Wednesday, March 16, 2011

DIY: Door trim installation. (Done with a fancy Victorian style trim!)

I love my new front door. Not only is it the opening to my home but it's also a promise of sorts. It's gleaming white paint stands out beyond the weed ridden front yard, slightly fractured cement steps, and ugly holes in the wood siding that were apparently "In" back in the 60's (they actually look like bugs where just munching and karate kicking the heck out of the boards. Even though we knew that is not so, I still wonder about architecture and style designs of that time. Avocado green appliances? I'm sure I'm not the only one asking, "really?"). My new front door is a promise of things to come for this house though. Just a touch of what we hope it will look like one day. And I am pretty smitten with it too!

I painted the door before it was installed (I found out that me and latex paint are NOT friends! And probably never will be. When the time comes I will not be DYIing our outside paint job. That is a hire out job fo sho!). Then my wonderful brother helped the hubs install the door and that's where this leaves us off at.

The other things such as the plastic still on the windows and the old door handle could all be done easily. Installing the trim is easy too but there are some extra steps needed to make sure it comes out right.

I really wanted something a little different then what is normally done for trim these days. So I went with a Victorian style trim kit that certainly did the trick! The other great thing about this kit is that it didn't involve doing any miter cuts.  I haven't done any of those yet so it's a little intimidating to me still (it shouldn't be though because I have a miters saw that I use to make straight cuts allllll the time. I know, I'm a nerd. ^_~ ).  But if you do want to do trim that would need the miter cut but you don't want to go buy the big'ol saw then you can buy a Miter Box and hand cut the what you need. My trim kit really is all about making sure everything lines up and that's pretty easy considering door frames usually are pretty straight or at least should be.

Also you can paint the trim before installing if you would like. I didn't paint mine yet because I knew I would probably beat them up a bit and scuff them (and I was right) so I'm going to paint it after.Also I'm still thinking about what color I should do. Match the white or do something that contrasts? Hmm.....

Lets jump in!

Here is what you'll need:
  • Some lovely trim
  • Brad (or finishing) nails - 1-1/4" and 2" long ones.
  • Nail Set
  • Hammer (or nail gun if you have it!)
  • Cat's paw and a small scrap of wood (optional)
  • Calk (you can get squeezable or get the kind that you need a calking gun with)
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • A saw

Here is the trim kit I bought at Home Depot for $18.00. The one I bought measures about 3" wide and there are different sizes you can get too. Lowes also had the same design. Mine is called the Flute and Reed kit. You can click on the images to see everything closer too.

1. Measure your door first. I believe the standard measurements for a door is 36" wide, and 80" tall which is what my door is. But! Always measure before just in case. You can buy a piece of the casing if you have a certain measurement that's longer. That's what we did because we're also installing this same trim around our sliding glass door.

2. If you have to remove old trim then chances are you'll have some left over finishing nails to take out. You can use a hammer to get them out or cat's paw (like I have). Here is a nifty trick you can do to keep from damaging your dry wall. You use a piece of scrap wood to leverage your nail out instead of the dry wall it's self. 

3. The Casing Blocks and Base Plinth blocks will go on first.

To attach them you will need some calk and the 2" brad nails. Add a circle or so of calk keeping it more in the center. This will help you avoid having it squeeze out the sides once everything is nailed down.

Since the calk is a bit sticky, it will stick to the wall and then you can use the level to make sure it sits straight before you nail it to the wall. 

Note: Once the calk is on the piece it can be a little bit slippery so if you nail in your nails partially before you add calk and slap'em on then it will make it so you don't have so much slippage and your piece ends up where you want it.

4. Next measure the length you will need your leg and head casings to be so they fit where they are supposed to and cute them down if need be. (I got into the groove of working and kind of forgot to take more pictures! Sorry! It's not very hard though. Promise!)

5. Add calk to the back of the casing. I did it in a zig zag pattern. Get you're 1-1/4" brad nails and hammer them in! I would recommend once again pre-nailing your nails before adding calk to the back.

6. Clean up any nail holes or gaps by putting a bit of calk on them and wiping off the excess. Then paint.

And you're all done!!! 

What a difference right! I love the trim and my door so, so much! It's amazing how the little things make such a big difference! I can't wait to get the rest of the doors done in the house. It will be soooooo rad!  I hope this made trim install a little less of an unknown thing for my fellow DIYers! 


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