How to: Beautiful DIY Picture Frame Molding

Picture frame molding is quickly gaining popularity – and for a good reason! It is simply beautiful. After reading this post, you will be ready to install your beautiful DIY picture frame molding!

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DIY Picture Frame Molding


How to: Beautiful DIY Picture Frame Molding

Let’s face it. New build homes these days need more character. At least mine does.

Our dining room makeover has been a whirlwind of a project. One night after dinner, I started working on it, which snowballed into doing much more than we had planned. I’m not mad about it, though!

I knew I wanted to implement picture frame molding in this area because I have a large blank wall, and it would be perfect!

I found some inspirational photos on Pinterest, showed my husband, and we found ourselves at Lowes the next day. Funny how that happens!

Picture Frame Molding – Supplies


  • miter saw – you could use a miter box if you don’t have one
  • brad nailer
  • level
  • tape measure
  • stud finder
  • speed square


  • Drywall compound
  • Paint primer
  • painter’s tape
  • ply cap trim
  • crown molding – optional
  • chair rail molding – optional
  • brad nails
  • caulk
  • wood filler
  • paint

Skim Coating the Wall

This may be a personal preference, but you must have smooth walls for the picture frame molding to look the best. Our home came with an orange peel texture, and I had to figure out a way to smooth it out.

I ended up using a drywall compound to skim-coat the wall and sand it all smooth. The worst part about this process was the mess it created with all the sanding.

Once the wall was smooth, I sealed it with two coats of primer, and we were ready to put up the molding!

Picture Frame Molding – The Plan

Everything looks better in groups of 3. I sketched up a few designs, and after looking at Pinterest for inspiration, I settled on this design. I used Canva to create this little mock-up.

I love the traditional look of chair rails, so that was something that I wanted to include in this design. We also wanted to add crown molding to complete the space.

After measuring our wall, we came up with our dimensions.

We decided that we were going to space everything 3.5″ away from each other.

If you have any decor ideas, this is the time to keep them in mind. This way, you can create boxes to fit your decor and wall space.

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Picture Frame Molding – Tape Mock-Up

Once you have a rough idea of your measurements, I like to use painter’s tape to mark out my design to ensure it will look right. This will help you to confirm the scale is suitable for the space or if you can’t decide on measurements, this will help you to see what you like!

A tape mock-up is essential to any design project you are doing.

Picture Frame Molding – The Process

Once you are happy with the layout, it is time to cut some trim!

To get our correct spacing, we first installed our crown molding and chair rail and based our boxes on that.

We centered our chair rail at 33″ from the floor.

After the crown and chair rail molding was installed, it was time to use ply cap trim for the picture frame boxes. This trim gives such an elegant look to the space.

To create these seamless boxes, you will need to cut each piece at a 45-degree miter. If you need to, please take extra time to make sure everything is cut correctly.

Make sure that you constantly measure from the outside measurement (your longest side of the trim).

We found it easiest to cut everything at once and then bring the trim inside to attach it to the wall.

Starting with the bottom of the box, use your spacer to help place the trim 3.5″ from the baseboard and existing wall. Use a speed square to make sure each joint is square. Use a brad nailer to attach the piece of trim.

We worked on the bottom boxes and then moved to the top boxes. Now, build the box with your other pieces of trim. You can use the spacer to guide you along each piece.

Once you get every box built, you are ready to finish your wall!

Picture Frame Molding – The Finishing

The hard part is over! Now is the time to fill your nail holes and caulk all the seams for a perfect finish.

I like to use wood filler to fill the nail holes, and I will come back and wipe each spot with a damp paper towel to eliminate any excess product.

Once all the nail holes are filled, we caulk all the seams. Once you lay your bead of caulk, come back with an ice-cold bowl of water to dip your finger in to smooth the caulk.

After the caulk is dry, it’s time to paint!

You could use just a regular paintbrush and roller to paint the wall. Since we used a dark color, we decided to spray it. This took a bit more time with prepping to spray, but it was well worth it.

We used our Graco paint sprayer and are so happy with the results.

That’s it! This is a beginner project; you can create a beautiful accent wall with this technique in no time!

Be sure to head over to Instagram and Pinterest for even more inspiration.

Tag me in any of your projects! I would love to see them and share with my followers.

Check out another accent wall idea HERE


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