This Viral $5 Hack Is the Easiest Way to Fake Architectural Molding

published Apr 29, 2024
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Dining room with wood floor, jute rug, dark wood sideboards, open shelving, blue-gray walls, chandelier and wallpapered ceiling.
Credit: Tessa Cooper

The thrift store is an awesome place to brainstorm and source materials for your next great DIY project. That’s where Instagrammer Karlee Gail Bowman stumbled upon a simple piece of decorative wood that sparked an idea. She brought it home, gave it a coat of paint, and attached it above her dining room door frame — and it instantly looks that much more expensive.

“Elevating this door in my dining room with a thrifted $5 piece of wood,” Bowman captioned a recent post. “I painted it the same color as the door and attached it with a nail gun! Now the door looks a little more custom/grand. I’m pretty sure this wood came off the top of a dresser mirror. Budget truth — thrifted items can make a home look like a million bucks! Shop thrift stores with an open mind.”

“It looks like it’s always been there! Love it!” one person commented. Another added, “That is absolutely precious! So creative!!”

Aside from the thrift store, you can also grab these decorative millwork crowns online. Mallory Fletchall from the Reserve Home Instagram account took on a similar project and sourced her millwork scroll on Wayfair. She even used Command strips for a more renter-friendly application. The addition of the caulk to fill in the gap makes the piece look like it’s been there the whole time, too.

“I love projects like this — something very approachable that requires zero power tools but makes a huge visual impact in your space⁣,” Fletchall wrote in her caption.

You can grab Fletchall’s same millwork crown for just over $50. Check your local thrift and antique stores first, though, to see if you can find a cheaper piece of decorative wood and give any door frame a more elevated and custom feel. It may only set you back a few dollars and a bit of time, but the end result looks so expensive. It’s also much easier to DIY than picture frame molding, if you’re looking to add more pretty faux architectural detailing to your walls!