The Best Laid Plans: DIYing Your Way Through Window Trim

By The Old House Web

"Really, how hard can it be?"

Can I tell you just how many of my hey-this-will-only-take-a-weekend-and-by-that-I-mean-three-months projects have started out that way? On second thought, let's not start talking numbers or I'm going to develop a twitch in my right eye. Suffice it to say, enough.

And because in the process of "renovating" our old country house (read: tearing down most of the walls and rebuilding them) we've been stupidly optimistic ambitious enough to DIY wherever possible, a little old thing like window trim seemed easy enough to tackle. I mean really, how hard can it be?

Here's the truth and okay granted, I occasionally take on larger projects than is absolutely reasonable for a five-foot-tall person who also has a full-time job, but of all the projects you could go crazy and DIY, window trim isn't a bad one to put on the list.

It's not structural. It's not overly complicated. It doesn't require things like dovetail jigs or operating heavy equipment although admit it, it would be more fun if it did.

In fact, it only has two things going against it as far as being a prime DIY project...

1. If you're keeping in tradition with an old home (and you know I am even though most of the walls are new) you're going to go with wood trim. There are almost no tutorials about installing wood trim on windows on the Internet. (But lucky you, I wrote one, which you can check out here on DIYdiva.net)

2. You're going to need a partner. Ugh. Teamwork. The bane of my DIY existence. It's called doing it yourself, people, not doing it by consensus. But occasionally projects come around that require more than one person, and the trick to surviving these things is to understand that it will take you just as long to do the first window as it will to do all the rest put together. Because you have to figure out your order of operations, who holds what end of the tape measure, and which one of you has to climb up the ladder 119 times. And after four frustrating hours, you'll have two windows done, your routine down, and you'll be able to crank them out in twenty minutes.


Or, some kind hearted person could have forfeited most of their dignity by filming themselves at the peak of their window-trimming prowess, so you can skip all that "honey, go up there and hold the board" discussion and just get right down to business.

You’re welcome.

And seriously, if you're going to be trimming windows any time soon, check out my how-to article. I'll see you again soon when the rest of my dignity goes out the window and I show you how the cedar siding gets installed.

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