Door Casing Installation: 3 Tips Door Casing Installation: 3 Tips

What You'll Need
Tape measure
Miter Saw
Nail Set
Finish Nail Gun
5 1 Painter's Tool

If you want to install door casing like a pro you don’t need to spend years as an apprentice carpenter to learn the tricks of the trade. By following these simple tips you can complete this project with fantastic results.

Tip 1 – Making Precise Cuts

The key to a great looking door casing installation is making precise and accurate cuts with your miter saw. It’s ideal to use a power miter saw, especially if you’re making many cuts, but you can use a hand-powered miter box as well. Measure the first leg of the door jamb and make the miter cut. Then measure the other leg and make the miter cut. To ensure that your molding looks symmetrical around the door frame use the header of the door frame as a bench mark. This will ensure that your 45° angles at each leg of casing will be even. After you’ve installed the legs straight and plumb it’s just a matter of measuring the distance between the bottoms of each 45° angle and cutting the last piece of casing. By following these steps you’ll end up with a tight miter joint at each corner of the door.

Tip 2 – Fastening the Casing

The ideal way to fasten the door casing to the frame is using a pneumatic finish nail gun equipped with 2 inch finish nails. Using a nail gun will not only give you the best looking installation, but it will also allow you to complete the job much quicker. When using a nail gun, make sure the depth gauge is adjusted to the proper setting so the nail head is completely recessed into the casing. You can use the hammer and nail set to finish off any nail heads that remain exposed in the casing. If you’re going to use a hammer for all the fastening of the casing you’ll need to drill pilot holes. A 1/8 inch pilot hole should be sufficient and will prevent the casing from splitting.

Tip 3 – Finish the Installation

There are many variables that can make your door casing installation less than desirable. You can compensate for an uneven finished floor by taking separate measurements for each leg and using the door frame header as a bench mark. In cases where the drywall is uneven around the door frame you could use the 5-in-1 painter’s tool to make the miter flush. Simply slide the tool behind the miter joint and gently pry it away from the wall. You’ll notice that the both sides of the miter joint will become flush as you apply more pressure to lift if off the uneven drywall. Once you’ve got the miter joint flush and even, install a nail through the side of the casing at the miter to hold the joint together. Then use painter’s caulk to fill in the gap between the casing and the drywall.

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