Before you start

Understanding the Basics - What goes where

This useful Porta DIY video is a great starting point to understanding the basics of what's what in a standard room and the various names for mouldings that can be found in a room.  


Common Mouldings found in a room

What goes where

What tools do i need?

Depending on the job at hand you may need some or all of these suggested tools when working with timber 

tools required



How to select the right mouldings

When selecting the right timber moulding for your job at hand there are various factors to consider: 

  • Why is it needed? Concealing a gap/surface, for decorative purpose only, functional purpose
  • Size and style of the profile and size of area you are working with
  • How small/large it needs to be to suit its intended purpose
  • Is there an existing moulding you need to match? Therefore a sample piece to find suitable profile
  • Consider the décor of the home – Contemporary – Simplistic and minimal detail, Heritage/Traditional opt for a larger, detailed profile of timber moulding 

To assist you in finding the right profile the Porta website enables you to narrow and refine your product search via grouped product categories, drill down further by product filters, clear product profiles images and you can easily add the product to Your Project list and take that list into a stockist to easily locate a Porta product you are interested in.  

See also 'choosing the right timber species' to ensure you select the right profile in the right timber species for your job at hand.

How to select the right timber

Along with the right shape/profile of timber moulding, the correct selection of timber species is also important. Factor when selecting the right timber species include:

  • Matching the existing timber
  • What timber is fit for purpose? For example for outdoor structures and longevity when exposed to various weather conditions use Treated Pine and or Hardwood. For wet areas of the home Hardwood (for its durability) would suit best. In the Porta Timber range you can utilise Tasmanian Oak, Meranti and General Purpose Pine.
  • Finishing of the timber – Painting or Staining? If painting is the final finish you can utilise a Pre-primed timber (Porta’s Primed FJ Pine) this comes pre-coated with a specially developed water-based primer and ready for you to paint. Or alternatively if you are staining/varnishing Tasmanian Oak, Clear Pine is the most suited timber for its enhanced look once stained attaining the beauty of natural timber.
  • Density of timber – taking into consideration durability and exposure to the elements

Hardwood – wood from angiosperm trees have a more dense and complex structure than softwood – more pores and vessels. Tends to be more expensive compared to softwood. Long durability and generally harder than a softwood. Porta’s range of Hardwood in a variety of profiles include Tasmanian Oak, Meranti and Whitewood.

Softwood – Is a timber species from trees such as conifers. Softwoods are not necessarily softer than hardwoods. Affordable option of timber and comes in various grades including a finger jointed option. Porta utilise timber from the Pinus Radiata species which includes – Clear Pine, General Purpose Pine, FJ Raw Pine, Primed FJ Pine, Treated Pine.

Refer to Our Timber species page, where you can also download the Timber Species chart for future reference.

How to calculate what I need

Firstly, determine where the moulding will be used and then estimate the quantity and type. Go around the room/area making a list of the specific lengths you require. ‘MEASURE TWICE CUT ONCE’.

Calculating timber image3

For skirting, picture rail, dado or chair rail

Measure the width of each wall in the room to be decorated. Round up each measurement to allow for cutting and joining, and total. Purchase in lengths most suitable for your project.

For example: a 4 x 3m room will require 4 + 4 + 3 + 3 =14m of architrave remember to exclude doorways and cupboards and to include 15-20% extra for cutting and joining pieces.

For architraves and picture frames

Measure the perimeter (outer edge) of the area to be decorated, making sure to add the width of the moulding to allow for mitred joins around the corners.

How to store my mouldings

The thing to keep in mind is that timber tends to adapt, or equalise to the surrounding environment. Depending on the moisture level in the air, the timber will expand or shrink accordingly. So, if the area in which you store your timber is moist (such as a damp garage), the timber will likely have a higher moisture content and will have expanded a bit. Before using this timber in your home, you should allow the timber to sit flat in the room that it will be used in for at least 24-48 hours prior to using it this will allow the timber time to acclimatise to its new surroundings.