Full Episodes of Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford

Interior Molding Makeover Project

By: Danny Lipford

Installing white faux wainscoting on yellow walls in living room.

Watch this video to find out how to improve the look of the rooms in your home by installing polyurethane moldings from Fypon, which are easy to cut and install.

Molding Installed Include:

  • Crown molding
  • Chair Railing
  • Faux Wainscoting
  • Ceiling Medallions

Read episode article to find out more about this project.

Further Information

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Danny Lipford: This week on Today’s Homeowner, we’re tackling an interior molding makeover in a home that’s been waiting for it a long time.

John Switzer: When the realtor showed it to me, I was just blown away by it.

Danny Lipford: John Switzer is a college professor, whose job in Mobile, Alabama is about an hour away from his home in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. He and his wife, Patsy, bought this historic house in Mobile to serve as his home away from home while he’s working.

John Switzer: When the realtor showed it to me, I was just blown away by it.

Patsy Switzer: It is just absolutely a fabulous, old house. I love old houses. I like the feel of the house. It’s like stepping back in time every time I come over here.

John Switzer: The house is a wonderful place. It’s a… It’s typically known as a workman’s cottage and so, it was built for people who didn’t have tons and tons of extra money, so anything that would touch it up with either molding, or chair molding, or wainscoting or little touches like that would just make all the difference.

Danny Lipford: John’s neighbor, Cart Blackwell works for the Mobile Historic Development Commission, so John asked his advice about improvements that would be fitting for the house.

John Switzer: If I wanted to do something with this room, not overdo it, but touch it up, give it a little pop, what would you recommend?

Cart Blackwell: There are certain areas you should focus on. Maybe a crown mold. Focus around elements, like doorways and mantels, that just have good proportions that work with your space. You’ve got 12-foot ceilings here. So it sets a tone for simple moldings, chair rails, doorways and things like that.

John Switzer: But you mentioned the fireplace. Would some sort of applique dress that wood up?

Cart Blackwell: The bones are great. You could have a simple molding or two, such as this, that’s already there. These wonderful things that add a wonderful statement that are based on traditional decorative design. Good lines, simple, straight curves and things of that nature.

Danny Lipford: Now that they have an idea of what they want, we’re going to help them figure out how to do it. So, pretty simple, nothing… Nothing real ornate.

John Switzer: Exactly.

Patsy Switzer: What we really would like is some crown molding in here. I think it’d really dress up this room, make it look a lot more elegant and…

Danny Lipford: Well, people are so used to seeing it as a finishing touch, even though a lot of older houses didn’t have it and have the picture mold. But people don’t like the picture mold as much, it seems; but the crown, especially if you keep it somewhat in, you know, the same era and same style of the home. That looks pretty good.

Patsy Switzer: I think so.

John Switzer: That was one of my thoughts, as well, because if you get too fancy

Danny Lipford: Right.

John Switzer: For a cottage like this, it just feels out of place.

Danny Lipford: Yeah, exactly right.

John Switzer: There’s just too much filigree, too large of a molding, but maybe, I don’t know, some chair railing as well might go nice in this room.

John Switzer: Well, chair rail would work pretty well. I noticed when I walked in, you have, you know, somewhat of a chair rail going down the entry area.

Well, I’ll tell you something we’ve done a lot, and it’s kind of neat, works in any type of house, is just the applied molding. The wall still shines through, you still have that look, but it doesn’t make it too heavy.

Patsy Switzer: Wow, that sounds awesome.

Danny Lipford: Yeah, that’s pretty good. Now this looks like, I guess, drywall over plaster because I see it, encroaching on the trim a little bit.

John Switzer: That’s my assumption.

Danny Lipford: Yeah.

John Switzer: We bought the house and it had been completely renovated

Danny Lipford: Oh, okay. and I assumed that the contractors did all of that before we bought it.

Danny Lipford: Fireplace is always kind of a challenge when you’re talking about some of the older houses, the old coal-burning fireplace like that. Have you had any ideas on that or do you like the way it looks?

John Switzer: Well, it looks okay. It’s very, very simple. If we had a way to dress it up a little bit, that’d be really neat. It’s a really nice focal point

Danny Lipford: Sure, it certainly is.

John Switzer: For this room, so anything to give it a little pop without overdoing it.

Danny Lipford: So, we now have a plan. Once we take some measurements, I give the professor a little homework, find the style of molding he wants. He’s looking at some polyurethane molding from a company called Fypon.

It comes in tons of sizes and styles that are all light weight and really easy to use. To go with that, Allen suggests using corner blocks to add a little more detail.

Allen Lyle: That’s going to be just like that. I like the look of that, myself.

John Switzer: I, kind of, do, too. And it’s so high up, it’ll look a lot smaller up there in that corner.

Allen Lyle: Exactly, exactly.

Danny Lipford: And, plus, he has a hard time cutting the corners.

John Switzer: So do I.

Danny Lipford: I see. I see what… Yeah, that looks good. I see where… I see where that went real quick.

John Switzer: That’s the voice of experience. I think this could look terrific.

Danny Lipford: That fits Allen so well. Light weight and square.

John Switzer: But easy to get along with.

Allen Lyle: But easy to get along with. That’s right. Easy to maintain.

Danny Lipford: When the room is cleared and the drop-cloths are in place, it’s time to get to work.

Allen Lyle: All right, moment of truth. I’m going to put it up, see what you think of it. Just remember, your answer will determine my peace of mind. No pressure.

John Switzer: Let’s take a look. Let’s take a look.

Allen Lyle: What do you think?

John Switzer: I think that’s going to look terrific. In fact, it looks bigger than I thought it would. I worried that when you got it up in that corner, it’d look too small, but I think it’s going to be perfect.

Allen Lyle: I like it. I think it’s going to look real nice. We’re talking about a house that was built in 1895. The chances of having 90-degree corners everywhere, it’s not going to happen. What’s nice is, I’ve got a homeowner here, John, that understands that, too.

Danny Lipford: He’s also getting the hang of the installation.

John Switzer: Now, you didn’t put a lot on there…

Allen Lyle: No, and I try and keep it on the inside edge, rather than the outside edge.

John Switzer: Well, I guess that makes a whole lot of sense. Kind of like that?

Allen Lyle: Yeah, that’s it. Very thin bead.

Joe Truini: Most wood glue come with a nozzle that makes it really easy it really easy to dispense glue. Except when the bottle’s half-empty, then you have to turn it over and shake it and try to get the glue down to the nozzle.

Now, one solution you may have seen—we showed one other episode of Simple Solutions—is drill a hole in a shelf or workbench and just store the bottle upside-down. Well, that’s great if you happen to be working right at the bench, but what if you’re not.

Well, I noticed that condiments are now coming in these upside-down style of bottles. So that, obviously, so when the bottle’s half-full of ketchup, it’ll sink to the bottom, make it really easy to dispense the ketchup.

Well, while I was at the recycling center and I had an empty one, I thought, “Wait a minute, I could use that for glue—the same idea.” Instead of ketchup, I washed it out, and filled it with glue.

And now when I’m ready to work, no matter where I am—on the work bench or out at a job site—the glue’s always ready when I am, because it sinks right down to the nozzle and you can dispense it very easily.

Danny Lipford: We’re helping John Switzer add some character to the front room of his historic home with moldings. He and Allen have been really busy installing corner blocks to simplify the installation of crown molding.

John Switzer: I like the difference that the corner blocks bring to the… To the wall. And again, with the height of the ceiling, I think it adds a nice touch.

Danny Lipford: While Allen prepares the polyurethane crown molding, I’m getting ready to install a ceiling medallion made from the same material. You stick it up like this,

John Switzer: Yes.

Danny Lipford: Get it there and then, what we call, “Burp” it a little. You just bring it down, put it right back on. It’ll hold almost every time.

Patsy Switzer: Wow.

John Switzer: It’s amazing what one little piece will do to a ceiling.

Danny Lipford: Danny Lipford: This particular crown molding is only available in 12-foot lengths and each of our walls is about 15 feet, so we’ll have a seam on each side.

John Switzer: That’s something else. Okay, what I’m going to do is, I’m going to leave that in loose, fairly.

John Switzer: All right.

Allen Lyle: So I can snake my other piece behind it.

John Switzer: Right.

Danny Lipford: These seams are made with angled cuts and the key to making them invisible is taking very precise measurements.

Allen Lyle: The mark on the ceiling in there, or on the wall, was the inside point of that piece of crown.

John Switzer: Okay.

Allen Lyle: And the inside point of that piece of crown is the outside point of this piece of crown. So all I have to do now, is come off of here to my measurement and since we’re cutting square, it’s one straight cut. All right. Moment of truth. Look at it.

John Switzer: Man, that’s terrific. That is terrific.

Allen Lyle: That’s not bad.

John Switzer: And then…

Allen Lyle: And up, yeah, that’s it. All right. One side down, three to go.

John Switzer: This particular crown molding, I think, is about perfect.

Danny Lipford: Now that they have the process figured out, they can install all of the long pieces around the room before seaming in the shorter pieces and caulking the new molding to both walls and ceiling.

Looks like Allen’s just about the finish all of the caulking, and I’ll have to admit, don’t tell him, but it looks pretty good. Right now, John’s going to help me get a few measurements on the chair rail. Knowing the position of each piece is important because we use miter cuts in each of the corners.

Allen Lyle: So, what kind of return you want on that?

Danny Lipford: I think we’ll have to cap it.

Allen Lyle: Okay.

Danny Lipford: The cap we’re talking about, where the molding meets the window trim, is also called a return. It requires cutting an additional small piece of molding at an opposing 45-degree angle.

John Switzer: Hey, Danny, Allen gave me…

Danny Lipford: You got your first pieces ready?

John Switzer: Yes, sir, but Allen gave me this funny little doodad. I have no idea…

Danny Lipford: You thought it was a scrap, didn’t you?

John Switzer: I did.

Danny Lipford: All right, well let me show you why, what we’re using that for, all right? That inside corner there will go over here. And then, when you get up to a situation like this, some people would go to this point and cut it back at an angle, but you end up with all kind of ingrain. It just never looks as good as putting a return on it like that.

John Switzer: Wow.

Danny Lipford: So, we’ll glue that in with the polyurethane glue.

John Switzer: That classes it up.

Danny Lipford: Yeah, it looks a lot better, doesn’t it? Makes it harder for the wall painter to paint that in the future, but that’ll be Patsy’s job, right?

John Switzer: That sounds good to me.

Danny Lipford: The polyurethane moldings can help you a lot in a situation like this. They’re not quite as rigid as wood molding, so you have a little more flexibility when you’re having to conform to some of these lumps and rolls that you have in plaster or drywall.

Allen Lyle: It’s just like dealing with wood. Now, the difference here is that we’re using a polyurethane-compliant adhesive on the back side of a chair rail, and that’s really, the best way to put it up. It makes sure it’s on there, it stays, it’s not going anywhere.

Danny Lipford: Unless, of course, your nail gun is firing blanks.

Jodi Marks: Well, I think I can speak with a little bit of conviction that shopping for carpet can be very overwhelming, because I just had to do it.

You know there’s a lot of styles, colors, a lot of choices out there. Whether you have pets or children, you might have to be concerned about stains. So, Shea, you’ve got a carpet here that kind of takes care of all of those issues, quite frankly.

Shea Pettaway: Yes, it’s a LifeProof carpet that ensures durability and stain resisting. They engineered the fiber, so that way there’s no stains that’s going to penetrate into the carpet.

Jodi Marks: Wow, what do they do, they just stay on top?

Shea Pettaway: It just repels on top.

Jodi Marks: Wow, that’s fantastic. Because, you know, typically a standard carpet will just have a topical application. Where this one, the stain resistance is integrated into the fiber. So let’s see it in action.

Shea Pettaway: Yes, this, Jodi, is a perfect carpet for the family. Very active, if you have pets.

Jodi Marks: Ooh, look how it just beads. OK, so?

Shea Pettaway: So two weeks later, once you find the stain, then you just wash it out.

Jodi Marks: Wow! Hey, look at that, it just resisted. Look, that’s just come in so clean, and that’s just water! This technology doesn’t wear away or wash away because it’s permanently integrated all the way into those fibers. Thank you very much.

Shea Pettaway: Yes and that’s LifeProof carpet.

Jodi Marks: Yes, it is.

Danny Lipford: Our interior molding makeover with John Switzer is going really well so far.

Allen Lyle: John is a fantastic gentleman. He’s fun to work with.

Danny Lipford: He’s got a pretty good sense of what would look good in there, so it was easy for him to be able to make the decisions on the type of molding that he wants. And I tell you what, once we get finished with it, he’s going to want to do every room in the house.

Allen Lyle: The job itself has been great. It’s even been fun working with Danny on this one.

Danny Lipford: You know, I think old John had a pretty good time working with us on the crown molding and the chair rail yesterday.

Allen Lyle: He did, but, of course, unlike you and I, he’s got class.

Danny Lipford: Yeah.

Allen Lyle: Literally, he’s got… He’s teaching class today.

Danny Lipford: Another thing that’s a lot of fun is, is the reveal, and for us to be able to put the applied molding pieces on here

Allen Lyle: Right.

Danny Lipford: And then when he gets back later this afternoon, of course, we’re going to put a paintbrush in his hand after that, but I think he’s going to be really surprised at how… What that does to the room.

Allen Lyle: I think so, too. Have you got an idea what the layout’s going to be?

Danny Lipford: Well, you know, the thing that’s kind of funny about this that we found about the chair rail, this section, this section and three other sections in the room, are about 67 or 68 inches

Allen Lyle: Right.

Danny Lipford: in length, so it’s going to be easy to balance all of that out. So, we’re making one to see how it looks in place.

Allen Lyle: Oh, I like it.

Danny Lipford: Come check it out.

Allen Lyle: I like it a lot.

Danny Lipford: That’s going to be fine there, too, isn’t it?

Allen Lyle: Yeah.

Danny Lipford: So this is it.

Allen Lyle: All right, so I need 11 more of those.

Danny Lipford: Eleven more of these.

Allen Lyle: Okay.

Danny Lipford: Hey, I’m going to be in here. I’m going to turn this fan on. It’s a little warm in here.

Allen Lyle: Thanks, thanks.

Danny Lipford: To keep the upper and lower margins consistent, we’re using spacer blocks made from chair rail scrap. The left and right margins are set with a tape measure since they will vary slightly from one wall section to another. This molding’s fantastic, isn’t it?

Allen Lyle: Oh, yeah, I love it.

Danny Lipford: I’m going to do everything I can to keep from shooting my finger. So could you hold that for me?

Allen Lyle: You sound like you’ve done that before.

Danny Lipford: Yeah. The space below the side window is a slightly different matter. I think we ought to do the rest of this and just see what that looks like. I do think we’re going to need something there.

Allen Lyle: Okay. Okay.

Danny Lipford: In the space between the two front windows, we’re simply centering one panel. Under that side window, we opt for two smaller panels lined up with the lower edges of the panels on each side.

Allen Lyle: All right. Oh, I like that.

Danny Lipford: Think so, too. I think it’s just enough. I don’t even think we need one on the little piece over there, or any of these other walls. This is… This is just enough.

Allen Lyle: No, I don’t think so.

Danny Lipford: But I’ll tell you something I was wondering about. Course, we can… We got to paint it anyway, paint all of this edge,

Allen Lyle: Right.

Danny Lipford: But a couple options would be painting all of it white.

Allen Lyle: I think it’d be a… A bit much.

Danny Lipford: Why don’t we paint just the inside of it, of the panel?

Allen Lyle: Oh! That sounds good,

Danny Lipford: And see what they think about that.

Allen Lyle: Okay. Yeah.

Danny Lipford: But you see that?

Allen Lyle: Yeah, a little smooth sand, a little bit. Smooth here.

Danny Lipford: So we’ll sand that. I’ll get the paint if you’ll do the sanding.

Allen Lyle: Okay.

Danny Lipford: After a little quick sanding and a coat of paint, we have a sample panel complete.

Allen Lyle: But I’m on the fence.

Danny Lipford: Okay, here we are.

Patsy Switzer: Oh, wow.

John Switzer: Hey, guys.

Patsy Switzer: This is amazing!

Danny Lipford: Little bit different.

Patsy Switzer: It is beautiful. I could not have imagined it would turn out so great. Thank you.

John Switzer: It’s come a long way.

Danny Lipford: Good, good. Well, you’re here at a perfect time because we’re kind of struggling with a little decision here. And of course, it’s your decision.

Okay, we painted this one panel just to see what it would look like. We can always paint it back with the regular color. You can see the paint over here and how it looks with the… With the wall color, because that still needs one more coat on it. So, up to you guys. What do you think? This or that?

John Switzer: What do you like better? We’ve got all the white there. I think that leaving the wall color highlights the molding better.

Danny Lipford: Mmm-hmm.

John Switzer: I really think it makes it pop.

Patsy Switzer: It does.

Danny Lipford: Allen and I were trying to decide, and I think I’ve gravitated more towards that. We didn’t want to bias anything, but… Okay, one more thing. Stand… Stand right here. Face this way.

John Switzer: What’s coming? Face which way? Look this way. Look this way.

Danny Lipford: Okay. Okay, all right, now… Okay, now.

Patsy Switzer: I love surprises.

Danny Lipford: So, turn around and does that make it look any better Or…

Allen Lyle: He just saw it. I’m looking at the black!

Danny Lipford: Wow. Just look up here.

John Switzer: I think it’s too busy.

Patsy Switzer: I like it.

John Switzer: She loves it, I don’t like it! Fifty-fifty, now what do we do? Well, if I were… That was a stupid thing to say.

Patsy Switzer: I like the way it ties everything together.

John Switzer: If Patsy likes it, it stays.

Danny Lipford: All right.

Allen Lyle: Okay.

Danny Lipford: Well, we’re going to go ahead and we’ll… We’ll line those up, um, nice and space them nice, put those together, do a little bit more painting and caulking and we’re ready for your new furniture. It’s going to be here tomorrow.

Patsy Switzer: Awesome!

Danny Lipford: All right, we’ll get to work.

John Switzer: Thank you, guys. Unbelievable.

Danny Lipford: Oftentimes, homeowners have to make small repairs on walls or ceilings, and they want to know how they can replace the texture that was removed by the repair work.

Orange-peel texture on walls and acoustic popcorn texture on ceilings are typically applied with a hopper gun powered by compressed air during new construction and major renovations.

However, this process isn’t very practical for small do-it-yourselfer repairs. It makes a huge mess and requires specialized tools and skills to be done correctly.

The quick answer is to texture it in a spray can, like this popcorn ceiling texture spray from Homax. This can is designed to spray straight up and cover small repairs of about four square feet or less.

The same company makes an orange-peel spray texture for walls that works pretty much the same way, except, of course, it sprays horizontally.

Once the wall texture is dry, you can repaint the area to completely conceal your repair work.

Danny Lipford: John and Patsy’s second home is a beautiful historic house. John wanted to accent the high ceilings and antique wood floors without straying from the home’s simple origins. And now that our work is complete, and the new furniture is in place, it feels just right.

By adding this new five-inch crown molding, we’ve given your eyes a reason to follow those 12-foot walls all the way up to the ceiling. These corner blocks may have simplified the installation process, but they also created some nice, vertical relief from all of the horizontal lines of the crown.

On the other hand, the chair rail adds horizontal interest to these massively tall walls and the applied molding panels beneath it help create structure and symmetry for the room.

The ceiling medallion we added is small, but it makes the room feel more finished and the molding we added to the fireplace just helps bring it the attention it deserves. And even though they’re not real wood, these moldings fit right in to this 120-year-old home.

Patsy Switzer: Actually, I had no idea that was composite material whenever I first walked into the room. It was absolutely beautiful. It goes perfectly with the feel of the house that was built in 1895.

John Switzer: When I look at the molding, I don’t think anything except beautiful shape, beautiful form. It doesn’t look anything like composite to me. It just screams natural wood, and it’s very pleasing.

This molding looks like it’s been here since the house was built, and I think that was what I was hoping for. Because I was really very much concerned that if we picked the wrong thing, that we’d be turning the house into something that it wasn’t.

And we didn’t do that, and it came together. Danny and Allen did great. It all just comes together beautifully and it’s not overdone.

Danny Lipford: This urethane molding is a bit more expensive than other options, so we spent a little more than $700 on this project. But John and Patsy love it and they’ll be able to enjoy it for years to come.

Well, now you can see how you can take just a few hundred dollars’ worth of molding and completely transform a room. It inspired John and Patsy enough that they even went out and bought a whole new room worth of furniture.

And we love these kind of projects, and we love that you’re visiting with us every week right here on Today’s Homeowner.

I’m Danny Lipford. We’ll see you next week. Now it’s finished.


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