Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Molding Project on Trial

This week I decided to try to pull off a little upgrade in our base molding to see how it might look.  The baseboards we have are sadly a bit too short to fit proportionally with the 10 foot high ceilings, and we could really use a few extra inches of height on top of the 6 inches we have.  The best looking option is to tear out all of the base trim throughout the first floor and replace it with something more substantial... but unfortunately that's either seriously expensive or a TON of work, and honestly it's just not worth it to us at this point.  As much as I love the look of tall, stately baseboards, I can live without them.

Interior Design Files

One trick I have seen before, which visually raises the height of your baseboards is to add a strip of trim a few inches above the baseboard and paint everything below it the same color.  This same technique can be used to create the illusion of larger crown molding, too, without actually having to remove and build up simple woodwork.  

With baseboards, though, I always feel like it just looks kind of obvious-- better than nothing, but still clearly a band aid.  I wanted to figure out a way to smooth the transitions and hide the fact that we're just adding on (not replacing) the baseboards. 

After brainstorming for a while in the trim aisle of Home Depot, I brought home a few pieces of lattice, stop and base cap molding to try out a few options and see what might look the best.  Once I chose a combination, I picked up just enough to trim out one section of the downstairs hallway so I could install it, sand and paint it all and live with it for a little while before committing fully to the new look.  Here are a couple of before shots:

I chose to add two pieces of molding to the baseboards we already have: first a piece of stop molding (like lattice, but with a rounded edge on one end) followed by the base cap piece.  Each section needed to be cut and nailed into place, and then the hail holes filled in with wood filler.

While waiting for the wood filler to dry I went ahead and caulked, filling in any gaps between the molding and the wall.  I smoothed down the wood filler with a sanding block and painted everything twice with our trim color (Behr's Polar Bear).

I'm not totally sure yet what I think about the final outcome... We'll give it a few days and see.  That's the best part about trying out a project in stages: I can always rip it out and go back to what we had!




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