Craftsman Style Window Trim
Day One of Window Trim Project, March 20, 2015 This was our existing window trim, start by removing it. I used a box cutter to score the caulk and paint along the inside and outside of the casing. With a pry bar and hammer, start on one end and tap and pry the casing off. Our existing window trim was affixed with 2″ finishing nails so it’s best to go slow, tapping and prying the entire way around and not just pry a little then rip it off, you will take the drywall off too. I’m trying to avoid hanging new sheet rock or patching gaping holes, so I just go slow and easy. I decided I didn’t need that silly window sill or the two center casings that separate the three windows, they were not very “Craftsman” like. Once the trim is removed, go around and pull the nails out that are inevitably still in the wall. I have nail pulling pliers I found at Home Depot, I use this tool daily. It was the best $17.97 I ever spent. Next, I go around the edges to clean up the residual caulk/paint residue with a mini razor scraper. I found this is the best method to avoid removing any of the sheet rock. Now that all of the evidence of a previous window trim is gone, I paint the wall with my custom color latex paint. I foresee being exhausted once this project is done and will be in no mood to paint the wall.
Materials I needed for my 8’2″x 4’4″ basement window
(1) 1x2x10 to affix cove trim (2) 1x2x8 furring strips to affix drip molding (2) 1x3x10 for new window sill and horizontal base of header (2) 1x3x8 to replace the “decorative” vertical center casings (2) 1x4x8 for the side casings (1) 1x4x10 the board that hangs horizontal across the bottom of the window (1) 1x6x10 the base of the header (1) cove molding sold in 12′ lengths (this is the smallest trim board I use) (2) drip molding sold in 8′ lengths, (I had to join these with nail filler and sand smooth) Click here for Downloadable Shopping List When measuring for these door and window casings, I like to hang “cheater” boards on each side of the window to help get accurate measurements. I took 4 small pieces of scrap 1×4 (which is the wood I am using for the side casings) and nail to each corner of the window. Then drag the tape measure from end to end. The wood I am using is a soft whitewood or pine, it comes pretty rough with the wood grain very visible. This would be great if I planned to stain the boards, it might have a cool 3D effect, but I want them glossy white so I sand the mess out of them! With my palm sander I use 80 grit, then 150 grit, then 220 grit sanding discs. I had to join the 1x6x8′ header base to a piece of 1x6x10″ to get to the correct width of my window. Luckily, I recently purchased a Mini Kreg Jig for my ceiling project but had not used it. I am so pleased I went with the less expensive Mini for joining these large 1×6 boards, I can make the pocket hole where ever I want it. Keep in mind, I am not an authority on Kreg Jigs, so I won’t go into a lot of detail on how to use this tool yet. In a nutshell, this “jig” is used to make perfect pocket holes effortlessly. By joining the wood with pocket holes, no one is the wiser because the screws are hidden in little “pockets” that this special drill bit helped you drill. It took some tweaking on my part but I think I’ve got it now and can’t wait to use it while I finish the rest of my beadboard coffered ceiling project. Boards joined, I added wood filler to the seam and sand smooth. Not bad for my first time. I dust off the wood and give it a fresh coat of paint so it’s ready to hang tomorrow. I am still using this Glidden Trim, Door and Furniture paint. Boards primed, Day One Complete!
Day Two March 21st, 2015
I start the day by attaching the new 1x3x10′ window sill, again I used a scrap of 1×4 as a guide which I will be nailing to the wall, to help me line up where I need to nail the new window sill so they meet as close together as possible.
Next I nail up the front facing 1x4x106″. I work hard to line the 1×3 window sill to the 1×4 so they meet to form a nice right angle. Then I hang the 1×4 side casings, lastly I attach the center boards which are 1×3’s. I used my nail gun with 2″ finishing nails to attach the wood to the wall.
Next, I move on to cutting the wood for the header. I didn’t cut it with the rest of the wood because I wanted to be sure the measurements I used were based on where the 1×4 side casings actually ended up being hung. All of the boards are cut to that same length and I actually use the first piece that I cut as a guide for cutting all the wood. I end up with scraps of 1×4 so I cut those into two small pieces 5 ½” in length so I can attach them vertically to the 1×6.
I made a supplemental video on how to cut the cove and drip molding to have 45° outside angles to create that wrap around effect.
Time to assemble
1×6 lays flat on table, nail the 1×3 to the bottom so the boards are perpendicular and form a right angle at the back
Nail the two 1×4’s that are 5 1/2″ long, vertically at each end of the 1×6
Nail the 1×2 to the top of the 1×6 so the boards are perpendicular and form a right angle at the back
Glue and nail the cove molding to the front of the 1×2
Affix the small 1 1/2″ side pieces to form a right angle for the cove molding
Nail the first 1×2 furring strip atop the previous 1×2, then another on top of that.
Nail the drip molding to the front of those 1×2’s. Attach the small side pieces with adhesive or glue then nail.
Day Three March 22, 2015
Finally, it’s time to attach the header to wall. I used a 16 gauge nail gun with 2″ nails. The first thing I did was look for studs to nail the new header into. I used a stud finder, there weren’t many since it is a window and the normal vertical studs are interrupted. Just find what you can and mark with a pencil or piece of tape to remind you where to nail through your header.
Finishing work includes caulking around every edge, use wood filler in slim gaps and for nail holes, once the filler is dry give a quick sanding with a sanding block. Finally, add one more fresh coat of paint and you are finished! Day three was a very long day, but the love is in details! I take just as much care with finishing the project as I do conceptualizing and building it.
As always, I hope you find this information useful and that you might be inspired to give your windows a fresh new look!