Adding Interest for Under $150

I keep meaning to blog, but of all the things I do each day it’s the first to get pushed down the list.  So then three months go by before I blog again.  Oops.  The good thing is I’ve made lots of progress on the dining room!  I hope to share all of it soon but wanted to first share this fairly simple project I did which added a lot of interest.

The walls in our dining room were painted beige above a chair rail and white below.  In our old house our dining room was the same (once I removed the peeling wallpaper).  At the time I really loved the “chairs and squares” look and hired someone to come and add this to the lower part of our walls.  At this house I wanted to do the same, but I really didn’t want to have it hired done.  There are many things I will hire done, but I was hoping to do this project on my own.

Enter my new best friend.  Lowe’s sells a pre-made moulding that you can nail up and paint and it looks just like wood.  This project cost a fraction of what it cost to hire someone to cut each piece and apply it to the wall.  I was a little nervous to get started.

Here’s the before:

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And here’s the during:

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It did take a little math to figure out the spacing, but it wasn’t bad at all.  I started in the middle and eyeballed where I wanted to to be on the wall, then made sure each one I added was level with the first.  I usually hammered in one nail in the middle to make sure I liked the placement before working my way down the wall.

Once the moulding was up there was usually a gap like this:

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To fix this I used this tool to hammer in each nail.

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Then I filled in each nail hole (I used six nails per piece of moulding).

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Next I caulked the gaps.  Once this dried it made the moulding much more secure.  If your moulding is very lose before adding the caulk, don’t worry.  Once this dried I knew it was there to stay.

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Immediately after applying the caulk I smoothed it down with a wet finger.  I had a bowl of water and paper towels on hand for this part.

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Then I sanded down the nail holes.  I had 12 moulding pieces in all so this part took me a few evenings, but it wasn’t too bad.  Finally I painted all the lower part of the wall with two coats of my white trim paint….

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And ta-da!

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Much prettier, and much more interesting.  Obviously I have since painted the walls and am almost ready to call this room done.  Yay!

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For under $150 I added a little detail to our room that gives it just enough interest.  Since this is the first room you see when you enter our house I really wanted this room to look a little more special.  The large mouldings were $12 each and the small ones were $7, and I already had the paint and tools that I needed.  This really cost me just over $100 since I already had the paint.  I bought my mouldings a few at a time to help with budget, too.  We’re saving up for some bigger projects.  🙂

I love adding little touches to our home, and it’s even more fun when I can say that I did it myself!  Girl power!

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