How to install door molding in a doorway

Did you know that this is a no-judgement blog?

Maybe I should have mentioned that a long time ago.

Before I showed you my extra long toes and talked about Captain Crunch and added that bobby pin in my hair.


Before all that.

That’s why I’m glad we’re friends and you’ve already seen my breakfast cereal mantel….because I really want to show you this.

Are you ready?

Old hallway door molding before the makeover


This is what all the door moldings in the house used to look like.

A whole lot of pine.

And dark.

And simple.

Completely no-fuss farmhouse moldings.

DIY door molding we installed ourselves - white trim along a gray painted wall

The thing is….I really like moldings that are white.

And fancy.

And this is where the whole no-judgement part comes in.

I painted the pine.

I know….seriously…..I know.  But it was pine.  Does that help at all?

You see….I really like fancy molding on my door trim and we added the extra pieces of molding to make it look like so much more than it had ever hoped for.   And to make all the moldings match we painted it all white.


Can we still be friends?

three different types of door molding; crown molding, picture molding and decorative square molding

How to Add Door Molding

(alternative title:  How to make your old farmhouse doorways look like the Vanderbilts used to live here)


crown molding

picture molding

decorative square molding



To instal your own door molding, you have to first cut the pieces of molding to size

Step 1:  Measure and cut

Measure the width of your doorway and cut a piece of each type of molding to fit.

The picture molding and the square edge molding will both be cut the exact width of the doorway.

The bottom of the crown molding should be the exact width of the doorway and then cut at at 45 degree angle.

Cut a small piece of crown to wrap around the side of the doorway.

The three elements of door molding are frown molding on the top, square molding against the door frame, and picture molding

Step 2:  Apply molding as shown

The crown goes on the top of the doorway.

The picture molding goes on the bottom.

The square edge molding is directly underneath the piece of crown to give the illusion of an even bigger piece of crown molding.

Nail pieces of molding.

Caulk (super important step).

And paint.

New door molding on the doorframe to our kitchen pantry

Molding, paint and caulk.

It’s a simple way to add a detail and character.

The house is smiling with it’s new fancy doorways and sparkling clean checkerboard floor.

Good thing I picked up all the Captain Crunch before you got here. 🙂

PS  If you want more molding inspiration….click here to check out all my other molding projects.

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Karen Karen

    Thanks for this tutorial, what a difference! But I confess to being totally distracted by the cute strawberry and cut flower sign in the one picture! Is it something you made? If so, it would make a great tutorial if you haven't done one already!

  2. Image for Heidi Heidi

    I must admit that I wake up early every morning to read your blog. I like to start the day with a chuckle and you always oblige. I can't DO any of the things that you show me to do, but I like the happy part, so keep it coming! First I read your blog, then my bible study. I hope God doesn't mind that I read His Words after yours but I really love a little happy in the morning!

  3. Image for Lisa Lisa

    That looks really pretty. We have a similar type in our home and when we renovated the kitchen they matched it exactly. It makes a huge difference and really makes the whole thing flow together like it was always there. I love it.

  4. Image for judy judy

    Captain Crunch or not, I love how you added these moldings. The finished look is beautiful! Made me want to run to Home Depot:) Thank you for sharing the steps of how you did this. Like I mentioned before, your sense of humor makes each post so much fun.

  5. Image for Beth Beth

    Let others wail and gnash their teeth, but I'll bet that humble ole pine molding is beaming with pride now that it's gotten a glorious makeover.

  6. Image for Lisa Lisa

    What a difference the molding and the white paint made to your house!! It's gorgeous. I painted every lick of wood trim in my house white too….and I am not kidding, I almost cried tears of happiness with the very first brushstroke, it made my house feel so much more like me. So no judging on you painting yours… is your house after all and you should have fancy white moldings if you want them :)

  7. Image for Lori H Lori H

    Wow, your doors are so pretty! I had not read the Captain Crunch post (before my time, I obviously need to dig into your archives!) so I went and read it. Love that bit of keeping it real :)

  8. Image for Sandy Sandy

    5 years ago we began renovating a 100 year old home. Rather than make the neat moldings you created, my husband collected moldings from everywhere; old library, old farmhouses that were falling down, and even an old apartment house he'd torn down about 30 years ago. It was lots and lots of work, but so worth it. Each window and doorway are different, which many might not like, but we love, love each and every one of them. What you did was so beautiful. I can't tell you how much I enjoy waking up to you each and every morning.

    1. Image for gina gina

      Isn't it funny to think that Anderson Cooper's mom is a Vanderbilt, or is it just me? Maybe Kari should invite Anderson over!

  9. Image for AnnaM AnnaM

    I thought I had read through all your archives since I arrived here six or so months ago but have not seen info on how you created that beautiful checkerboard floor. Did I miss it? Your house is beautiful and I look forward to each and every post.

  10. Image for Beverly Beverly

    Good morning, sweet friend. You already know I love your molding magic. You and your cute carpenter are quite the team.

  11. Image for Stephanie @ The Hardscrabble Home Stephanie @ The Hardscrabble Home

    Beautiful job! Love the transformation of the door molding. No judgement here for painting over pine, but you lost me at "sparkling clean checkerboard floor" . :-) What really kills me is that you have more children at home than I do now, since two of mine are grown. lol

  12. Image for Trina @ Trina @

    I like white painted molding too. In fact, I like to paint everything. It is a sickness, I think. I really should seek help. However, I am having a new experience right now. We are re-doing the decking and steps on our front porch and I bought wood stain. Can you believe it? It is a slate color and it goes on like butter. But, I did throw in some white paint... balusters and posts. Anyway, I love your white moldings. They are the bees knees !

  13. Image for Doreen Doreen

    About a month ago we added the window molding that you shared last year to our french doors that lead to our screened porch. What an amazing difference it made! My neighbor came in and kept looking at it with envy and asked "how do you come up with these ideas?" I told her that I have a friend named KariAnne who comes up with the amazing ideas for me and I'm just a copycat! You ARE a rock star!

  14. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    You can paint all the pine and oak you want...just pinky swear you won't paint any cherry. Your woodwork looks beautiful, and happy...and it does look more elegant. So paint away my friend...what's next on the list? ;)

  15. Image for Amy W. Amy W.

    Great tutorial! Would love it if you would share at my {all things creative} linky party:) xo amy@TheBlissfulBee

  16. Image for maryJean maryJean

    I love white paint. If I am out of it, I start twitching. Ha Ha. I really would love to do this on several doors. The look is so fresh and classy but not overdone. There is almost nothing in my house that is unpainted. ( I am not a hater. (: )

  17. Image for Elena @ `a casarella Elena @ `a casarella

    When we lived in Chicago we owned a 100+ year old Victorian. It was beautiful. And the last thing the previous owners said to us was, "we hope you don't paint the moldings." Yikes. Those moldings were everywhere. They were fancier than your "before picture," but the were definitely dark. I was dying to paint them white but never did. Fortunately we only owned the place for three years, but I've always wondered what the people after us did with it. Needless to say I think your fancy, white moldings are AWESOME! :)

  18. Image for Gee Gee

    Trim MUST be white... There was a time when I was a wood purist. A long time ago.. in another life. I grew up with mahogany and exotic woods and French provincial and English Colonial... and wood and more wood. It was heavy and dark and waxed and smooth and glossy. Now, this me, likes it crisp ans white and pretty and light. Luv yours!!! You Rock! Hugs, Gee

  19. Image for Jen (Arriving) Jen (Arriving)

    Oh how I love white moulding, especially yours. And I am moving into a house with all dark wood moulding. And it's not even a pretty square edged shape that you could build on, like your country pine moulding. It's that short new construction curved edge stuff. I made hopeful faces at my husband.... he looked at me like I was crazy. Will try the hopeful faces again after the moving dust settles.... And again next year...... and so on and so forth.

  20. Image for Jennifer @ Decorated Chaos Jennifer @ Decorated Chaos

    Gorgeous! This really transformed the look of your doorway. I love it! Jennifer @ Decorated Chaos

  21. Image for Ashley Sparks Ashley Sparks

    Thanks so much for sharing this! I've noticed your great moldings in pictures before and am so happy to have more details to show the hubs what I mean!! You rock girl! Ashley Rane Sparks

  22. Image for Carmen Carmen

    Our first house was an old farmhouse with lots of decorative trim around the doors, plus we added some to the ceiling. All painted white. I loved it but when we build our current house we decided to go "natural" and stained the wood. After it was finished, my husband and I both confessed we preferred the painted.

  23. Image for Patty Patty

    Sigh. It is beautiful. Really, really beautiful. But it won't happen at my house ever, but I'm so happy you were able to do this. You see whoever built our house I think he hired the carpenter who didnt graduate but said he did. We have the ugliest job ever in framing doors and windows. As basic as it gets, but he still managed to mess it up. Really, if I could I would do as you have. But, and you'll laugh if I can describe it right, the two framing vertical boards are long, run past the top of the window or door. Instead of having the long horizontal board that runs across the top, as it should be, and you have - we have a short piece, the same size as the door/window, with the sides long, on either side. Now, if I have described this right you are laughing and saying what I did when I first viewed this house - what an idiot! Yup, but the market was fastly turning over, we had sold our house in another city and need one quick. So that is how I ended up with the house that was finished by a carpenter that never made it all the way through school. Or he would have known better, I hope. Sigh.

  24. Image for Iris Iris

    What I'm really interested in is that itty-bitty cabinet with all the tiny drawers that is sitting there all innocently and looking pretty. Has there already been a post about it that I missed?

    1. Image for Vicki Vicki

      Ditto about the itty-bitty cabinet - it's adorable!! I'd also love to know more about the checkerboard floor - was it in another post and I missed it?

  25. Image for TINA TINA

    I agree with your choice- it looks beautiful. Who says you cannot paint what ever molding in your own home? Just recently found your blog and am really enjoying it. Thanks for sharing.

  26. Image for Betsy(@coastal-colors) Betsy(@coastal-colors)

    Thanks for sharing this great idea! Your home looks gorgeous with the painted trim! I'm with you on painting it! I love the additions you have added to your doors and windows! You have the best ideas!

  27. Image for Angela Angela

    Love, love, love! Your style is amazing!! Can you tell me where you purchased the rug that you have in your butlers pantry? I adore it, and your home!

  28. Image for dana dana

    silly question....but do you know how wide that original door trim/molding was? We're going to do 4 inch wide flat trim around our doors but I'm having a hard time finding a pic of what that looks like. Sorry to be annoying and thanks :) - Dana MADE

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