Door Casing: How to Add a Decorative Door Header

What You'll Need
Decorative Door Molding
Construction Adhesive
Tape Measure
Skill Saw
Air Nailer
2-inch Finish Nails
Wood Putty
Foam Brush

When placing molding around your door, add a decorative touch to your door header so that it adds some style and elegance to your room. Among options for this type of look are plain pieces, crown molding, bar sink molding and decorative squares that can be shaped with any type of decoration in the center. Adding these decorative pieces is an easy project that any do-it-yourselfer can do with little problems. 

Step 1: Measure Door Header

When applying molding to your door casing, you want to make sure that you have a plan in place. Some people will extend the side moldings up past the door header, cutting down the amount of wood you are going to need. However, the best way to add decorative molding to your door header is to start with the header first and then add the side pieces. Measure across the header, adding the width of the trim pieces you will have on the side. On a regular door that is 32 inches wide, another 4 inches for the trim will give you a 36 inch measurement. 

Step 2: Purchase Door Trim

With your measurements in hand, you will need to go to the home center and purchase the wood for your door header trim molding. Choose the type of wood that will coincide with the rest of the trim pieces. This should be a 1x4-inch piece of lumber. For a decorative touch, also purchase two 4x4-inch blocks with a design in the middle.

Step 3: Cut Trim to Size

With a skill saw, cut your trim piece to the 32 inch length. You could also have this done at the home center if you do not have a saw of your own. 

Step 4: Place Middle Piece First

Since this is going to be a three-piece molding project (two decorative pieces plus the middle board), you will need to start by laying them out above the header. Mark where each one will set to make sure that you do not get your middle board too far over one way of the other. Place some construction adhesive to the back of the trim, and press it over the door header. 

Step 5: Attach End Pieces

Once you have the middle piece in position, you can then set the two end pieces. Apply construction adhesive to the back, and press them into place. 

Step 6: Secure with Finish Nails

If everything looks good with the alignment of your trim pieces, you can then secure them with finish nails. 

Step 7: Putty and Stain

The finish nails are going to leave small holes in the wood of your door trim. To get rid of them and prepare them for your stain, you should use wood putty to fill in the holes. Press a small amount into the nail hole, and then sand them smooth when it dries. With a foam brush, apply the stain of your choice until it is the color that you want.