Finish carpentry and moldings help complete a home’s appearance, adding flourishes that draw the eye and concealing gaps where interior surfaces intersect. These ornate wooden pieces can also protect walls and other surfaces from getting scratched up. Indeed, finish carpentry and moldings stick out both visually and physically. This protrusion puts them in harm’s way though. Moldings are susceptible to various kinds of damage, taking the first hit before anything happens to your interior painting.

If your home features several kinds of finish carpentry and moldings, you might not always notice when a panel, board, or rail needs attention from a painting service, carpenter, or both. Let’s explore where you should look for signs of damage to your finish carpentry and moldings.

Crown Molding

Crown molding is typically out of reach, meaning it’s less likely to get damaged than other features. That said, you should still examine these features for damage every now and then. If your home isn’t well-sealed from the outside, moisture may creep in behind the crown molding between your upper walls and ceilings. Look for discoloration, peeling paint, or gaps around the trim. As for crown molding on fireplaces, shelves, and other objects, check the corners for marks, scratches, or missing material, as they are most exposed to physical impact.


Unlike crown moldings, baseboards are always in reach, covering the gaps between walls and floors. Because these moldings are always low to the ground, they often experience scuffs from shoes, stains from spilled liquids, water damage, etc. Fortunately, it’s easy to spot baseboard damage and less labor-intensive to repair or touch up these moldings since they’re so accessible.

Chair Rails

Chair rails are less common than crown moldings and baseboards, but many homeowners have them installed to prevent furniture from scraping against their walls and ruining their residential painting. This finish carpentry goes about two-thirds or halfway up a wall and can double as a visual divider between different paint colors or wallpaper. If your interior space is small and active, you can expect your chair rails to get scuffed up over time. Like baseboards, these moldings are within reach, so painting contractors can touch them up easily. Likewise, repairing and replacing chair rails is relatively quick and simple.

Panel Molding

Panel molding is like the next step up from standard chair rails. These are also placed somewhere on the wall and protect its surface from damage. However, panel molding is more ornate than a rail, resembling empty frames. Most of the damage done to panel molding will take place on the edges that stick out. The spaces between the “frames” are usually protected unless hit directly by liquid or a small enough object. Of course, like any type of finish carpentry or molding, panel molding is susceptible to water damage as well.

Where Moldings Meet

Generally speaking, finish carpentry is weakest where one piece connects to another, most commonly in corners where walls intersect. Caulk and paint help hold these pieces together, but over time moisture and heat may loosen the connection and reveal cracks. When checking your moldings for signs of damage, always check these corners and edges to make sure they are properly sealed.

If you want to keep your home beautiful and protected, you can’t neglect your finish carpentry and moldings. The professional painters at All American Painting Plus aren’t just able to touch up your wooden features, we specialize in repairing and installing these moldings as well. To learn more about all that we can do for our clients, give us a call at (703)-620-5563!