Emily Winters: Bathroom Renovation, Days 15-16

Time to get down and do some of this almighty window trim that I’ve been stalling on. I’ve put it off for far too long, and really, I should have known better.

It’s really, really hard to get back into the swing of trimwork once you take your eyes off the prize (and unplug the double-bevel miter saw for the first time in 2 months), but I that’s just what I did after finishing the door and baseboard trim: Ignored the windows and moved onward with more exciting and utilitarianesque things, like toilet and vanity installations.

Installing window trim in the bathroom.

Rip-raring ready to go after a multi-week delay, I’m here today to show you how I made custom window trim that matches, flows, and dare I say it, almost makes my bathroom a finished work of DIY-art.

Keep on reading to learn about my technique, how I make the most of materials, and how those updated windows really turned out.

Updating the trim around your windows doesn’t have to be hard. In many more homes, you’ll find it as easy as buying simple, pre-routed and pre-finished yardage that you can pop up with your eyes closed (not actually, we don’t encourage blind trim installation). In my home, I was working diligently to match the design of the window sill and trim to what already ran through the rest of the house, which was a wider board construction, wrapped with pine corner guard moulding.

We were starting construction later in the evening, which is why this little DIY project took two whopping days instead of what could have been one caffeine-charged afternoon. Fortunately, I had removed the trim and filled in gaps with spray foam way back on Day 9, so I had saved myself a little bit of time upfront.

Our blank slate for window trim installation.

The first piece that I installed was a window sill. Because the window trim itself will have to rest against it flush, it’s imperative that it’s in place, routed, level, and securely installed before you proceed with the rest of the window trim. We used plenty  1-3/4″ nails and a dab of wood glue beneath it to secure it in place.

Our board for this sill extended an extra 7.5″ on either side of the window to allow the wide 6″ trim boards to meet up with it nicely. It’s not shown attached in this next photo, but know that it did slide in to fit against both the window and the wall very nicely.

Installing a window sill.

Side note: I decided to use some scrap shiplap from one of my previous paneling installations to save a few dollars on lumber, that’s why what you see above is stained already. I’ll be painting over it in a future post. As for those shiplap projects, you can see them here, here, and here.

From there, the installation of the wide trim can be done pretty simply. Like with the door frame, we started by installing the vertical pieces of pine board along the sides, and followed up with a single piece cut perfectly to length along the top. For this larger window, I chose 6″ boards, and had prepared myself to work efficiently with very little scrap by carefully measuring for what I needed, getting boards of assorted lengths but getting multiple cuts from each board. I’m scrappy like that. Lap jointing these pieces actually matches the rest of the trim in the house, otherwise I might have been inclined to create 45-degree mitered cuts for a clean look. If all goes well with the patching and sanding, you’ll probably have a hard time seeing those seams anyways. Thanks to Pete for holding that pose while I snapped photos in poor evening light.

Installing the window trim.

Along the bottom of the window, I installed a slightly narrower piece of lumber to rest directly beneath the sill; again, channeling the design of other windows in my home, it was both narrower and would not feature the corner trim, but would act as a sill anchor and make the window look really nicely finished.

Window trim, installed (but unpainted).

The following morning, we installed the corner guard moulding along the top and sides of the window, patched the holes and seams with wood filler, and left it to dry. I think it’s looking pretty great.

Window trim installed but not painted.

I worked through the trim installation on the second, much smaller window that morning too. I followed the same process, except using slightly narrower boards to fit the smaller proportion (only 4″ wide, instead of 6″ as used on the bigger window), and followed through with a bead of caulk all around to prepare for painting.

Smaller window trim installed.

Left alone for the day to allow the wood filler and caulk to dry, I’ll be back next week with a tutorial on painting trim. I’m kind of intense when it comes to getting it right, especially when I’m dealing with knotty pine!

Caulked and patched window trim.

But for now, it’s amazing what a new little trim will do.

Pretty finished window trim!

Catching the home improvement bug at an early age, Emily Winters is a now a devoted DIYer living in Rochester, NY. The projects she covers on her blog Merrypad range from painting a wall to building a deck, so it’s only natural she landed at DIYNetwork.com. You can follow Emily on twitter at @merrypad and like her on facebook at facebook.com/merrypad.

18 Responses

  1. windowtrim.net says:

    Great post Emily. Your remodel looks great! I just wanted to add that when installing window trim, use a small punch on the nails to push them into the wood and use putty or caulk to fill the recess for a smooth finish.

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  13. Nancy says:

    That looks Great!

  14. Rochelle says:

    <img src=http://i1069.photobucket.com/albums/u476/marry38382/1.jpg>
    Ha,Awesome I think it's great
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    love the look!

  16. Nadine Garwitz says:

    I'm interesting in what you mean by adding the 'corner guard molding' all around the window. Did you make the molding yourself?….or, did you purchase it at the lumber center?
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About Emily Fazio 


I caught the home improvement bug at an early age, and now I'm a full-time DIYer living in Rochester, NY. The projects I cover on my blog Merrypad range ...

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