Installing wood door trim yourself can be fun and satisfying and can leave you with a beautifully finished and well decorated door. Like any project you undertake there will be ups and downs, but here are a few things to take into consideration and also a few pitfalls to avoid when installing your wood door trim.
1. Buy Extra Trim
The first step in installing wood door trim will be to measure the lengths of the pieces you will need and choose the style and design of the wood door trim you will be installing. Use your measuring tape to get the height and width of your door frame. Remember when measuring that the outside edges of the wood door trim will need to meet. You will be cutting the edges of the molding at the top two corners of the door at 45-degree angles in order to make a 90-degree turn. You will need to measure the length of your trim to the longest part of the 45-degree angle. Once you have this measurement add 10 percent to the length in order to account for any mistakes or mishaps.
2. Apply the Finish First
A common mistake that is made when installing wood door trim yourself is attaching the trim to the frame and then finishing it. This can get messy and will leave certain portions near seams and walls looking sloppy or incomplete. It is best to purchase and apply whatever finish you choose for your wood door trim once you have the pieces cut but before you assemble and install them.
3. Avoid Splices
Make sure when purchasing the trim for your door that you get single pieces for each side and the top of the door without having breaks or points where you have to splice different pieces of trim together. Places where wood door trim must be spliced together can often warp and appear unprofessional.
4. Don’t Work Over Your Head
For working in high areas especially at the top of tall doors it is best not to work over your head. Also make sure whatever you use to lift yourself to the appropriate height is a safe platform to stand on. For instance you can use a short step ladder or even a sturdy board laid across two saw horses to bring you to the level of work you are doing. This will avoid undue stress and fatigue on your back, shoulders and arms. Standing on a chair is often tempting but can be dangerous and is not recommended.
5. Save the Most Visible Part for Last
As you install your wooden door trim start from the bottom where mistakes are easily covered and not extremely visible. On any wood working project it is advisable, when possible, to start your work where the mistakes will be most hidden and save the most visible part of the work for last when you have gained experience and expertise.