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DIY Wainscoting Ideas: How to Install It Yourself

Luxury living room with white sofa, armchair, coffee table, two big windows and baseboard on the wall. 3d render image.
Getty Images

Hey there, weekend warriors! Ready for the best way to easily elevate any room? Picture frame moulding is an incredibly effective way to transform any room in an afternoon or two. Don’t break the bank hiring a pro – let’s dive into this super easy step-by-step guide on how to install your own DIY picture frame moulding!


Related: 5 Essential Products I Keep Repurchasing as a Serial DIYer

Trim moulding, laser level, pencil mitre saw, brad nailer (and nails!), paint and other supplies needed for your DIY wainscoting project.
Courtney Ryall

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

Before you kick off your DIY adventure, ensure you have all the necessary tools and supplies ready:

  • Trim moulding (select a style that suits your taste)
  • Laser level
  • Pencil
  • Mitre saw
  • Brad nailer (and nails!)
  • Safety glasses
  • Wood Filler
  • Paintable Caulk
  • Paint

Courtney Ryall measuring moulding
Courtney Ryall

Step 2: Measure Twice, Cut Once

The golden rule of any DIY project! Measure the height and width of your walls, taking note of any outlets or switches.  Decide how tall and wide each of your panels will be and. Use your mitre saw to make 45-degree angle cuts on your trim for those clean and seamless corners. Take your time and don’t rush this part – precision is key.

Courtney Ryall using a laser level and brad nailer to secure the moulding.
Courtney Ryall

Step 3: Mark Out Your Design

Grab that laser level and start mapping out your design on the wall. Picture frame moulding can be installed vertically, horizontally, or even in a grid pattern. The laser level will be your BFF in ensuring your lines are straight and your frames are level. 

Related: How to Make Your Own Parisian-Style Mirror

Step 4: Secure Your Trim with a Brad Nailer

Place your trim pieces on the wall, using the laser level as your guide. Hold the trim firmly against the wall and fire away! Make sure to space your nails evenly along the trim to ensure a secure and snug fit. Pro tip: angle the nails slightly to provide extra support.

Courtney Ryall applying speckling.
Courtney Ryall

Step 5: Create a Seamless Look

Now that your trim is securely in place, it’s time to patch up those nail holes. Grab some wood filler or spackling and smooth it out. Once it dries, give it a light sanding to create a seamless finish.  Use caulk along all the edges to hide all of the seams, and smooth it out with your finger.


Courtney Ryall applying moulding
Courtney Ryall

Step 6: Paint the Trim

Paint the trim the same colour as your wall to create a seamless, cohesive look that ties everything together. 

Allow it to dry, step back, and revel in the polished, Pinterest-worthy transformation you’ve achieved!

There you have it, DIY enthusiasts! With a bit of creativity and the right tools, you can easily elevate your space with picture frame moulding. So, put on your favourite playlist, roll up those sleeves, and let the transformation begin!

Related: Turn a Thrifted Nightstand Into a Dreamy Dollhouse Storefront

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