Should You Install Trim Inside the Closet? (It Depends)

Trim can be small but mighty design elements.

They serve two purposes –

  • a decorative purpose when the design is eye-arresting,
  • and a practical purpose because they cover the gap between two parts.

Various parts of your closet have gaps too, and they probably need a decorative improvement.

So, Should You Install Trim Inside the Closet?

Generally, Yes. However, some sections of your closet’s interior aren’t traditionally trimmed. For that reason, it’s going to depend. If you are thinking of the area where the floor and the wall meet, then YES – put a trim on it (even a ‘baseboard’ if you want, more on that later).

Four Closet Trim Scenarios

1. Floor-Wall Junction

You are free to install trim on the floor-wall gap.

This junction is probably the most deserving part of the closet.

It can be ugly if uncovered and may provide a hiding spot for roaches and similar critters. However, because the floor is involved, it would no longer be trim but a baseboard.

It’s important to understand that trim and a baseboard are the same things with different names depending on the location.

How To Go About It

There’s very little difference between installing baseboard moldings in your closet and the rest of your home, so expect to follow the same steps.

The slight difference is that, if your closet is equipped with sliding or bi-fold doors, you will need to ensure the baseboard stays back enough to accommodate the door later on.

Get Your Measurements Right

You will need to get your measurements right (of course, using a tape measure).

Every interior corner should have a 45 degree cut so that the two pieces of baseboard fit tightly.

Every time you join two baseboards at 45 degrees, nail them into the wall. Repeat the process until you’re back where you started.

2. Ceiling-Wall Junction

Hereof, should you install trim on the cell-wall junction, above inside the closet?

Yes, certainly. The junction between the wall and the ceiling is probably the second most deserving part after the floor-wall junction.

This region is prone to imperfections that may beg to be kept out of sight.

It’s also the first place your eyes land when you put or remove your clothes from the closet, so it needs to be beautiful.

How To Go About It

The installation process is very much the same as in floor-wall junction.

3. Header

Keeping this in view, should you install trim on the header of your closet?

That’s a NO. A header is a section between the top of the door and the wall.

It would be both unaesthetic and purposeless to install trim on this section.

Since the interior of the header is invisible from both the outside and doorstep, you don’t need to bother with it all.

However, if you must add a cover on the gap in the heater (maybe to keep critters at bay), go for it.

4. Doors

Thereof, should you install trim on the interior of your closet’s doors? In one word – “No.”

However, it’s perfectly OK – even encouraged – to add trim on the exterior part of the doors but that’s out of the scope of this post.

Five Closet Trim Considerations

Accordingly, here are 5 truths worth knowing before you install a trim inside your closet:

1. Trim Can Trap Dust Sometimes

Depending on how clean your home is, the trim can be a beauty of a dust reservoir.

Minor, undetectable dust particles found in even the cleanest homes may rise and build up in the trim with time.

Things can get worse if it was installed poorly and the home is a bit dustier.

For overhead trims, the dust will end up on your clothes upon a minor disturbance.

2. Baseboards Almost Always Develop Gaps Close To The Floor

The whole point of installing a baseboard in the closet is to hide the gap between the wall and the floor, but don’t be surprised if it ends up creating a new gap.

Fortunately, the material has a bigger say.

Plastic baseboards are near immune to this problem. Certain woods are prone to shrink on the cold and bare concrete floor and may create gaps in the process.

3. Your Color Choice Won’t Matter Much

Many homeowners can’t look beyond white as the color of choice for any trim, leave alone inner closet trim.

The main explanation for that is that white is peaceful (at least that’s what we all believe it induces).

The other explanation, perhaps the most reasonable one, is that it amplifies the lighting.

However, a closet is a small, enclosed space where color may not have such a big impact on anything, so your choice won’t matter much.

4. “Must The Trim Match The Rest Of The Closet?” No

Contrary to popular belief, everything doesn’t need to match in the closet. The same applies to style – the doors, header, and rod don’t need to be in sync with the style of your trim.

5. Trim Is As Good As The Tools Used

Trim work is best left to professionals unless you’re an experienced DIYer.

Making clock-accurate cuts is going to be a challenge, and that’s why you need a sharp compound miter saw.

Get a nail gun so that you don’t have hand-nail it.

A great and a good trim are two different things with just 1/12” or less between them. For that reason, you will need a sharp pencil and an air compressor complete with a hose.

6. Trim Is Traditionally Painted Before Installation

There’s no reason for this other than to save your precious time and energy.

If you wait to paint after you’ve installed it, you will spend more time erasing stray smudges on the edges of the trim and the wall/floor.

Better yet, you can buy pre-painted or pre-finished trims and skip painting altogether although that might add a few more dollars on the cost.

What’s The Difference Between Trim And Molding?

That’s a common question.

Trim is an umbrella term for pretty all molding in a house. It can be baseboards, window/door casing, and so on.

Molding can be used to describe a diverse class of millwork (pretty any kind of woodwork you’d produce in a mill… purely for decorative purposes).

Molding is more of a beauty add-on than a structural detail.

Often, molding is used in place of trim or baseboard and that’s perfectly OK because it’s very much the same thing.

Lastly, What’s The Perfect Paint For The Trim And The Rest Of Your Closet’s Interior?

We said your choice won’t matter much.

But if you are looking for a color that will deliver the best results in terms of ambiance and feel, I’d recommend these finishes:

  • Matte
  • Gloss
  • Eggshell
  • Flat
  • Satin
  • Pearl
  • Semi-gloss
  • High Gloss


To summarize everything, you should add trim on two parts of the interior of your closet – the ceiling-wall junction and floor-wall junction.

These two junctions can form not-so-good-looking gaps that may remove the wow factor from your closet.

The second reason is to deny any would-be invaders from establishing homes in those gaps.

You have no good reason to add trim on the interior part of the door and header.