DIY craftsman door trim

Hey there! I’m off at the SNAP Conference today and flying home tonight – whirlwind trip I tell ya! It’s funny --  the older I get the harder it is for me to leave home. I’m such a homebody in my old age. ;)

Anyway, earlier this week I made teensy bit of progress on the powder room. Don’t get too excited, it’s nothing major. But still…progress. Let’s just enjoy little bits, eh?

It was actually not even a project I had planned on doing, but before I installed the planks along the wall near the door I thought I would at least try it out.

I figured it was as good a time as any (well, really the ONLY time – after the planks are installed it probably couldn’t have happened) to try and replace the door trim.

I’ve been dreaming for YEARS about replacing our thin builder door casing to something like this:

DIY craftsman door trim


I’ve seen this same look with crown at the top, but this simpler version has always appealed to me. (In white of course.)

The only reason I haven’t attempted it by now is my fear of removing the trim in our house – it’s IMPOSSIBLE. Seriously – I removed the baseboards in one room something like six years ago and it still has me afraid to this day. It was SO. dang. hard. to get them off.

I had our contractor guys take them off in the powder room so the hardwoods could go down and even they commented on how tough it was.

Told you. I’m no wus. It’s hard. :)

So anyway, I’ve always assumed the door trim was the same supersonic stuff. But I got a wild hair the other night and decided to try removing it. I took a razor and cut along where the trim met up with the door frame (along the caulk) and then did the same on the caulk line by the wall.

I used my crow bar to get under the trim and starting working at it and I'LL BE – it was coming off! I couldn’t believe it!:

removing door trim

I had to pull out a few lingering staples but that was it. And I don’t have any pictures of all of those steps because I was so sure it wasn’t going to work I didn’t even pull out the camera.

I should not use my camera more often. ;)

So anyway, I ended up with a trimless door and I was giddy:

DIY craftsman door trim

Seriously. I did a giddy dance.

I could tell from the pics how I wanted to put the new trim up – it’s pretty self explanatory when you look at them. I started with two 1 by 4’s cut to the height of the door frame:

DIY craftsman door trim

And then it was time for the “topper.” Again, pretty obvious from the pics on how to do it, but I had also read this post a couple weeks ago and liked how they put the topper together before they installed – that did help:

DIY craftsman door trim

I put it together using wood glue and the nail gun. It’s made up of a 1 by 2 on top, a piece of the 1 by 4 in the middle and a piece of lattice (1/4 by 2) on the bottom.

I just nailed that whole piece up when I was done:

DIY craftsman door trim

I couldn’t believe how easy it was! Installing the trim took all of about 15 minutes I think?

So crazy fast!:

DIY craftsman door trim

I still need to paint but I was so excited about it all I just had to show you. ;) This has awoken a beast though – I cannot wait to do the rest of the doors! 

New trim and paint them all black. It’s going to take forever. But at least one is kinda sorta on it’s way:

DIY craftsman door trim

I love it!

A few tips:

- I used my razor blade to get the caulk line off the area to the right where it met the paint. This was just so the new trim would lay flush against the wall.

- I sanded the door frame before I installed the new trim to knock down the caulk/paint that was there.

- I had to cut down the light switch plate a bit to make the new trim work. No biggie – just did it with the saw. :)

- I caulked up all the visible gaps in preparation for paint. (Using this awesome tool.)

- I used pine in here just in case we ever have a water issues, but will probably use mdf in other rooms. I’ll try both and see how the mdf holds up.

I found this image on Pinterest that shows what I did, and the window frame version as well (ohhhh, how I hope our window sills come off as easy!):

craftsman door and window trim


It’s really so easy – it took me longer to take off the trim and sand everything down than it did to install the new stuff!

So, there you go! You know how you avoid something for years because you think it will be so hard and then it’s totally easy? Yeah, never happens to me either. Except for this time. ;)