Meet The Material: Moulding

Article Posted By: Jae Warren

of The Home Depot

Image of a room painted robin's egg blue with white moulding detail

Egyptians were the first to use moulding, however, the Greeks are believed to have been the first to use it for the sole purpose of beautification and to visually divide rooms into smaller units. Prior to 1850, all moulding was hand-carved on-site by carpenters using hand planes, chisels and gouges. But with the development of large planing machines moulding became much cheaper and widely available to the mass market.

Today there are more than 140 different styles of moulding to choose from in materials ranging from wood to polyurethane. It can be applied to create simple architectural lines or patterns of light and shadow, to add dimension and define spaces, or to add visual interest and value to your home.

What is moulding? Moulding is a strip of material available in a variety of profiles typically made from wood, plastic or wood composites. At their simplest, mouldings are a means of applying light and dark shaded stripes to a structural object without changing the material or applying color. The most common profiles are: Crown, Casing, Chair Rail and Baseboard or Base.

What are some of the cool properties of moulding? Moulding can create optical illusions. When deftly applied, it can make small rooms feel larger and ceilings appear higher.

What is moulding used for? It’s used as a decorative trim for walls, floors, ceilings, doors and a variety of surfaces. You can of course use moulding indoors and out, on furniture and other surfaces, to create architectural lines with rich decorative effect.

Here are some other ideas for using moulding you may not have thought of that we spotted around the web.

An A-frame tent made from moulding.

Image via A Beautiful Mess

When we first spotted this awesome DIY tent constructed with strips of moulding on A Beautiful Mess we were instantly transported back to the days of our childhood. Even though that journey for us seems to take a bit longer each year, you’ll be able to pitch one of these little tents in no time for your kids so they can make their own unforgettable memories. The article on A Beautiful Mess includes step-by-step instructions showing how to build the tent.

Image of DIY Molding Projects

Image via More Design Please

On the beautifully curated More Design Please blog we found this cool round-up of DIY projects that illustrate how much can be done with moulding to transform the look of a room, making it a more stylish and functional space.

Images of molding on a wall accented with punches of turquoise

Image via House Of Turquoise

Erin from House of Turquoise is truly obsessed with a particular shade of blue. We were taken by the way moulding was used in this image from her site (shot by Hiya Papaya) to create strong lines and add dimension to the room. It’s also a great example of how to use moulding to achieve a color-blocking effect.

For help selecting the right moulding to achieve the look you want, check out our moulding buying guide. And, if you need assistance installing moulding or millwork, let our experts help you get it done right.

Meet the Material is a series designed to introduce you to some of the everyday goods sold at The Home Depot. Is there a material you’d like to know more about? Just let us know in the comments!