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1) Cut your molding to length.
2) Mark the wall where the studs are AND where the molding is going to go.
3) With the help of a friend (which is easiest, 'level' the molding on the wall where you want to place it, and lightly put pencil marks UNDER it (on the wall) to indicate where it's level.
4) Then, pre-drill the center of the molding to the wall and 'loosely' nail into place (enough so it can still 'pivot' on the nail.
5) Then, do both ends as in Step 4.
6) Then, do the same as Step 4 wherever there are studs.
7) With a Nail-set, finish hammering the nails into the molding (and out of sight, about 1/8" deep.)
Hopefully, this is a good plan. The key is to mark your studs, and install a level mold. If you're staining or painting, it's best to do the pre-drilling BEFORE you do this. That way, it's easier to work with when it's NOT on the wall.
My best to ya and hope this helps.
Jay J -Moderator