Moulding can be milled from virtually any wood type. However, to be more economical and for quicker availability, moulding is generally only readily available in stock in red oak, solid pine, medium density fiberboard (MDF, a very dense particle board), and finger joint pine that has been primed. MDF is a good option due to its low cost and, since it is man-made, there is no risk of warping twisting or splitting.
Solid moldings are most commonly available in pine but can be ordered in many hardwoods (some of the solid hardwood moldings may be a veneer face). In order to get the best possible finish, it is recommended that you sand first with 220 grit sandpaper. If staining, we recommend after sanding to apply a prestain conditioner or a sanding sealer; this will prevent the wood from absorbing too much stain too fast which leads to the grain being raised or the wood taking the stain in blotches. Next, apply a clear sealer; this will help your molding last for years to come. Remember to apply as directed, generally three coats are best. Each succeeding coat adds protection and depth to the appearance.
Finger joint pine is a good balance of low cost, widespread availability in different patterns, an stability. Most finger joint molding is now primed. Therefore, all you need to do is paint with your choice of paint – two coats is best. Similarly, MDF comes with a primer coat already on it, so all you have to do to finish your project is apply a paint of your choosing. Please note: MDF doesn't handle getting wet very well, so it is not recommended for kitchens or bathrooms.
A link is provided below to view most readily available moulding profiles (patterns). It also details the sizes and wood types available.