ORC Week 7: How to Install Custom Wall Trim – The Easy Way

You guys!!!! It’s Week 7 of the ORC!! We are so close I can taste it. Have you enjoyed following along in this One Room Challenge? I know I have had fun doing it, even though there were definitely times when Uriah and I were at each other’s throats. 

If you are new here – hi! My name is Katie and this guy’s name is Uriah – we work together flipping houses in Raleigh, NC and raising our 4 kiddos. You can read more about us on our about us page – but I’m so glad you are here. I hope you’ll stay a while.

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This week we are talking about installing wall trim, but if you haven’t already, head on over to the ORC Blog and make a point to check out some of my favorite bloggers who are also participating in One Room Challenge, Spring 2020.


Get caught up:

Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6

one room challenge logo doing a master bedroom makeover

And now, le piece de la resistance of The Master Bedroom: Custom Wall Trim 

Other than the reveal, this has to be my favorite post in the entire series. It is the creme de la creme, le piece de la resistance, the design element which either makes or breaks the vision which of this room makeover: custom wall trim. And we are going to show you an easy way to do it. 

As mentioned in the design post on ORC Week 2, the vision for the master bedroom came from european spaces we visited on our 10 year anniversary trip. The detailed trim work and architectural design elements were literally breathtaking. If you ever have the opportunity to travel to Europe – take it! (after COVID leaves us of course)

To see the evolution of our master bedroom design – check out this Pinterest Board.

During my research I noticed in more modern leaning spaces, wall trim was installed in the shape of one large box or frame per section of wall, rather than several repeated ones. Each trim frame was based on the size of a particular section of wall, with equal spacing from the door casing or corner of the wall to the trim.

Space by Design Ark

This observation carried over into our wall trim design. 


A quick trip to our hardware store gave us several options for trim pieces, but the one that stood out the most was the skinniest option!


We definitely second guessed ourselves at first, but in the end, couldn’t be happier with the result. (read to the end to see) 

How to Install Wall Trim (The Easy Way)

As with most projects, the right tool will take your project from a nightmare to the easiest job ever. We are by no means trim experts but these two things made the job go so smoothly, we just had to share them with you: spacers and a pair of miter shears.

Make a spacer

When installing wall trim, determine the spacing you want from the top of your base trim to the bottom of your molding. 

Then, cut a piece of wood to the width of that space. Uriah cut his from a scrap piece of 3/4 inch plywood we had laying around.


You’ll want to repeat this process for the horizontal distance between your door molding and new trim then again for the area between your crown or ceiling and the top edge of the new trim.

Don’t forget to label it with size and arrows for direction!


In the corners, you will place the spacers like so and mark where they intersect. Repeat this in the other four corners to make your frame.


Then, measure the distance of your marks and cut your trim pieces straight. We worked one frame of trim at a time.

Use a Trim Cutting Tool

Next, you’ll cut the pieces of your frame to all fit together. Angle cuts can be quite meticulous. Usually when we take on a house project, Uriah sets up the saw on the porch and has to go in and out several times to make cuts. For this job, though, we used this handheld miter shear by Gartol. Uriah wouldn’t stop talking about it. The tool made trim work 1000 times faster.


There is a dial on this tool that clicks into place when you turn it. This helps your cuts to be consistent so your corners fit super snug. Game changer.

<Grab the Gartol tool here>

Then, you will grab your spacer and move it along the wall as you use a nail gun to secure the trim to the wall. You will want to use 16 gauge finish nails if you use this thin of trim, so it doesn’t split the wood.


After that, it’s just wood fill, caulk, paint – then you are done!


Other ORC Updates

In other ORC news, our new light fixture for the sitting room arrived and I love her.

She’s lookin’ all snazzy in front of that black board and batten.


Next I’ll be working on a gallery wall of artwork around our TV using Joanna Gains’ method. You can find that on our Pinterest Board. I ordered the most beautiful curtains on Etsy, but sadly, don’t believe they will arrive on time for the final reveal. Fingers crossed our Winthrop Clay blackout shades don’t have yet ANOTHER delay. Lastly: there’s a situation with the side tables. Uriah and I found a welder who could make us some side table similar to these and decided to pull the trigger. It’s unlikely they will be finished in time for the finalle so I picked up these beauties at World Market to bridge the gap. I feel like not much has gone as planned with this project, but we’ll just make the best of what we have! 

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