How to Add Decorative Moulding to a Door

Updated March 23, 2017

Dressing up a plain door with decorative moulding is an easy and inexpensive way to add architectural interest. Mills offer a variety of styles and materials, from screen moulding--which can create a simple border around a plain door--to intricate patterns such as egg and dart and dentil moulding. Moulding should be installed with care, making exact measurements and precise cuts to fit.

Remove the door from its hinges by prying the pins in the hinge straight up with a flathead screwdriver, and pulling the door out and away from the door casing. Place the door on a work table or saw horse.

Affix masking tape to the door to experiment with placement of the moulding. Lay out rectangles if you wish to create a panelled look on your door, or select any design that is aesthetically pleasing for your decor.

Mark your lines on the door in pencil by lining up a straight edge or level to where you have placed your tape. Draw straight lines on the door at the edge of the tape. These will be your guides for placing the moulding. Remove the tape when finished.

Measure your lines on the door with a tape measure and transfer this measurement to the back side of your moulding with a pencil.

Place the moulding flat side down in a mitre box, which is a box that allows you to manually make controlled angled cuts by guiding a back saw blade in a slot. Alternately, use a power mitre saw that allows you to make angled cuts with a motorised blade which slices through the wood. Make straight cuts or mitred cuts as needed to create neat corners. Cut all pieces of moulding and check the angle of the cuts by dry-fitting the pieces together before you attach them.

Place a bead of construction adhesive to the back of each cut piece of moulding and place it on its corresponding drawn line on the door. Continue until all pieces are in place. Allow adhesive to dry.

Nail moulding in place, if desired, for extra holding strength.

Caulk seams of moulding, if desired, then stain or paint to match your door. Allow to dry fully.

Rehang your door by inserting the door into the hinges. Insert the pins in place to hold the door.

Things You'll Need

  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Work table
  • Saw horses
  • Measuring tape
  • Masking tape
  • Mitre box and saw
  • Spirit level or straight edge
  • Pencil
  • Moulding
  • Construction adhesive
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Caulk
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About the Author

Elle Smith has been an advertising professional for more than 25 years. Her work for ABC, CBS and Sony Pictures Television has appeared on radio, on air, in print and outdoors. In addition, Smith has more than 20 years experience in marketing, graphic arts, commercial photography and print production, and is a licensed real estate agent with property management certification in California.