How to Install Corner Molding?
November 25, 2011 12:36 PM   Subscribe

I'm home over Thanksgiving break and my mom wants some house work done. Fun! But, I don't know how to do it. So, dearest MetaFilter, how do I install molding on the corner of a wall? (Picture on the inside.)

My biggest problem here is that I don't even know what to Google for. The place is need to install molding is right here.

The molding will go from the floor all the way up to the ceiling (about 10 ft.)

What is the name for this type of molding?
Do you know of any easy-to-follow guides for installing molding like this?
What can go wrong that I should be prepared for?
What about an estimated cost for this project?

For a bonus question, I also need to install some light switches and electrical sockets. Tips?
posted by 47triple2 to Home & Garden (13 answers total)
Outside corner molding.
Any big-box home improvement (Lowes, Home Depot, Menards, etc.) center should have it. Dirt cheap. The hardest part will be trimming it so it butts nicely with the top and bottom moldings.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:41 PM on November 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

On the electrical stuff...Can we assume you mean replace existing switches and outlets?
posted by Thorzdad at 12:42 PM on November 25, 2011

For a bonus question, I also need to install some light switches and electrical sockets. Tips?

Make sure you dry off all the sweat you worked up installing the molding.
posted by griphus at 12:42 PM on November 25, 2011 [2 favorites]

As for your electrical question, if you need to install these things and need tips, you should not be installing these things.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 12:42 PM on November 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Yes, I will be replacing the switches and outlets. :)
posted by 47triple2 at 12:42 PM on November 25, 2011

Make sure you hit the correct breaker, unscrew what's there now and for outlets, just pop the new one right on. For switches, just make sure you connect the right wire where it's supposed to go. Use a piece of electrical tape to mark one end, so you know which is which, if necessary.
posted by griphus at 12:46 PM on November 25, 2011

Call a handyman and electrician?

(Sorry, I've now owned two houses previously occupied by DIYers. The repair costs to have things done properly--i.e., so that faulty wiring does not set my kitchen aflame--have run into the thousands.)
posted by thomas j wise at 12:56 PM on November 25, 2011

posted by thomas j wise at 12:57 PM on November 25, 2011

For the molding, it's basically a matter of cutting it to length and nailing it on with small finishing nails. It may be necessary to pre-drill the nail holes to prevent splitting. If you want it to match the other woodwork then you'll need to stain and finish it before nailing it up.

Replacing outlets and switches is among the simplest of wiring tasks -- so simple that the very fact that you're asking suggests you know basically nothing about home wiring. There's no shame in that. If you're careful and methodical and clear-headed then you could probably figure it out all by yourself, but there's that outside chance that you find yourself uncertain about some part of the process, guess wrong, and hurt yourself or torch your mom's house. You really should have someone knowledgeable show you the basics in person.
posted by jon1270 at 1:27 PM on November 25, 2011

Electrical connections must be clean, dry, and tight.
posted by mearls at 2:31 PM on November 25, 2011

Electrical connections must be clean, dry, and tight.

And off.
At least while performing the work.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:43 PM on November 25, 2011

When replacing the switches/outlets take one wire loose, attach it, at the identical place, on the new outlet. Make sure the outlet is turned the same way as the previous one-the two rectangular slots with the square opening (the 'face') is turned the same way-and when you buy the new outlets buy one of the nifty plug meters with lights that tell you if the outlet is wired and grounded right. If this all sounds too much for you, it is, hire an electrician. I am a pretty good DIYer, fix my own cars, miter my own crown molding, do my own plumbing. When a CEILING FAN(notoriously easy to wire)stumped me, I called an electrician because I don't want to kill me and burn my house down. Really.

The molding is really, really easy and you can do it with hand tools, although a pneumatic pin nailer is really, really useful for doing it but not worth the cost for just one moulding. Should be lots of DIY guides on youtube and such.
posted by bartonlong at 2:52 PM on November 25, 2011

On electrical work, if you don't know which breaker does which, turn off everything that might not be happy with a surprise power down (computers, etc.) and flip the main breaker to depower the entire house for the 5-10 minutes the job will take. If you're just replacing old switches and outlets, the black wire (hot) goes to the side with gold screws, the white wire (common or return) goes to the side with silver screws (this matters less in a switch since when it's on, both wires are hot) and the green wire (ground) goes to a screw off on its own on the frame of the switch/outlet somewhere. If you open things up and find aluminum wire in there you need special switches and outlets - put it back together as is and track those down or call a pro.

If you're putting clear plastic molding up, you cut it to length and nail it up with little nails with quasi-decorative domed heads. Nail through the faces, not the corner, You may want to pre-drill a very tiny holes (like a 1/16 or 3/64 hole) for the nails since there is probably a thin metal corner strip in there. Don't get too crazy about driving the things in - you just need to tack it up.

If you're doing wood molding you're going to have to accommodate the baseboard somehow. What was done at the floor where the vertical strip (between the painted part of the wall and the papered part) met the floor? I'd emulate that. The problem is, you may have to take some of the baseboard off to cut it back and that ofter ends with broken pieces of baseboard. A miter box and back saw are good for this kind of work. When you nail it up, kind of do what I said for plastic trim only use finishing nails. Drive them until the head of the nail is getting close to the surface of the wood, then use a nail set to drive them just below the surface of the wood.

Googling "finish carpentry" will put you on the right track. Here's a good page of tips.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 5:26 PM on November 25, 2011

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