Flexible molding is far superior to wood molding when it comes to arches and curved walls. Just like wood molding; flexible molding can be stained, painted, and cut to fit just like wood. Made of polymer resin, flexible molding does not splinter, bow, break, warp or rot. This type of molding is primarily used around arches and curved walls but can also be used as a traditional wood molding. Flexible molding comes in many styles and designs. Keep in mind that flexible molding is considerably more expensive than wood molding so only use it when the bendable nature of the product is paramount to the project. One of the great things to note about flexible molding is that, like wood molding, it can be stained. The article that follows will show you how.
Step 1: Preparing the Flexible Molding
Never work on molding when it is attached to the wall or archway. Always do it either on the floor with a drop cloth under it or on a flat work surface such as a workbench. Use a drop cloth if you have worries about ruining your floor or work area with stain. Place the molding on your work surface and use the fine-grit sandpaper to scratch the surface up a little. Make sure you are wearing your mask and glasses as the resin can harm your eyes and inhibit your breathing. Brush away the dust then use a damp towel to wipe it down. Allow the molding to dry before you continue forward.
Step 2: Basic Staining
Now that the molding is dry; you can stain it. Pour the stain into a bucket and put on a pair of latex gloves. Dip a rag into the bucket of stain and get it soaked through with the stain. Remove the excess stain from the rag by ringing it out. Doing this prevents the stain from pooling around the molding. Use some elbow grease and rub the stain into the molding. Each time that you dip the rag into the stain you need to remember to ring it out.
Step 3: Detail Staining
You cannot always get the stain in all of the spaces of the molding regardless if it is flexible molding or wood. Molding tends to be fairly ornate and detailed so there are many accent points you need to handle. For this, you will dip the foam brush into the stain then squeeze out the excess. Brush the stain into all of the grooves and any ornate carvings in the molding. You may need to dab it on instead of brushing in certain areas.
Step 4: More Coats
Due to the flexible molding being a polymer resin you may need more than one coat. With wood, you can paint the stain wet on wet but for flexible molding, you should allow it to dry completely. Add more stain if you feel it is needed.