Decorator Tips *

Deciding whether to paint or stain mouldings? Not sure which species of wood to use?


  • Mouldings painted to match the color of the wall create a simple, clean look.
  • Mouldings painted a contrasting color create more interest or mark a change in wall treatment.
  • Poplar or fingerjoint poplar has a consistent grain, which makes these species the choice of professional painters.


  • Maple, poplar or oak stained naturally warm a room’s atmosphere.
  • Applying a dark stain to oak, poplar or cherry creates an elegant, formal look.
  • Light to medium stain exposes the beauty of the grain.

How big should the base be in my room?

Base should be selected in proportion to the size of the room

  • 8-foot ceilings: use a 4 ¼” base
  • 9-foot ceilings: use a 5 ¼” base
  • 10-foot ceilings & higher: use a 7 ¼” base

How do I pick a casing profile?

Casing should be a similar style or profile as the base and should be 1/8” – 1/16” thicker than the base.

How big should the crown be in my room?

Crown should be selected in proportion to the height of the ceiling.

  • 8-foot ceilings: use a 5 ¼” crown or create a build up to 6”
  • 9-foot ceilings: use a 7 ¼” crown or create a build up to 10”
  • 10-foot ceilings & higher: Combine several smaller crowns or other products to create a 7 ¼” – 10” crown.
  • See our Build Up showroom for ideas on how to create your own unique crown profile.

Where should I put chair rail on the wall?

  • Chair rail should be placed on the wall 24-32” or one-third of the distance from the floor parallel to the base moulding.

Is there a way to eliminate mitering?

  • In order to eliminate mitering at the corner of a door or window, use rosettes at the intersection of the two pieces of casing. You can also use plinth blocks at the bottom of the door where the base and casing intersect. See the Accessories in the Product Catalog for more details.
  • Rosettes should be the same width or slightly wider than casing.
  • Plinth blocks are typically taller than the adjacent base.