The process of interior trim installation is extremely rewarding, as it can completely change the look of any room and make any furniture feel fancier and complete. Better yet, it can be done in DIY fashion as long as you have the right tools and know-how.

Whether you are a savvy homeowner or a contractor just getting into this area, here’s a rundown on how to install interior trim, so you know exactly what you need to get and how to make it happen!

“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. – Aristotle

1. The right tools

Some tools are necessary to make the best possible trim installation, but keep in mind you don’t necessarily have to own all of these – you can simply borrow them from a neighbor or a rent them. This is what you’ll need: 

  • A miter saw
  • A nail gun
  • An air compressor
  • A tape measure
  • A pencil

With the help of a sharp pencil, a tape measure and a miter saw, you’ll be able to make the most accurate cuts, which is crucial for a perfect trim installation. Seriously, it’s already noticeable to have a section of trim slightly off. A few millimeters wrong and things will start to not fit and seem loose.

And hey, mistakes happen, but this is exactly why the next topic is so important:

2. Get more trim than you’ll need

Maybe a professional won’t have to go this far, but for anyone starting out we highly recommend buying somewhere around 20% more materials than what you’ll actually need. These extra materials should always be accounted for when you’re planning the cost to install interior door and trim.

Here’s why:

If you make any mistakes, you can quickly correct them. Especially if you’re trying this project for the first time, it’s totally fine to miscalculate something or make a poor cut – but if you don’t have extra materials, you’d have to pause the project and finish it later.

But if you already have extra materials, you can try again and continue right away!

3. Find a compound miter saw

Compound miter saws are optimal for trim installation. They are sturdy, safe, and precise – even for angled cuts when installing crown molding.

And it’s fairly easy to set it up for cutting:

Use the pencil to accurately mark where the cut will take place. Then, without turning on the saw, make sure the blade is aligned with the line you made by angling it down until it touches the wood. Once it’s lined up, lift the saw again, and only then turn it on. Finally, push it down all the way to make the cut.

Be very careful: these machines are made with security in mind, but we’re still talking about a saw that spins fast enough to cut through wood. Mind your fingers!

4. Paint before installation

Simply put: painting after installing baseboard trim would be much harder, time consuming, and wasteful. You would have to reach uncomfortable positions, use protective gear for your eyes, and take precautions to make sure your walls and floors wouldn’t have spills.

The solution? Paint before installation!

Make the perfect cuts first and then go for the paint. If you can find pre-primed boards, even better, but if not, apply primer first and go for two or three coats of paint to guarantee a flawless finish.

5. Hide the nail holes

The best way to hide nail holes is by using wood filler. These are used to hide small scratches and such, so they’re perfect for this project.

So get some wood filler, a little bit of extra paint, sanding paper, and let’s get to work!

Use the wood filler over the nail holes until they’re even with the wood and let them cure for at least two hours. Then, use the sanding paper to remove the excess. To finish it off, paint or stain over that spot with your leftover paint for the perfect finish.

Need help installing interior trim? Get free quotes from a professional in your area today!


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