How to Install Cap Molding

What You'll Need
Cap Molding
Miter Saw
Finish Nails
Finish Nail Gun
Portable Air Compressor
Wood Putty
Foam Brush
Tape Measure

When finishing off your wainscoting, or other type of molding around the room, cap molding is the perfect choice. This type of molding is used on top of a base molding to give it a rounded, or profiled, look. Installing crown molding, wainscoting, or molding around the room gives the room an elegant, and at times, very formal appearance. Here are the steps to take in installing cap molding around your room. 

Step 1: Write Down Dimensions of Room

Use your tape measure and measure all of the walls in your room. Write down the measurements and go to the home center to purchase the type of cap molding you would like to use. This can be any type of molding such as quarter round, half round, or some other elaborate type of 1/4 inch molding strip. 

Step 2: Start At One End and Install

The best way to install the cap molding is to start at one end of the room and work your way around to the other side. Make sure to use full strips of molding along long walls. Cut only when you have to. 

Step 3: Measure and Cut

To start the installation, lay a piece of cap molding in the position on top of the base. Position it so that it will have the reveal that you want. Mark the piece where it will have to be cut. In the instance of coming to a corner, you will have to measure the distance and transfer to the wood stock. 

Step 4: Cutting Miter Cuts

A miter saw is the best saw to use when cutting cap molding. This is because of the 45 degree angles that are involved. Anytime you come to a corner you will need to cut the end at a 45 degree angle. Each side will have an opposite cut so that the two ends will fit tightly. 

Step 5: Join Two Long Pieces Together

If you have a wall that is longer than the length of your molding piece, then you will need to join them together. Cut a 45 degree angle in the end of one of the sections. On the second section of cap molding, cut another 45 degree angle in the opposite direction. Set the second piece on top of the first for a seamless connection. Then cut to fit.

Step 6: Install Cap Molding

Now that you can cut each piece for corners and straight joints, you need to install the pieces. Set the cap molding on the base and use a finish nailer to secure it. Repeat nailing until you have installed all the molding.

Step 7: Cover Nail Holes

With the wood putty, cover up all of the nail holes. As you are covering the nail holes, you should also cover up any seams in the corners or straight joints. Sand the putty smooth once it dries.

Step 8: Varnish Molding

Depending on the type of finish you are using for the rest of the molding, apply the same to the cap molding. Use a foam brush and spread on in even coats.