How do I make an Invisible Solid Joint?

Joints are a little different than corners. Joints happen when you have a straight wall that's longer than the available lengths. There is a process that goes along with it in order for the joint not to come apart.

  1. If a wall is 16 feet long, we will cut one piece 5 feet and one piece 11 feet. Never cut the wall into two halves, peoples eyes are always drawn to the middle of the wall and so any imperfections will be visible.

  2. Do not use a straight cut to join the two pieces. Cut the two ends at 30 degrees to ensure a tight fit and to allow for a larger glue surface.

  3. Find a block of wood that is approximately 8 inches in length and narrower than the cornice. Glue this piece to the end that is being joined, ensuring half of it is sticking out at the end in order for the next piece of cornice to be joined to it. Nail this piece of wood in from the front of the cornice. By both nailing and gluing, you ensure that this piece will never move.

  4. Next, install the length with the block attached, to the wall.

  5. Add a little glue to the face of the block and install the next length just as you normally would. After ensuring a tight fit, add a few nails to ensure the two lengths don't come apart.

How to Install Crown Mouldings?

Crown moulding installations demand precise craftsmanship and represent a variety of challenges. The following guide requires skills demanded in any millwork installation, whether it's a chair rail, baseboard, window treatment, door trim, stair tread bracket or decorative medallion.

  Pre-Installation Considerations

Moulding installations run most smoothly when each member of the building team anticipates and addresses all elements and potential problems from the beginning. All parties should have drawings and specifications at the earliest stage possible.

Check the specifications to figure the perimeter of each room and determine how many linear feet of moulding you will need. When ordering millwork, always add about two extra inches of moulding for each corner to compensate for any woodworking errors made during finishing or installation.

Millwork installation is normally one of the last steps in construction. Millwork orders should be placed at least six to eight weeks in advance. Be aware that the building team will have to agree upon, then choose, inspect and approve material samples before placing an order.

  On-Site Layout

As building progresses, it is important to:

Visualize Installation and Restrictions -- When framing begins, document the precise locations of plumbing rough-ins, electrical and communications outlets, air grills and other obstructions that will affect the installation. Make any low-cost modifications before the walls go up.

Identify stud locations, wall and door frames, and ceiling heights so that holes can be pre-drilled before moulding installation

  Saw Angles and Related Moulding Positions

When cutting mouldings on a compound sliding miter saw, set the angles and position the mouldings on the top surface of the saw base.

  Figuring Corners and Measuring Wall Angles

Determine the number of inside and outside corners to identify the cuts you'll need to make. Also, walls are not always squared and true. Each corner will require you to measure the wall angles and figure the proper cutting angle. To do this, place a piece of moulding against the wall at each corner. Work with a small piece of moulding to easily see the angle and measure using a protractor. All angles will have a corresponding setting on your miter saw.

  Cutting Angle Tips

There are two primary miter and bevel angle styles if the wall is a true 90-degree angle. Your installation angle is dependent on the size and shape of the moulding.

It is easiest to cut all mouldings on a sliding compound miter saw, placing the crown moulding with the broad back surface down on the turn base and setting the saw to the proper angle. If you use a standard miter saw, turn the moulding upside down and set it at an angle between the fence and the table.

  Saw Operation Caution

When making a cut, make sure the blade has stopped rotating before lifting it from the sawn millwork. Do not raise the blade while it is still rotating or the moulding will catch in the blade and be damaged.

In addition, when pressing down the handle, apply pressure parallel with the blade. A force perpendicular to the turn base or a change in the pressure direction during a cut will impair the precision of that cut.

  Eliminating Miter Cuts

Beautiful miters accent the details of hardwood moulding, but crown blocks and other alternatives can eliminate the need to miter while still adding character to the trim. Crown blocks come as perfectly finished corners and make it easy to work on ceilings that have uneven lines.

Use rosettes and plinth blocks around door and window frames, and base blocks to finish the inside and outside corners of baseboards.

  Completing Installation

Once properly cut and finished, the millwork is ready for installation. Pre-drill nail holes in all mouldings to avoid injuring the finish. Before nailing, apply construction adhesive to the mouldings where they will meet the wall and use wood glue in the mitered corners. Immediately wipe clean any glue that has seeped onto the finished moulding, wall or ceiling. Hold the moulding in place to give adhesives time to set. Then complete the installation by nailing the mouldings securely to the studs with a nail gun.

  Installing Dentil Mouldings

If a moulding has dentil and embossing, match the dentil first and let the embossing match as well as possible.

  Correcting Installation Blemishes

Even the most skilled carpenter can occasionally make a cutting, finishing or installation mistake during woodworking. Here are a few tips for correcting nicks, dents and other woodworking blemishes.

  Applying Wood Filler

Sometimes, you may damage a piece of moulding with a hammer ding or dent, but it's difficult to get wood filler to stick to a very small blemish. To help give the filler an anchor, drill a couple of shallow holes in the dent with a 1/16" bit. These small holes will help the wood filler stay in place so that it covers up the blemish. Retouch all flaws with the matching stain.

  Fixing Bad Cuts

If a slip of the saw damages an angled piece of moulding, compensate by making a clean cut on the inside of the defect. That's why specifying extra moulding in the planning stages is important. After attaining the proper angle, cut the moulding to fit by trimming the opposite end.

  Using Wood Scraps

Never throw any wood away. Keep a scrap bin for large pieces and a milk jug for smaller bits and pieces. Scrap wood pieces often come in handy for decorative matching, contrasting parts, and/or screw plugs.


Baseboard installation goes quick and is relatively easy. There are different sizes and styles of baseboard trim. Here I will be referring to a couple different styles which would include colonial, Princeton and or Ranch baseboard trim all of which are the most common and easy to find in most parts of the country. My method of baseboard installation with these types and other types as well are proven from my extensive experience of finish carpentry.

Scroll down for more baseboard installing pages

Click Here For Questions About Baseboard and Installation.

Start with The Longest Wall

Lets start for example in a bedroom. The first place I start with will be the longest wall. Just for this sake we will do one piece at a time when you get the hang of baseboard installation you will be taking multiple measurements before going to the miter saw. Take out your tape and measure from corner to corner being extra careful to get an exact measurement from sheetrock to sheetrock corners.

Pick out a nice piece of baseboard trim for this measurement and at the same time pick out a couple more that have a close wood grain pattern and color. The wood grains and color can vary quite a bit even though it is the same wood. For quality baseboard installation you want to try and match this as best as possible for a good look to your woodwork. If you have an undesirable piece of base in your pile, grab that also and head for the miter saw.

Set Up And Cutting With The Miter Saw

At the miter saw set your undesirable piece or just any piece of baseboard trim on your miter saw with the finished part out towards you and the back against the fence. Adjust your tables or rollers or what ever your wood is resting on so you can hold it firmly against the fence of the miter saw with total control. It is important to have a good firm grip on the wood while you are cutting it so as not to injure yourself. Cut 5 or 6 pieces about 3" to 4" long and put them in your tool belt for later.

Now grab the nice piece of new wood you picked out and set this on the miter saw. Cut the very end off so you know you have a nice square cut end. Transfer your measurement from the bedroom to this piece of baseboard and add about an 1/8" to your measurement. Cut this piece and head for the room where you are installing baseboard.

Provide A Space For Carpet

Take out the short pieces of base that you had cut and lay one flat on the floor in your starting corner and another in the other corner at your ending corner. Take the remainder and spread them out 3' to 4' apart against the wall flat on the floor so your new baseboard trim will be up on these and off the floor providing a space for the carpet to be tucked under. Next find the center of at least one stud in the wall which your base will be nailed to and put a pencil mark on the floor marking the center of this stud.

Now assuming you measured and cut your piece of baseboard correctly it should be a shade long. Put one corner in and bend the wood so you can get the other end in against the wall in the opposite corner. Your piece of baseboard trim will be slightly bowed out so all you do is slap the middle in and it will stay. Make sure the new wood is resting nicely on the short pieces that you laid down, if not just lightly tap it down where ever necessary and you are ready to nail.

Finding And Shooting At The Stud Locations

Find the mark on the floor that gives you your stud location. Start your tape on this mark and put a pencil mark every 16" in both directions to the corners. This is assuming the studs are 16” on center and that is usually standard. Sometimes the studs may be 2’ on center and this does happen quite often in a lower level or basement of a house which is being finished.

Grab your big finish nail gun and shoot a nail in about a 1/2" down on the baseboard at your marked stud locations. Check to see if you are hitting the studs by slipping your little 7" wonder bar underneath the baseboard and gently prying up and out. A stud finder is a nice tool to have at this point and relatively cheap for saving time while doing the baseboard installation.

A Few Extra Tips for Baseboard Installation

These instructions are obviously installing one piece of baseboard from an inside corner to another inside corner. If you need the instructions for an outside corner or in other words going from an inside corner to an outside corner then you would need to go to the instruction page at cutting baseboard at a 90 degree outside corner.

Each corner is handled a little different but the installation as described above is the same. Once you learn how to do all the different corners there are little tricks that you will pick-up along the way. Follow all the instructions carefully; there are little tricks and techniques written in the directions to help you out along the way. Once you have the basics down don’t be afraid to try different things, everyone learns their own techniques for doing things like this.

Links to the Other Baseboard Instruction Pages

If you are at an inside corner then you're ready for the next part which is coping baseboard for an inside 90 degree corner. To get the instructions click here: coping baseboard. Also available are these links to instruction pages for cutting baseboard at 90 degree outside corners. Installing baseboard trim at an inside 45 degree corner and an explanation page on what a baseboard return is and how to make and install them. If you don't understand any part of the instructions regarding baseboard installation send me an e-mail, I would be glad to clarify.

Coping Baseboard For A 90 Degree Inside Corner
My Method For Coping Baseboard At A 90 Degree Inside Corner.

Installing Baseboard Trim At Inside Corners
Coping Methods For Installing Baseboard Trim At Inside Corners.

Cutting Baseboard For Outside Corners
Instructions On Cutting Baseboard For Outside Corners.

Instructions For A Baseboard Return
Installing A Baseboard Return.

Instructions for Installing Baseboard On Stairs
How To Install Baseboard On Stairs.

Installing chair rail is a lot like installing baseboard. Chair rail serves as a couple of functions. One useful function is it can protect your walls from furniture that can cause dings or scrapes. Another is it adds character and really dresses up a room. There are many styles to choose from as well as making your own. Making your own can save you a considerable amount of money and you can have it as plain or fancy as you like.

This trim can be put up at the height of your choice and is most common at about 30" to 40" off the floor. Its a good idea to plan ahead so the rail trim functions the way you want it to, such as measuring your furniture. Whether you want to use it as protection or maybe just looks another good idea is to consider what obstacles are in the way as you run your rail and how you will be making transitions like starting and stopping or ending it and where it will come out at counter tops etc.

To begin after you have considered all the options as described above you will want your chair rail level. Snap a level line around the room and use this line to mark the bottom of the rail. Next is finding and marking the stud locations. This is easily done with a stud finder and is important so the rail is mounted to the wall solidly. When you come to a corner decide how you want to proceed through the corner whether you plan on coping the rail or cutting the degrees to the rail to meet up with the next piece. Example is at a 90 degree corner you would cut a 45 degree to each piece. Coping is my preference and almost 90% of the time this is what I do at corners as in my opinion it is neater and gives a more professional look.

Painting trim work is pretty straight forward. However there are some good painting tips and techniques to keep in mind while you are doing this. No doubt you want a nice looking professional job and this will take some patience. There are a few things to think about before starting and also before heading off to the paint store.

Using a good quality paint will make the job easier, faster and is essential to achieve a nice looking paint job. Paint comes in a couple different types such as enamel (water) base or oil base. Make sure it is mixed well and is the right sheen you are looking for. The people in this industry are well informed and can help you decide on making some of these decisions regarding these questions according to the application. At the paint store just simply explain what your plans are and what you are doing and their knowledge can save you a lot of work, money and aggravation.

The people at the store can also help you with the proper brushes and tools necessary for your project of painting trim. Paint brushes can vary quite a bit so having the right ones for the job can help out a lot.

Another thing to think about is how you are going to go about this project. Do the walls need to be painted? If not then you may want to tape them off to keep the trim paint off the walls. So don’t forget the tape at the store.

If the walls are going to be painted then paint the trim first. Painting the walls later can be accomplished in a couple ways. One way is not taping anything and is called "cutting in." Most professionals cut in everything to avoid taping. This takes a little Practice, however, with the right brush, a steady hand and some patience it is quicker and a lot less work and mess compared to taping everything off.

The other way involved with painting trim is of course taping everything off. There is nothing wrong with this method however no matter what; you will get seepage through the tape so a little cutting in is still necessary although you can move a little faster and don’t have to be as careful.

An Important Old Tip

Another good tip is one you have heard before; use even strokes. This being true there is actually a little more to this. Paint has certain chemical agents in it to cause the paint to smooth out on its own. By constantly moving your brush over a painted area you are lessening the effectiveness of these flattening agents. The reason is because the paint is slowly drying and when you are brushing over it time and time again you are making the paint thicker. This is especially true with painting bigger wood areas such as an interior door.

Other things to think about for painting are just common sense things like using drop cloths to protect the floors and furniture or objects you may be painting around. Making sure the areas your painting are clean and dust free. Get in to the habit of reading directions before doing things you may learn something you never knew.

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