Hidden Gem # 4 – Framework

Happy Friday ya’all!  Hope you’ve had an awesome week!  We uncovered another Hidden Gem this week at the 17th Street Project and wanted to share it with you.  It’s another low budget, minimal material, easy-on-the-effort project that is something that anyone could tackle in a weekend!  This week’s Gem is what I’m calling, “framework”.  It’s applicable to anyone that might have an older home with zero framing around the windows (17th Street!) or a home with ugly and/or missing door frames (17th Street!) or anyone who would like to add some grandeur and a more substantial statement by upgrading their window/door trim.  

In our case, we actually had two problems that we needed to solve for —missing trim that undoubtedly got thrown away during demo day (if it existed at all) and an issue with our new drywall not being flush with the existing door and window casings.  Our solution was probably not novel, but it definitely was easy and inexpensive! 

For this project you will need: 

  • Door and or window frame trim or casing (also referred to as moulding or millwork) 
  • Miter saw or Kobalt Compact Bevel Sliding Compound Corded Miter Saw 
  • Brad nails (we used 18 gauge, 1 ½ inch- but 2 inch may have worked better)
  • Pneumatic Air Brad Nailer (like this or you could use a hammer and nails, but why would you when you can use a fun power tool instead?!?) 
  • Caulk
  • Paint
  • Tape Measure, Pencil and a Speed Square 

There is a vast array of trim options available at your local home improvement store. The options range from very inexpensive to significantly more expensive depending on the design and size that you choose. For our project, we opted for a lesser expensive option that would still make an impact since we are flipping this house and are looking to control our costs.  

 Here’s the Gem of Wisdom that can help make your trim selection look more expensive and more substantial: add additional, cheaper trim!  Again, it may not be revolutionary, but it was an easy solution that was inexpensive, worked well and made our trim look a little more luxurious.  In our case, we needed to fill a half inch gap between our door frame casing and the drywall and determined that a piece of ¾” half round wall trim would fit perfectly into our space, take up the depth that we needed and seamlessly connect with our additional door trim.  For about $.68 a foot, half round moulding can add extra “oomph” to your framework.

To install these frames, working from the inside out, you’ll need to measure your inside corners to determine the length of your trim so that you can cut your 45° angles.  We started with our half round, measured it to fit, measured it again, cut it and installed it.  If you are new to DIY fun, ALWAYS remember to measure twice and cut once!  For these types of projects, it’s always better to cut your lengths a little longer than shorter – ask me how I know.  Sigh.  Anyway, once the half round was up, we moved onto the outer frame and followed the same process. 

When your frames are up, you will likely have gaps between your trim, the wall and the existing frame.  Don’t freak out – it’s totally normal and can easily be eliminated with caulking.  Caulking is what makes a woodworking job look finished and flawless.  To add the caulk, you’ll run a bead over the gap/seam and then follow with your finger to smooth it out.  Wipe off any excess with Clorox wipes —it’s a game changer and will make the project much easier.  In addition to the gaps, you will also have nail holes that need filled.  You can use wood filler, but I find that caulk works just as well or better and you already have it out, so win win!  

Once all of your holes and gaps are filled in, it’s time to paint.  We used Sherwin Williams semi-gloss in extra white, but it could be really beautiful to do your trim in black or another unexpected color as well.    

And voila!  Another Hidden Gem uncovered for a few dollars, a little bit of effort and some time.  Check out the video (IMG_6350) to see how this project came together for us.  Special shout out to our oldest son, Blake, for editing it for us – he did a great job, but the terrible camera work is my fault, I’m still learning!  

 If you get inspired and upgrade your trim, drop your pictures below – we’d love to see it!  

Thanks for checking in,