How to Decorate the Seams of Walls


Wall seams are created when wall panels are installed as finished wall surfaces. Other types of wall seams are the corner joints between walls and walls and ceilings. Often, these seams require additional attention to make the joints look professionally installed and clean. With wall panels, there are a series of finishes that should be attached to the panel before the panel is installed. For corners at walls and ceilings, trims can be applied later.

Things You'll Need

  • Wall panel
  • J-divider trim
  • T-divider trim
  • Outside corner trim
  • Inside corner trim
  • Utility knife
  • Rotary tool
  • Construction adhesive
  • Wood trim
  • Hand saw and saw box
  • Decorative trim
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • Install panel trim moldings to the wall panel prior to installing the wall panel on the wall. There are four basic types of trim moldings that are used to finish the seams and edges: J-molding is used on outside finished edges, T-molding is used between wall panels, outside corner molding is used on outside corner joints and inside corner molding is used on inside corner joints.

  • Cut the molding to the length you need using a utility knife. Peel back the protective plastic covering on the wall panel edges. Slip the molding over the edge of the panel. Miter-cut your molding corners where they join other moldings. Put your blunt cut molding onto the panel and overlap the corners. Cut on the diagonal toward the outside corner. Cut through both pieces of molding and remove the extra cut pieces.

  • Join two panels together using a T-molding. This molding slides over two panel sides. In general, all of these moldings slide on and do not require glue or adhesive. (Sometimes a dab of glue is helpful when a panel is being maneuvered into position and moldings are bumped in the process.)

  • Add molding that is missing. If you already have wall panels with ugly seams and no trim moldings were applied during installation, retrofit your seams. Use a rotary hand tool to cut off the inside "T" of a T-molding. Run the rotary hand tool along the existing seam and sand the seam with the tool to the width of the plastic leg of the T-molding. This is typically about 1/16-inch wide. Apply panel or construction adhesive to the back of the molding and press the molding so that the leg goes between the panels and the T-top-part covers the seam and both edges of the panels.

  • Add wood trim molding if no panel molding trims match your wall panels. Select a flat and thin molding to cover seams. Apply a bead of construction adhesive to the back of the wood. Press the wood over the seam centered and straight. Nail finish nails through the center of the wood every 12 inches. Recess the nail heads with a nail set and fill the holes with wood fill. Lightly sand the wood fill after 20 minutes and apply the paint, stain or other finish that matches the panels.

  • Apply rope-style fabric trim to seams and corners to hide a change of paint color or other awkward seam. Start at the bottom of the walls and apply a bead of hot glue to the trim. Glue 4 to 6 inches and press the trim into the seam or corner. This creates a crisp finishing touch and adds detail around the room. Rope trim can be purchased by the foot or on bolts at a discount.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you have existing panels, wash and dry the panels before applying new trim as the panel surface should be clean for best adhesion.

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  • Photo Credit Noel Hendrickson/Photodisc/Getty Images
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