Once you get out of the swing of measuring and cutting trim, whether it be to frame a door, baseboard, crown moulding, or windows, it’s really, really hard to jump right back into it. Your brain will just. stop. working. And that’s why now, days later (which in this world while we’re also working full-time while we do this little renovation, actually translates to weeks later), we set out to finish what we started: building custom window trim.
Updating the trim around your windows doesn’t have to be hard. In many homes, you’ll find it’s as easy as buying simple, pre-routed, and pre-finished yardage that you can pop up with your eyes closed (not really, always use your eyes when you’re installing trim). In my home, I was working diligently to match the design of the window sill and trim to what already ran through the rest of the house, which was a wider board construction, wrapped with pine corner guard moulding.
We were starting construction later in the evening which is why cutting the trim took several days instead of just one caffeine-charged afternoon. Fortunately, I had removed the trim and filled in gaps with spray foam way back on Day 9, so I saved myself this time upfront.
The first piece that I installed was a window sill. Because the window trim itself will have to rest against it flush, it’s imperative that it’s in place, routed, level, and securely installed before you proceed with the rest of the window trim. We used plenty of 1-3/4″ nails and a dab of wood glue beneath it to secure it in place.
Our board for this sill extended an extra 7.5″ on either wide of the window to allow the 6″ trim board to meet up with it. It’s not shown attached in this next photo, but know that I did slide it in to fit against both the window and the wall nicely, like a puzzle piece to the window.
Side note: I decided to use some scrap shiplap from one of my previous paneling installations to save a few dollars on lumber, that’s why what you see above is stained already. I’ll be painting over it in a future post. As for those shiplap projects, you can see them in my dining room, entryway, and master bedroom.
From there, the installation of the wide trim can be done pretty simply. Like with the door frame, we started by installing the vertical pieces of pine board along the sides, and followed up with a single piece cut perfectly to length along the top. For this larger window, I chose 6″ boards, and had prepared myself to work efficiently with very scrap by carefully measuring for what I needed, getting boards of assorted lengths but getting multiple cuts from each board. I’m scrappy like that. Lap jointing these pieces actually matches the rest of the trim in the house, otherwise, I might have been inclined to create 45-degree mitered cuts for a clean cut. If all goes well, with the patching and sanding, you’ll probably have a hard time seeing those seams anyways.
Along the bottom of the window, I installed a slightly narrower piece of lumber to rest directly beneath the sill; again, channeling the design of other windows in my home, it was both narrower and would not feature the corner trim, but would act as a sill anchor and make the window look really nicely finished.
The following morning, we installed the corner guard moulding along the top and sides of the window, patched the holes and seams with wood filler, and left it to dry. I think it’s looking pretty great.
I worked through the trim installation on the second, much smaller window that morning too. I followed the same process, except using slightly narrower boards to fit the smaller proportion (only 4″ wide, instead of 6″ as used on the bigger window), and followed through with a bead of caulk all around to prepare for painting.
Left alone for the day to allow the wood filler and caulk to dry, next I’ll be back with a tutorial on painting trim. I’m kind of intense when it comes to getting it right, especially when I’m dealing about knotty pine.
But for now, it’s amazing what new trim can do.
To read more stories about this renovation: