Door Detailing

When we moved into our house, there were a few things I noticed right off the bat that I knew I’d want to change. Ok, I pretty much wanted to change everything – true, true. This change in particular I thought we’d be making a bit further down the line, but as we started removing the wallpaper in our hallway, my noggin started to think that perhaps it would be easier if we tackled this guy in the here and now. At least that’s the justification I gave Jay 😉

Whenever you buy a house that’s almost 100 years old, there are bound to be a few items that got pieced together over time. Our trim, was no exception.

See how the trim in this room…

Tufted Living Room Chair

Is different than the trim in this room?

Window Trim in Old House

Driving me batty people, seriously batty. Blame it all on the laundry room renovation, but I started to get some high hopes for the trim in our little hallway upstairs. I figured since we already had to remove the doorway surround to widen the opening and fit in the new washer and dryer, why not spruce things up in this corridor and add some nice, new trim?

With the look below as my general inspiration, we set out to fanca-fy this joint.

Craftsman Style Trim

Did I mention we intended to do it on the cheap, too 🙂 Like less than $12 a door cheap? Yep, that’s how I roll people.

Before we could get to reconstructing things though, we had some more demo to do. Namely, the base board trim had to get cut into a bit to make room for the new, bulkier door trim we’d be adding. After trying to remove the trim with a chisel and well, failing, Jay scooted his booty over to Harbor Freight to grab this $20 ninja tool that was perfect for the job.

Removing Floor Trim

Remember how I mentioned this trim job would be on the cheap? Enter in MDF. Our paintable, wood-like friend.

After trying a few different sizes around the door frame, we opted to make the main pieces of trim going up the sides of the door 3.5″ wide. It felt just chunky enough.

How to Add Custom Trim to Door Speaking of chunky, we also decided to go with 3/4 inch MDF, which simulated the look of wood trim much better than a thinner piece would have.

Here it is, post install and before paint.

Adding Custom Trim to Door

Looks rather unfinished, ey? Not going to lie. I kinda started to freak out a bit in my head at this point. I mean, did I really just remove wood trim and put up that? (Questions sanity). But at this point, we were pretty committed to seeing the project out – and spoiler alert – it looks awesome, you guys.

After we installed the mdf, we had to add some trim to the top of the door, to give it a more polished look. After the first coat of paint, door numero uno was looking better, but not quite there yet. We realized we’d need one final trim piece along the bottom edge of our header piece.

Adding Custom trim on Doors

In all honesty, we we’re kinda winging it on this project. We knew the general look we wanted, but picked our dimensions for each piece after popping it up on the wall, and seeing how it looked next to our other sections of trim.

In the end we came up with the combination below.

  • 3.5″ Trim for the Side
  • 6″ Header (for top)
  • 1 3/4 inch Crown for the top (very top piece)
  • 3/4 inch flat piece, for the base trim

With said above configuration, things were looking like this.

DIY Craftsman Style Door

Yep, still got those pink walls. Yep, they’re still making me want to pull my hair out.

After two coats of Benjamin Moore Simply White trim paint (which is what we have throughout the house) the hallway looked like this.

Adding Trim Detail Around Door

(Note: all the doors are the same height, there are some eye tricks going on with the vantage point in the photo above that make it look like they’re not)

Before our new trim, the hallway looked like this, so even with the pink walls, I consider the new look an improvement. 😉

Trim on Door

I plan on retrofitting a few more spots in our house, slowly but surely, over to this updated trim look. My man and I do have one final point of contention though.

He says don’t wrap the bottom piece, I say wrap away – just like the top crown piece. Here’s a picture to show what I’m talking about.

Custom Door Molding

What do you guys think? Wrap, or no wrap?

21 thoughts on “Door Detailing

  1. I say wrap. It must be a lady thing. I know my hubs would totally fight for the no wrap side. It’s a picky detail, but it really would finish off that beautiful trim work nicely!

  2. I just looked up at the original trim (same style as yours) in our very old carriage house and the bottom piece is wrapped!

  3. Mary, this is a total lightbulb moment for me! If you don’t mind, I am definitely stealing your idea and trying some mdf as new trim. I just love that simple clean trim with the detailing on top. What was you final total (it will help convince the hubby!)? Oh, and I am with you all the way, wrap it, girl!

  4. Wrap it around otherwise it doesn’t look finished…too flat, if you wrap it around it will look very professional

  5. This looks awesome. What does it look like looking from a birds-eye-view down to the top of the crown?

    Any chance you can share a picture or describe it?

    In my house here is a mezzanine on the 2nd level and you can see down to the tops of the trim on a few window etc,

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