STEP 1: DETERMINE YOUR SPACING + BOX SIZE
Measure the width of your wall, and divide by how many boxes you think you would like to have. Account for the space between each box, and between the boxes and the wall or window or door casing.
- I find a space of 3.5-6″ between boxes is visually appealing
- I tend to use more of a 4-6″ space between the boxes and the wall or door or window casing.
For our bedroom I used 35″ boxes around the room, and did 3.5″ spaces between the boxes, and 4.5″ between the boxes and the walls and door/window casings. I used a 1×4 and a 1×5 as my spacers to make the work much quicker.
Chances are not all of your walls will work out perfectly using the exact same size boxes and spacing. In this case you have a couple of options. One is to slightly adjust your box size so they remain a visually similar size and look consistent around the room (so doing 34″ or 36″ instead of 35″ in reference to my box size). The other option is to think about what furniture or art will be placed on that wall and change your boxes to frame those pieces.
For my bedside wall and my dresser side wall, I chose to do one larger box in the middle (for the bed wall the bigger box was still the 35″ size), flanked by smaller boxes on the sides. For the dresser wall I did a large box that framed our dresser and TV, then two of the 35″ boxes, and then two 18′ boxes (which was a size I used on a small wall beside the bathroom).
For the bathroom side wall I had to reduce the box sizes down to around 34″ inches.
In general, try to keep your boxes as consistently sized around the room as possible. If you use smaller boxes, try to use that same size smaller box throughout. Visually consistency is key.
STEP 2: INSTALL
After determining your spacing and box size and number, you will need to determine how far from the ceiling and baseboards you want to start and end your boxes. I tend to take the placement of our window treatments into account for this. I ended up starting my boxes 8″ down from the ceiling, and 5″ up from the baseboards. You can also choose to center your boxes on the wall.
I used 2″ finish nails and my Ryobi brad nailer to install the moulding, and usually advise starting with the top of your boxes, then doing the sides, and lastly measuring and cutting your bottom piece.