The “new” doors were one of the most commented on and asked about elements in the laundry room makeover.
And, subtle as their redo was, they really did deserve the attention!
Although I was hopeful dressing them up with a bit of trim would inject fresh character, I was genuinely surprised by the impact they actually have in the space. They were even the first thing my husband commented on when he saw the refreshed room; “Gee, doesn’t this moulding make a difference?”.
“Why, yes it does!”.
Great news is, it was a simple, affordable and relatively speedy project anyone can have a go at.
YOU WILL NEED…
I used 18mm/3/4″ pine moulding though you can use whatever you like. If you’re planning on painting it, then you can even opt for a cheaper material, such as MDF or PVC – if you can find it in the profile you like. Before you purchase your moulding, check the lengths for straightness and any imperfections. Some pieces can be quite warped or have cracks, dents and knot holes.
2 WOOD GLUE
Any strong wood glue is fine. I used PVA. Glue isn’t essential though does help provide a more secure and consistent bond.
3 FINISHING NAILS
These are simply fine nails with small bullet heads designed to sink into wood. They leave no surface sign of the nail itself though sometimes produce a little hole which requires filling. I used nails which were only around 5mm/.2″ longer then the depth of my moulding. You can use glue alone though the nails make the project speedier (as they provide instant grip) and help with creating a certain bond.
To patch any gaps, cracks or holes prior to painting. I used Selley’s ‘No More Gaps’ because that’s what I found in the shed.
I used bright white in a semi-gloss finish to co-ordinate with the near-by doors and architraves. Of course, you can use whatever you like.
MITRE SAW/HAND SAW & MITER BOX
For the purpose of this tutorial, I’m attaching the trim to a door in an adjoining room (as I didn’t take progress pics when I completed the doors in the laundry room).
For clarity, I’ll outline my exact process though keep in mind there are heaps of different moulding styles and application methods you could choose to use instead.
STEP 1 Determine the placement and dimensions of your moulding.
Measure your door, along with the handle position, then roughly draw it down on paper, including all of the dimensions.
NOT TO SCALE
Note: Check your door for squareness. Measure horizontally across both the top and bottom. Measure vertically along both the left and right sides. If you notice any major discrepancy, be sure to account for it when you’re working out the dimensions for your moulding or it may look a bit askew.
Next, establish where you’d like your moulding to be positioned. You can place it wherever you feel it will look best. It doesn’t need to be centered or symmetrical and you can use three or four or five or more “panels” – just keep in mind the more complex you make the design the more complex you make the measurements, plus there is then also more cutting involved. If you’re not confident visualising your design, use some masking tape (or a pencil) to mark out the approximate placement on the door first. Once you’re happy, measure where the moulding needs to sit on the door.
Add your moulding to the drawing of the door and use all of the measurements you’ve taken to work out the lengths for each piece of moulding.
Here’s my finished drawing…
NOT TO SCALE
So, based on my measurements, all of my horizontal mouldings need to be 64cm/25″ (80cm/31″ minus 16cm/6″). My vertical mouldings vary due to the fact the door handle isn’t centered. The upper verticals need to be 94cm/37″ (110cm/43″ minus 16cm/6″). The lower verticals need to be 74cm/29″ (90cm/35″ minus 16cm/6″).
STEP 2 Trim moulding to length.
With all of the dimensions determined, it’s time to break out the saw!
The moulding needs to be mitered (trimmed on a 45 degree angle). For this you can use a power miter saw or simply a miter box and hand saw.
First, trim one tip off your length of moulding at 45 degrees to give you a starting point.
Note: If your moulding has a stepped profile, like mine, pay attention to the direction it needs to sit on the door to ensure you are mitering it the right way. Don’t ask me why I know to double check this!
Next, from the longest point, measure out your required length and place a mark on the moulding where your next cut needs to be made.
Note: Because my moulding is so narrow, I didn’t bother drawing a guide line. I simply marked it with a dash. If your moulding is particularly wide, for greater accuracy you may want to use a combination square to draw a 45 degree trim line to follow.
Remember, the length for your moulding is from longest point to longest point.
Finally, using the opposite miter to that of the first cut, trim your moulding to size.
Here’s what a finished piece should look like…
Obviously, you want your piece of moulding to be accurately cut first go. However, if you’re not feeling super confident, err on the side of caution and go a tad bigger. You can always make another small cut if required. You can’t, however, add length if you happen to trim the moulding too short! And remember to account for the blade width.
Repeat this process until all of your pieces of moulding are cut to size. Check them for accuracy as you go.
To finish, if necessary, lightly sand the cut ends, being careful not to round the moulding too much.
Tip: Be mindful of the order in which you cut your pieces to best manage wastage. For example, rather than cut three 55cm/21″ pieces from a 2 meter/78″ length of moulding (thus resulting in 35cm/15″ of offcut), cut one 55cm/21″ piece and two 68cm/26″ pieces (resulting in just 9cm/5″ of offcut). Of course, these dimensions are just exemplary. It’s up to you to work out the best use of your moulding lengths based on your particular dimensions.
Tip: If you happen to run just short, you can piece together two offcuts to make up one whole piece. Simply cut them straight in the center then miter each end at the required length. When you attach them to the door, butt them neatly together and fill any gaps with caulk prior to painting.
STEP 3 Attach moulding to door.
Start with the top-most horizontal piece.
Based on your previously determined placement, measure down from the top and in from the edge of your door (8cm/3″ in my case) then mark that point with a pencil.
Excuse my filthy ruler! #liquidnailsisreallythatsticky
Tip: If you’re planning on adding the same moulding to multiple doors of the same size, make a template so you don’t need to measure each time.
Smear the rear of your moulding with a sparing amount of wood glue.
Line up your length of moulding with your mark, use a spirit level to help gauge its straightness, then tape it securely in position (at this point you can also measure to double check the position is 100% accurate, especially if your door is hanging a tad crooked like mine).
The piece of moulding looks a little wonky in the above pic, though it’s just the angle of the photo.
Hammer in three – five finishing nails along the length of the moulding then remove the tape. If necessary, wipe away excess glue and use a punch to countersink any proud nail heads.
Tip: I find it’s best to hammer in the central nail first. This allows you to swivel or manipulate the moulding if it happens to shift out of position.
One piece down!
With the first length now attached, you can use it as an “anchor” to easily complete your moulding.
First, at the approximate place the lower piece of moulding will sit, measure in from both edges of the door and mark with a pencil (again, 8cm/3″ in my case).
Smear the remaining three pieces of moulding with glue.
Next, starting with a vertical length, position it on the door using your pencil mark as a guide. Tape it in place temporarily.
Repeat with the second vertical length.
Again, it looks a little wonky, though it’s just the angle of the pic.
Finally, add the lower horizontal length. Make any small adjustments as required (use a spirit level or ruler if needed), then tape each piece securely in position.
Nail each piece of moulding to the door then remove the tape. If required, clean-up excess glue and countersink any nail heads.
Add the second “panel” using the same method as the first.
You can glimpse the finished laundry room double doors in the above pic on the left.
Note: You could use wood glue alone and forgo the nails. You would just need to leave the tape in place until it dries completely. Conversely, you could use nails alone and forgo the glue. I like to use both because the nails provide instant and certain grip and the glue helps with a more secure and consistent bond. It’s really up to you.
STEP 4 Caulk and paint.
Once your door moulding is complete, fill any gaps or nail head holes with caulk, allow to dry then paint as desired.
As mentioned in the ‘Supplies’ section, I freshened my door up with a few coats of bright white in a semi-gloss finish to co-ordinate with the near-by doors and architraves. Another easy and popular option is to use a spray painting company to spray your entire house to match: walls, window frames, and interior and exterior doors.
STEP 5 Done!
There is just something so satisfying about dressing-up a boring door with some trim!
And for only $14 per door, and around an hour of time, it’s sooooo totally worth it.
The amount of character the moulding adds is amazing. It really gives the whole room, not just the doors themselves, a huge personality boost. Love it!
Anyhoo, I hope my ridiculously OTT tutorial encourages a few of you to give it a go too :)
Sorry it took me a while to get this how-to together. I wanted to make the post as thorough and clear as possible.
I’ll be back as soon as I can to share the tutorial for the little barn doors!
You can find the laundry room refresh and all of the related projects here.