt. I made a lot of trips up and down my ladder with this sucker! If you are doing any lightweight trim work, this is a must have tool! Bonus: it’s cordless. Nothing work thatn having to deal with a darn air compressor cord, in my opinion.
Miter cuts seem complicated if you’ve never done them but once you start they will make sense. All of these cuts are 45 degrees angles because 45 + 45 = 90 and since we are making boxes that’s what we want. Just do a little practice to get the direction of your cut right and you’ll be good to go. Start measuring your lengths and cutting, then nailing. Most trim pieces will be somewhat flexible so you will be able to put it on the line you drew as you go down nailing.
Once I had all three rectangle boxes done I started on the inner, more detailed boxes. I used the same basic technique, a 1×2 spacer, drew the lines for the straight top and side pieces. Then I used a 5″ x 5″ scrap spacer block to make the inverted corners. Level, then draw your lines. Don’t get too caught up in perfection here. Any imperfect cuts can be filled with wood filler and anything that isn’t perfectly level will not be noticeable to the eye. Once I had all of the lines drawn I started measuring and cutting the trim for the inner boxes.
I primed all of my trim before I hung it just to make things a little easier but it’s not absolutely necessary. Once it was all hung, I used wood filler to fill any gaps between my mitered cuts, and trust me I had some gaps and you will too. No worries! Then I painted one coat of paint, then caulked all of the seams/cracks where the trim lays on the wall. I do it this way because it allows you to see where you actually need caulk verses just caulking everything. Then I painted a 2nd, and in some spots a 3rd, coat of paint.
That’s it! I know it sounds complicated but if I can do it, I know you can!! You can be as creative as you want with the molding shapes and sizes. You can also use just flat trim pieces to save money and get an even more modern look. Use your imagination on this project for a unique look. I love how the trim is traditional but the shapes I used feel grand and modern. It’s a huge upgrade from the floor to ceiling mirrors we had here before right? If you do this project PLEASE tag me in your photos, I’d love to see your projects!