Perfect Trim on Doors, Windows and Base Moldings

Perfect Trim on Doors, Windows and Base Moldings

Tricks for getting tight-fitting joints on door and window casings and on base moldings.

FH02NOV_PETRIM_01-2 door molding

Family Handyman

These DIY tips will help you get tight-fitting joints on doors, windows and base moldings, even if your walls are less than perfective. We ‘ll show you how to adjust your cuts so the trim fits together on out-of-square corners and wavy walls. Get out your miter proverb and follow these steps, and you ‘ll end up with professional looking trim every time.

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Time
A full day
Complexity
Intermediate
Cost
$51–100

Tricks for tight-fitting joints

trim molding

Base trim molding, outside corner trim pieces

A tight-fitting outside recess on free-base determine

Base molding, inside corner

A tight-fitting inside corner on base shape

Window casing

Perfect trim on a window casedoor trim molding

Wood door trim casing

A tight-fitting roast on door case
Miters rarely fit on the first try and for good reason. Corners are out of square, walls aren ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate plumb and wallboard has bumps .
The secret to tight-fitting joints is knowing how to adjust the cuts to make them conform to all these cockamamie conditions. In this article, we ’ ll show you a bunch of tricks you can use to cut forest door pare determine and window case and baseboard joints to fit absolutely, even when you have less than arrant walls and jambs .

Shaving technique for tough corners

Photo 1: Shim the piece being cut

close a gap on the peak of a miter joint by placing a skinny ( 1/16-in. or less ) shim against the assign of the fence farthest from the blade. Slide the trim mold rigorous to the shim and against the fence near the blade. Hold it in this place while you make the dilute. Caution : Keep your fingers at least 6 in. from the path of the blade .

Photo 2: Shim the second piece too

Trim the other half of the miter using the lapp proficiency. Use the same shim and place it the same distance from the blade. Drop the sword lento through the wood to shave thinly slices .
How many times have you set your miter joint box precisely on 45 degrees and cut miters on a pair of moldings merely to discover they don ’ t fit ? Well, don ’ thyroxine worry. There ’ south nothing wrong with your miter box or your technique. Miters about constantly have to be shaved to fit absolutely .
One method is to just adjust the slant slenderly on your miter joint box and recut both moldings. The trouble is that making bantam adjustments to the cutting angle is difficult on many office miter boxes. A flying and easier method is to place a shim against the miter saw wall to slenderly change the slant. Move the shim away from the blade for smaller adjustments and closer for larger ones, or vary the thickness of the shim. Remember, both pieces need the demand same cut to fit precisely .

Tools for Perfect Trim

even the best carpenter can ’ thyroxine cut a tight-fitting joint with a dull meet blade. Invest in a good carbide shave blade for your power miter box. Read the tag on the package and choose a blade designed for cross-cutting pare molding on a office miter box. A thin-kerf 60-tooth blade will make even the least expensive miter box perform like a champion .
besides rent or buy a might trimming nailer and compressor. It ’ randomness much easier to get capital results when you can hold the molding in place with one handwriting and drive the nails with the other .

Tight miters on recessed jambs

door trim

Photo 1: Cut a shim to size

Cut a shim just dense adequate to slip under a straightedge spanning the wallboard corner. Use this shim to elevate the outside border of your trim molding ( Photo 3 ) before cutting it .door trim

Photo 2: Cut back the drywall

Trim back the wallboard with a sharp utility tongue until the trim model no farseeing rocks when it ’ sulfur set in position against the jamb and wallboard. Use a forge to mash and flatten the wallboard if necessary .

Detail of shim under the molding

Lift the outside edge of the molding up with the shim .wood door trim corner trim pieces

Photo 3: Cut the miter

Cut the 45-degree miter on the mold. Repeat the shimming and cutting process for the reverse miter.

occasionally you ’ ll run into a door or windowpane frame that for whatever argue international relations and security network ’ t quite flush with the wall. The best solution is to fix the jamb by planing it off if it protrudes or, if it ’ sulfur recessed, adding flimsy strips, called jamb extensions. But this international relations and security network ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate constantly possible .
If the jamb is only slenderly recessed and adding jamb extensions would be unsightly, there ’ s another solution. First remove enough wallboard so the shipshape can span the jamb and wall without rocking ( Photo 2 ). This solves half the problem. But evening immediately a regular 45-degree miter won ’ thyroxine meet because the modeling has to tilt down to meet the jamb. Correct this problem by tilting the pare on the go to bed of the miter box to match the slant at which it rests against the wall .
then make criterion 45-degree miter cuts. Photo 1 shows how to determine the correct thickness for the shim used in Photo 3 to tilt the trim determine .

Coping tall base

Photo 1: Cut a bevel in the baseboard

Cut a 45-degree bevel on the baseboard firearm to be coped. This 12-in. compound miter joint saw allows us to cut up to 8-in. wide baseboards .

Photo 2: Flip the base over and make another cut

Turn the mitered baseboard top depressed in the miter box. Adjust the angle to about 15 degrees and saw down along the straight section of the bevel cut. Keep the blade slenderly to the away of the line. Let the blade intercept before lifting it from the reduce .

Photo 3: Cut the profile with a coping saw

watch out the remaining profile section with a cope see. Tilt the examine to at least a 30-degree angle to create a back bevel for easier meet .
Coping rather than mitering at heart corners is the best method acting to fit baseboards. But on tall baseboards, cutting the long true section of the cope with a hook proverb is difficult, and the cut is normally wavy. rather, start the cope as common ( Photo 1 ). then tip the mold top down in the miter box and saw straight down to the profile section. ultimately, complete the cope by sawing out the profile ( Photo 3 ) .

Easier adjustments for inside corners

wall corner trim

Photo 1: Test fit the wall corner trim

Check the fit against the square-cut patch of the 7base before nailing either. The straight sections rarely fit absolutely .square molding

Photo 2: Fix a gap at the bottom

close a col at the bottom by removing the square molding infrastructure and driving a wallboard screw into the wall about 1/2 in. from the floor. Test the cope and adjust the screw in or out until the cope fits nasty .

Photo 3: Fix a gap at the top

close a opening at the top by scribing the gap with a small compass to mark the wood to be removed. then file or plane to the credit line .
Floors that are out of degree can cause even absolutely coped inside corners to look dirty. Check the fit of your cope before you nail in either base mold. That way you ’ ll still have the option to shim out the bottom of the square-cut ( uncoped ) piece to close a gap at the bottom of the header ( Photo 2 ). Photo 3 shows marking a cope that ’ sulfur outdoors at the exceed. You then file or plane to the line .

Overcut outside corners

Photo 1: Use a knife to mark outside corners

Mark outside corners with a acute utility knife. Repeat the grade process on the opposition baseboard. Cut 45-1/2 academic degree angles on both boards, leaving each an extra 1/8 in. farseeing .

Photo 2: Test fit the corner trim pieces

Hold the boards in seat to check the fit. If the miter is open on the front, increase the cutting slant to about 46 degrees and recut both sides. Be careful to remove only a hair ’ second width from each board. Reduce the lean if the cut is afford at the back. When the lean is correct, recut each board just to the outside of the marks before nailing them into place .
Getting outside corners to fit close is trickier than it looks. The key is to make accurate marks with the baseboard in place rather than relying on measurements. And then cut the part a little long so you silent have the choice to shave a short from the slant if it doesn ’ metric ton match. Since gaps on the back side of the corner are scantily noticeable, while gaps on the front are glaring, it ’ s a good idea to start by cutting slightly steeper 45-1/2 academic degree angles first. then if there ’ mho still a opening in the front, cut a slenderly steep slant on both pieces .
You ’ ll need a compound miter saw or sliding compound miter saw to easily cut tight-fitting miters on a wide baseboard .

Mitered returns

Photo 1: Complete the cut with a knife

Cut the slant for a small miter render on your miter joint see, but don ’ t wholly cut if off from the spare banal. Rather, cut through the remaining paring of woodwind with a utility knife .

Photo 2: Attach the return with glue

Glue the miter reelect in seat with a fast-acting cyanoacrylate glue formulated for wood ( Krazy Glue is one mark ).

tax return miters are an elegant way to finish the end of moldings. But cutting the small revert can be catchy. The bantam miter pieces of molding tend to catch on the spin blade and launch into distance. Photos 1 and 2 below show one solution .

Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY doorway molding plan lined up before you start—you ’ ll save fourth dimension and frustration .

  • Air compressor
  • Air hose
  • Brad nail gun
  • Combination square
  • Coping saw
  • Dust mask
  • Hearing protection
  • Miter saw
  • Safety glasses
  • Utility knife

Required Materials for this door molding Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. here ’ s a list .

  • Glue
  • Molding
  • Shims
  • Trim

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