Moulding Finishing Guide

What tools do I need to finish moulding?

  • Paint or Stain
  • Drop Cloths
  • Rags
  • Wood Putty, Caulk and Caulk Gun
  • Brushes
  • 220 Grit Sandpaper

How do I sand moulding?
Using fine grit sandpaper or a sanding sponge, sand the moulding with the grain of the wood. Coarser grits of sandpaper or sanding against the grain of the wood will leave fin gouges and blemishes in the wood. A very light touch is required when sanding moulding. It is recommended that you sand between each coat of primer or paint. The light sanding will ensure a strong bond between the coats and give a smoother finish.
Should I prime my moulding?
It is only necessary to prime solid pine or unprimed finger joint moulding. Most of the mouldings sold at retail stores come with a factory applied primer. If you are painting solid pine moulding or unprimed finger joint moulding, we recommend priming with a high quality primer.
How do I apply wood filler or caulk?
Wood filler or caulk is used to fill nail holes, repair scratches, dents, and uneven joints in miters. Always use a non-shrinking filler or caulk, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to achieve the best results. For stainable mouldings, use wood filler that closely matches the wood color of your moulding.
When should I paint or stain my moulding?

Staining or painting moulding before installation is always recommended. If you install your moulding and then finish it, protect the surrounding areas by using painters tape. Remember to remove the tape immediately after finishing to prevent the tape from damaging the wall or surrounding trim. Painting is recommended for all pre-primed moulding. It is also advisable to use two coats of paint for outstanding durability and appearance. Mouldings with more pronounced wood grain or unprimed surfaces are better suited to staining or varnishing. Staining or varnishing enhances the natural beauty of the wood. Some types of wood moulding, such as solid pine, can be stained to any color, while other types of wood moulding, such as oak, lend to darker stains.
What’s the proper paint prep time?
Below are the steps for unprimed (Steps 1-8) and pre-primed (Steps 5-8):
1. Wipe down the moulding with a clean, slightly damp rag
2. Sand the moulding with medium/fine grit sanding sponge or paper
3. Vacuum the moulding
4. Prime the moulding
5. Sand again
6. Vacuum again
7. Wipe down with clean, slightly damp rag one last time
8. Apply top coat(s) of paint – ideally two coats
Finishing recommendation:
Wood Species           Stain               Varnish                       Paint
Primed Finger Joint                                                                 X
Oak                             X                      X
Pine                             X                      X
Raw Finger Joint                                                                     X
Maple                          X                      X
Fir                                X                      X
MDF                                                                                        X