Step 1: Lay out the molding

•Determine the order in which each piece of molding will go up around the room by drawing a plan view of the room on paper. To avoid having to cope both ends of the last length of molding, install the outside corner last. Otherwise, number each wall counterclockwise, starting with the one opposite the door.

•Hold a scrap piece of molding in place at each inside and outside corner and mark the position of its bottom edge—the edge that will sit on the wall—with a pencil. Stretch a chalk line between the marks at each corner and snap lines along the wall. This is the installation line.

•Locate studs and joists. Mark their locations with a pencil just below the installation line.

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    Tools List

    • miter saw
      Power miter saw with 10-inch carbide-tipped blade
    • drill
      for drilling pilot holes for nails
    • 16-foot tape measure
      Tape measure
    • pneumatic finish nailer
      Pneumatic finishing nailer with 1½- to 2-inch finish nails,
      to fasten molding to wall
    • framing square
      Framing square,
      for laying out molding on walls and ceilings
    • chalk line
      Chalk line,
      for snapping installation lines on the wall
    • coping saw
      Coping saw,
      for coping molding at inside corners
    • utility knife
      Utility knife,
      for trimming coped joints
    • rasp
      Wood rasp,
      for fine-tuning coped joints
    • studfinder
      Electronic stud finder,
      for locating studs and joists
    • hammer

    Shopping List

    1. 4d, 6d, and 8d finish nails

    2. 1/16-inch drill bit

    3. Wood putty

    for filling nail holes

    4. Acrylic or other flexible caulk

    to seal gaps between molding and walls and ceiling

    5. Carpenter's glue

    for adhering outside corners and returns