In my house we have your basic window trim or should I say lack thereof. It’s your regular degular builder grade window where the only “trim” is the sill and a piece underneath. I wanted to frame out the windows but I didn’t want anything too fancy, just something that matched the rest of the trim in the house, so like everything else I jumped in thinking it was going to be easy and quickly learned otherwise. I decided to write this blog post just to share some tips and tricks I picked up while doing my own simple window trim.
Take a picture of your current trim or take a piece with you to the store.
I wanted the window trim to match the trim I already had because I was not up to the task of changing everything just for the windows. There were some different trim styles I liked but I wanted to just keep things simple for myself.
In an attempt to “keep it simple” I thought “Oh, I’ll remember the trim. I’ll know it when I see it. I mean, I have been meticulously painting it for like 3 days. It should be engraved in my brain by now.”
Yeah, no, that was not the case. Do you know how similar trim styles are?! They all look the same with just minor differences in placement of curves and widths. Like what? I thought there would be maybe four choices. Flat skinny, flat fat, curvy skinny, and curvy fat. Why are there so many trim profiles?
Needless to say I had to go back home get my scrap trim I pulled off and try again. I even took a picture in case I forgot it in the car because I wasn’t walking back out of Lowes without some doggone window trim!
Paint the short edges first
I’ve said this before but Ima say it again. I have never been able to get painters tape to act right. It may be because my walls are textured or maybe I’m still a beginner; both are true. Either way, it’s easier to just paint the short side of the trim before you actually install it.
Measure, cut, install one at a time
Don’t measure every side then cut every piece then try to install it all at once, it won’t work. Nothing in your house is perfectly square so something is going to be off and you are going to waste boards.
Start with the bottom. Measure, cut, install.
Do one side. Measure, cut, install.
Do the next side. Measure, cut, install.
Do the top. Measure, cut, install.
You will find that while theoretically, you should only have two numbers (the two sides the same and the top and bottom the same) but in reality you have all different numbers because your window frame isn’t square.
Draw arrows to remember the direction of your cut
I made this mistake twice before I decided to draw arrows to remind myself. With curvy trim like this it has to be the right direction so the pattern continues. And since the sides of the window frame aren’t the same, it’s unlikely that you will be able to just use it on the other side by flipping it over.
You can always cut more, but you can’t cut less
This applies to diy haircuts and diy trim. Give yourself some wiggle room. Cut a little at a time until you are more confident you can make the right cut. I like to cut about half an inch farther than my line and go from there but do what you’re comfortable with. I’m still learning how to use a miter saw without losing a finger.
Cut down the window sill using a hand saw or multi tool. I tried to remove the window sill the “right” way but after trying to pry it up for a while I was scared I was going to damage the actual window and the surrounding sheetrock. So I hammered it back down and decided to go a different route. It worked out perfectly, took a while, but it worked. Draw a line, cut along that line best you can, hide your mistakes with trim and caulk.
Alrighty, that’s all I got for ya today. Don’t settle for those boring builder grade windows. I wish I would’ve done this at my previous house as well but then I wouldn’t have had this blog post so I guess it worked out. Next thing to go are these raggedy blinds. They’re literally on their last leg, I’ll go ahead and help them out of their misery!
Thanks for stopping by!
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