Supporting Moldings When Working Solo

Use these tips to help support moldings when working solo.

It's usually a good idea to find an assistant to help you balance moldings during measuring and installation. But these tasks can become tedious and time-consuming, and the person with the supporting hand can become less supportive as the project drags on. Other times, you simply must work solo.

Whether you're working alone as a matter of choice or necessity, you need to find a way to deal with the awkward lengths. These solutions all provide a helping hand, and not a single one of them gets impatient or develops an attitude. But it's also important to keep your own emotions in check during the installation.

If you find yourself getting frustrated, take a break. Being agitated can easily lead to mistakes or injury. Return to the job when your mind can focus clearly on it.

Chair-Rail Support

Combine a clamp with a stepladder, and you have a support that works great with chair-rail and picture-hanger moldings. Wrap a cloth around the clamp and tape the cloth in place so you won't scar the molding or your wall.

Crown Molding Support

While you're measuring and fitting crown moldings, you need a secure support. Create one by tacking a length of 1x4 that projects past an outside corner. To hold crown molding on a flat length of wall, screw together an L-shape shelf and tack it to the wall. Finishing nails leave such tiny holes that you can easily patch them when the installation is complete.

Chair-Rail Support from Floor

Here's another easy way to support chair-rail moldings. Simply screw together two lengths of 1x4s for a nearly instant helper. Cut the vertical 1x4 a few inches longer than the distance from the bottom of the molding to the floor. This will position the support at a fairly steep angle for stability.

Plywood Foot for Added Support

Add a plywood foot to a molding support for added stability. Position the shelf at the top of the support along the bottom line for the molding.

Get a Grip

If wood props slide against the wall, they can scar the paint. And if the jig loses its footing, the molding can come crashing down. Solve both these problems with rubber bumpers. To install, simply peel the bumper from its backing and press firmly on a clean surface.


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