Step 8: Build the frames

clamp the stop into place against the left end of the molding.
Photo: Kolin Smith
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To make uniform frames, you'll need to cut your molding into consistent pieces. You can do this by clamping a piece of scrap wood to the fence on your miter saw to act as a stop, allowing you to make matching pieces without measuring every time. It also helps to have a list of all the cuts you'll need ready ahead of time and to mark each piece's length on the back after you cut it.

Place a piece of molding rightside up on the saw deck, fat edge against the fence. Set the blade to the right at 45 degrees. Cut the left end of the molding at this angle. Measure out the desired length on the molding along the longer back edge and mark it. Swing the blade to the left and set it to 45 degrees. Slide the molding over to line up the blade with the mark, and cut the right side of the molding. Leaving the blade down, clamp the stop into place against the left end of the molding.
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    Tools List

    • random orbit sander
      random-orbit sander fitted with 150-grit paper
    • combination square
      combination square
    • framing square
      framing square
    • pneumatic brad nailer
      pneumatic brad nailer (rents for $55 per day with compressor)
    • miter saw
      miter saw
    • hand clamps
      spring clamps
    • caulk gun
      caulk gun
    • hot glue gun
      hot-glue gun
    • putty knife
      small putty knife
    • paintbrush
      paint brush
    • paintroller
      paint roller

    Shopping List

    Molding Typically, base cap or panel molding works best for creating frames. Make sure to get 10 to 20 percent more than you think you'll need, to accommodate offcut waste.

    Scrap Plywood and Wood Blocks to make a jig for building the frames

    2-Inch Brad Nails

    Wood Glue220-Grit Sandpaper for smoothing mitered corners and filled nail holes

    Panel Adhesive to secure the frames to the wall

    Hot-Glue Cartridge

    Wood Putty

    Paintable Caulk

    Primer and Paint