I’ve been slowly replacing the trim in my home as I go room by room. The old trim is actually cute and charming with its rounded corners, but it’s seen better days and it was time to replace them.
Step 1: Demo the old window and door trim
I actually did this step a while back, before I started painting my kitchen, to make it easier on myself. Some areas were more difficult than others! Some pieces had 20+ 3” sinker nails in them. It’s as if they were hoping that the trim would withstand a hurricane!
The first thing you’ll want to do is take a razer to score the caulk line. If you don’t do this, the caulk can end up pulling parts of the drywall and make it pretty messy.
Then, you’ll just take a crowbar and start removing your pieces. Make sure to be really careful with all of the nails, and when you dispose of them, make sure the nails are either removed or hammered flat.
Step 2: Measure and cut the sides
I like to use pre-primed wood since it just makes life much easier when installing trim. Because of my dimensions, I used a combination of 1x4s, 1x3s, and 1x2s depending on where the piece was going. I just held it in place and marked the height it needed to be. Then I cut it with my miter saw! Easy as that.
Some pieces did need to be scored, which is something I hadn’t done in the past! I won’t go into too much detail, but I used the fat part of a shim as my guide and drew a line. Then I used my circular saw (my jigsaw blade was in bad shape, but use a jigsaw if you can!) and cut down the line. It wasn’t perfect, but for my first time, I think it was pretty good!
Step 3: Build the headers
These headers are the star of the show! You’ll need a 1×6, 1×2, cove molding, and half-round molding.
First, you’ll cut your 1×6 to length. It should be the width between the outside of your sides so that it meets the edges.
Second, you’ll cut your cove molding. You’ll want to make sure to bevel your edges so that it wraps around the side.
Then, you’ll cut a small piece as your side.
Third, you’ll cut your 1×2. This will span the width of the edges of the cove molding so that it’ll lay directly on top. It will be wider than your 1×6.
And finally, you’ll cut your half round, again beveling your edge and wrapping it around.
Once everything is cut, you can put it all together. I like to install the 1×2 first using my nail gun and make sure the cove molding will line up after that’s installed. Once that’s in place, get some smaller nails and install the main part of the cove molding.
After that, I only use glue because the smaller pieces are prone to splitting. You’ll glue the sides of the cove molding, then glue your entire half round next. This glue dries pretty quickly, so I only had to hold each piece in place for roughly 15 seconds. Just be careful not to get any on your fingers or you’ll glue yourself to your trim!
Step 4: Install the window and door trim
Finally, time to install everything. If you haven’t already, install the window and door trim sides first. I find that roughly 6-8 nails are plenty. I also like to angle the nails in if I can for a tighter hold.
Once the sides are in, you can move on to the headers. You’ll want to double-check for level, then again just install with your nail gun!
I did have to add some additional trim along the edges for the window, but that’s likely unique to each window situation!
Step 5: Finishing touches
Once again, I used my absolute favorite filler. It applies SO easily and my favorite part is that you don’t have to sand it! Once it’s dry, you just use a baby wipe to get rid of the excess. As someone who HATES sanding, it’s an absolute must in my books.
Once that step was finished, I started caulking, I did need quite a bit of caulk because the walls in my house, and particularly in the kitchen are bowed like crazy. For the bigger areas, I used backer rod to fill the gaps so that the caulk had something to sit on.
And finally, it was time to paint. I used the same paint as my cabinets, Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace in the Advanced line, semi-gloss finish.
What do you think? Would you give this a try?