Easy Interior Enhancements for Your Home

By: Danny Lipford
Homeowner Paige Stewart and Danny Lipford with DIY faux wainscoting.

Homeowner Paige Stewart and Danny Lipford with DIY faux wainscoting.

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Here’s how to create three great interior enhancements using little more than stock molding, elbow grease, and a little imagination.

Add Wood Casing to a Window

If the inside of your windows are plain drywall, dress them by trimming them out with stock window casing. Here’s how to go about it:

  1. Remove any blinds or curtains that might be in the way.
  2. If the window stool isn’t long enough for the casing, remove it and replace it with a longer board by cutting through the caulking with a utility knife, then using a pry bar and hammer to take it out.
  3. Cut the new window stool to width and length, allowing for a 3/8” reveal past the casing (casing width x 2 + 1/4″ casing reveals + 3/4″ stool reveals), and notch the corners to fit with a jigsaw.
  4. Fit the window stool on the window, and nail it in place.
  5. Miter the top window casing on each end, so the short miter length is 1/4″ longer than the width of the window opening to allow for a 1/8” reveal on each side.
  6. Position and nail the top window casing in place with a 1/8” reveal between the casing and window edge.
  7. Miter the top end of the side window casings and cut the bottom square to length.
  8. Position and nail each of the side casings in place, using wood glue on the miter cuts.
  9. Cut the window apron to the length with a 22½° angle on each end.
Adding wood  casing to a window.

Adding wood casing to a window.

Window Casing Materials List

The materials to case an average size window costs about $55 and required approximately:

  • 28’ window casing
  • 7’ window stool
  • 6d finishing nails
  • Painter’s putty
  • Caulking
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood glue
  • Paint

Watch video on Adding Window Casing to find out more.

Finished faux wall wainscoting.

Finished faux wall wainscoting made from stock molding.

Faux Wainscoting for Walls

To dress up the wall below the chair rail with the look of wainscoting, miter base cap molding, and apply it to the wall similar to picture frames. Here’s how to go about it:

  1. Measure the height and length of each section of wall where the molding will be applied.
  2. Subtract 9” from the height and 9” from the length to find the lengths to cut the molding, so there will be a 4½” margin between the baseboard, chair rail, and walls on all sides.
  3. Miter the ends of the molding, cutting each piece to the required length.
  4. Layout the pieces on a flat surface, then glue and nail the corners together, predrilling the holes to prevent splitting, to form four sided frames.
  5. Paint the molding first before installing.
  6. Attach the frames to the wall with construction adhesive.
  7. Position the frames on the wall, using scraps of wood or molding between the floor and frame to align the molding.
  8. Press the molding firmly into place, and reinforce with nails in the studs if needed.
  9. Set and fill any nails with spackling.
  10. Touch up any filled nail holes or dings with paint.

Faux Wainscoting Materials List

Making faux wainscoting panels for an average size room costs about $80 and required approximately:

  • 90’ base cap molding
  • 1 tube construction adhesive
  • 6d finishing nails
  • Wood glue
  • Painter’s putty
  • Paint

Watch video on Installing Faux Wainscoting to find out more.

Floating decorative shelf made from scrap materials.

Floating decorative shelf made from scrap materials.

Floating Decorative Shelf

To dress up the wall in a child’s room, we made a 3’ long, floating decorative shelf using leftover lumber, plywood, and crown molding. Here’s how to go about it:

  1. Construct a 6” high by 6” deep by 28” long three-sided box from 3/4″ birch plywood with mitered corners and a rabbeted groove cut in the bottom edge to accept a plywood bottom.
  2. Assemble the box using wood glue and nails.
  3. Rout a pattern around three sides of a 3/4” x 10” x 3’ board, and attach it to the top of the box using nails and glue.
  4. Miter and attach 2¾” wide crown molding to the box under the shelf.
  5. Rip a piece of 3/4″ lumber 5” wide, then rip it down the middle at a 45° angle to create two cleats to hold the shelf to the wall.
  6. Attach one of the cleats to the back of the shelf inside the box with the bevel facing down.
  7. Attach the other cleat to the wall, using screws in the studs and additional anchors in the drywall or plaster, with the bevel facing up. When nailing or drilling into plaster, apply painter’s or masking tape to the wall before drilling to prevent chipping.
  8. Hang the shelf on the beveled wall cleat.

Floating Shelf Materials List

The floating shelf was made from scrap materials at little cost, and required approximately:

  • Box: 1 – 3/4” x 12” x 36” piece of birch plywood
  • Shelf: 1 – 3/4” x 12” x 36” pine board
  • Molding: 1 – 2¾” x 6’ piece of crown molding
  • Cleats: 1 – 3/4” x 6” x 30” pine board
  • 6d finishing nails
  • Wood glue
  • Painter’s putty
  • Paint
  • 3” screws
  • Wall anchors

Watch video on Building a Decorative Shelf to find out more.

Other Tips from This Episode

Caulking Tub Holders

Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Caulking Tube Holders

To make storage for tubes of caulking in your shop, cut 2” I.D. diameter PVC pipe to 8” lengths, drill two sets of holes straight through the pipe, screw the pieces of pipe horizontally to the side of a shelf in your shop, and slide a caulking tube in each holder.

Ridgid Fuego Lithium-ion Drill

Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
Ridgid Fuego Lithium-ion Drill

The Ridgid Fuego 2-speed cordless drill and driver has the highest torque in its class, includes an LED Flashlight, and is powered by Hyper lithium-ion battery which charges quicker and provides more power than standard lithium-ion batteries. The Ridgid Fuego cordless drill is available at The Home Depot and comes with a lifetime guarantee.

Danny Lipford

Ask Danny Lipford:
Finding a Reliable Contractor

The best way to find a reliable contractor for your home is by checking with your local homebuilders’ association, asking local architects, or asking for recommendations from friends or neighbors who have had similar work done on their homes. Then obtain estimates from several different contractors before deciding on one.



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