Decorating Your Walls with Molding

Installing crown molding

You’ve put up all the drywall and the room is starting to come together. What more can you do to help make the room look fantastic? One thing you can do is add molding. Actually, it is more than one. Molding comes in many forms, based upon where you place it. Here’s a look at some of the options.

Crown Molding

When you hear the word crown, you think of a headdress for a monarch. Basically, something for on top of one’s head. With crown molding, you place it at the top of the wall, angled to connect up to the ceiling. It adds charm to a room, and more importantly for some, it adds value to a home. It is an easy way to upgrade an existing room. Material-wise, you’ll typically find wide pieces of plaster and wood used here. Additionally, you may also find plastic or foam in use. Nobody is going to touch it, typically, so you can go a little cheaper on material without losing the look.

Base Molding

Base molding, or skirting board, takes your basic baseboard to the next level. There can be two parts here, the top of the baseboard and the bottom. The bottom is called shoe molding, as it is at the foot of the wall. (It can also go by the name toe molding or quarter round.) An important reason to offer trim around the bottom of the wall is to hide the gaps needed around the wall for laminate flooring or any other flooring that needs to expand and float on top of the subflooring.

Dado Rail

Wall molding diagram

Most people don’t know (nor do they care) that the lower part of the wall is called the dado. A horizontal rail placed at the top of the dado level will protect a wall from the furniture hitting the wall. Since that furniture is typically chairs, the dado rail is more commonly known as a chair rail. When placed in a bar area or man cave, the dado rail could come out flat and wide then be used to hold drinks.


Wainscoting is more paneling than molding but it is a great way to improve a room, especially a dining room, or perhaps even a bathroom. With wainscoting, you line the walls with boards, typically to the height of a chair rail. This would go around whole room. This started in the 18th century when styling changed from floor to ceiling coverage to the half wall coverage. Nowadays, instead of lining the wall with individual boards, there are panels made to look like the individual boards.

Box Molding

A common way of decorating the dado area of the wall is box molding, or picture frame molding. For this to have the greatest effect on the look of a room, the molding would be painted/stained in a color different than the rest of the wall. Imagine white boxes on a darker wall to get the biggest pop when the feature is present. Like adding crown molding, it is an easy way to upgrade a room by just adding a decorative feature, instead of just repainting to give the room a different ambiance.

What’s the big deal with molding in the first place? The whole idea is to create contrast. Through the use of shadows or just applying different colors to the molding, a room becomes more appealing. It is also necessary to cover-up imperfections at transitions, like with the edges of a floating floor near the base of a wall. People just don’t want to see gaps. Strategically use molding to upgrade rooms and generally just make them look more appealing.

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Photo credit: tsuacctnt / Foter / CC BY, Egmason (Own work) / Wikipedia / CC BY 3.0

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Wallboard Supply Company is a third generation, family run business that has been serving New England's building needs since 1970. Bob Filion started the company with a commitment to provide quality drywall and finishing products with unmatched customer service. The company has grown over the years, expanding its' product range, but never wavering from its' core values.