Family Room – One Room Challenge Week 5 and 6: Installing Wall Moulding

If you are new to my blog, welcome! I’m Sanda Stojakovic and I’m the author of My Design Playbook. A year ago my husband and I bought a 1970 Colonial house that needed many updates but we were so excited about this purchase that we knew we could turn this house into our home. Ever since we started on this journey to modernize our house I realized that we really enjoy this type of work and it quickly turned into something we love doing together. Follow along as we renovate our family room over the next few weeks for the Spring 2020 One Room Challenge and mark your calendar for the final reveal which now has been extended to July 5th!

Fall 2019 ORC can be found here.

If you missed previous weeks they can be found here: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3 and Week 4.

Week 5 of the One Room Challenge was cancelled to honor and respect victims of policy brutality.

Week 6 has been the “ah ha” moment of the One Room Challenge. Things are finally coming together and my vision is taking shape. My husband and I have spend majority of our time installing the trim I have cut using the miter saw. For those of you interested in some tips I have for newbies using the miter saw, click here. I’m not a professional, but I found using a miter saw much easier when I followed these time myself.

You may recall from two weeks ago that I used painters tape to better visualize where I wanted the wall moulding to go and how high and big each box should be. I highly recommend this as a first step of any trim project because it allows you to visual see where the trim will go and it gives you a better idea whether you need to adjust height and width. Not to mention, it made more confident in the overall layout I was pursuing. Overall, we decide to leave 8 inches from the ceiling to the to first horizontal trim piece. Mainly because at the time I was not sure if I wanted to install crown moulding so I wanted to leave enough space in case I decide I want crown moulding after all. Turns out, I did and it worked out really well. More on that subject later. I read that the key importance of installing wall panels is that they should all be spaced equally. The boxes do not have to be the same width (as you can see, the box around the fireplace is a lot bigger than the two boxes next to it) but the space between each box should to make it visually appealing. After playing around with different widths, we decided to space our boxes 6 inches from each other.

This weeks most helpful tool for installing trim has been this self-leveling cross line laser level that we used with this tripod. The reason I found these two items so useful is because it allowed us to project onto the wall where we need to place the wall moulding without having to hold a level when installing.

As you can see from the lines being projected on the wall by the laser level, it makes it simple to know where exactly I need to add the second vertical piece in order to stay level.

The spacing from the baseboard to the first piece of trim is 5 inches. Instead of having to measure 5 inches each time we created a spacer out of a piece of 2 by 4 by cutting it down to exactly 5 inches. So each time, before we put our first horizontal piece down, we would first apply our spacer to the wall and put the trim piece above it. When installing these long panels, I recommend you start with the bottom horizontal piece first as it provides a great base to start from and then add each of your to vertical pieces topping it off with the final to horizontal piece.

After we completed the first panel install, we applied the same concept to the remaining pieces. This was my first project where I used the our Ryobi Nail Gun extensively and I’m going to have to say, there is a right and wrong way of nailing it the nails. I have noticed that if I don’t push the nail gun hard enough against the wall, the nail does not go deep enough into the trim piece which is not great because it is much easier to fill a gap on a trim piece where the nail has gone all the way in by using wood putty and caulk then in those situations where the nail did not go all the way into the trim and is now sticking out. Covering metal nail with paint is not easy if your paint color is light.

Here is an example of what I’m referring to when I say correctly nailed in vs incorrectly nailed in. As you can see the bottom nail is protruding out of the trim piece as opposed to the top nail that have gone all the way into the trim piece and now only require filling and most cases just caulking.

Once we have completed all the moulding installation, I spend many hours caulking. Caulking takes a lot of time because you want to caulk the inner side of the each wall panel and the outer side. We used this acrylic latex caulk as you can cover it with paint after it dries. We have made the mistake of buying the silicone caulk in the past project which you cannot cover with paint. Basically the silicone caulk is used for bathrooms not trim so be aware which one you are buying.

After researching crown moulding for hours and reviewing our installed panel boxes I decided it would be best to install crown moulding as well. I have been hesitant to install crown moulding because I read that crown moulding visually brings the ceiling down for a cozier feel and given that we only have 8ft ceiling, my goal is not the bring the ceiling down but the opposite, make it appear higher. To create an illusion of higher ceilings, I did a bunch of research on what the correct proportions for interior moulding for an 8ft ceiling should be. I found a create article by Laurel Bern that explains this nicely. To summarize, in order to get your interior mouldings the correct size the prevailing idea is simply to follow the proportions of the classical orders. This is usually based on the Doric Order which states that crown or cornice moulding for an 8ft ceiling should be between 3″ – 3.5″. I found the below info-graphic from her site extremely helpful.

Once I knew the correct size of my crown moulding, it narrowed down my options significantly, and made it much easier to choose which moulding to go with. The crown we chose is 3″ 5/8 in width and is 12′ long which is a bonus because many crown trim pieces are only 8-9′ long. I have found that contrary to popular belief, crown moulding in a low-ceilinged room does not necessarily make the ceiling feel lower if you buy the correct crown moulding size. By size, I don’t just mean the width of the face of the crown moulding but also how the crown is positioned. If you want to make the ceiling appear higher, your crown moulding should be vertically oriented, meaning there should be less horizonal coverage on the ceiling and more on the wall, leading the eye upward. To help with leading the eye upward, I painted the crown moulding the same color as my walls instead of the color of my ceiling. This gives the wall appearance of height because the wall color continues up onto the ceiling for several inches.

The addition of the crown moulding really elevated the room architectural interested and makes it look more finished. What do you think?

Well, it’s a wrap for this week. We have made a ton of progress in the room and things are finally coming together. Thanks for following along. Don’t forget to check out other designers here and as usually, if you want to follow along throughout the week, be sure to check out my stories on instagram.

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