Tuesday, January 28, 2014

DIY: Door Moulding Replacement

In order for this story to make any sense, I first need to give you just a little information.  When my parents and my sister were living with us, their dogs were allowed only in the family room and the kitchen area, and very rarely ever were allowed in the other side of the house, which is where the first floor bedrooms and the large living room are. So, at night, the dogs would be all alone in that space until someone woke up to go let them out and feed them.  Just before my parents moved out of our house, one of my sister's dogs decided that because my mom and my sister accidentally slept past 7:30am, which was normally breakfast time, that he was going to show us all how hungry he was.  So, you ask - what did he eat? Well, he ate the door moulding.

Now, while this may seem like a strange thing to decide to eat, whereas most dogs would probably go for a pillow or a pair of sneakers, at least he ate the door frame that was by the door that leads to the bedrooms, so he was making a point.

Anyways, just before they moved out, my dad ordered a new piece of moulding to replace the one that was chewed, and repaired the part of the interior frame that was chewed as well.  When all of the contractors were working at their new house, they asked to use the miter saw to make the cut, and my dad just used the old piece of moulding as a guide, so no measurements were needed.

They then returned the moulding to me and I put it in the spare bedroom until this past week, where I finally installed it.  This was my first attempt at installing moulding, but I have to say, it was easier than I thought. Granted, I wasn't making the moulding from scratch or trying to put up all of the trim pieces, but it was still new to me.

Earlier last week, I bought some finishing nails at the hardware store to nail into place.  This project would have been much easier to do with a nail gun, but I don't recommend buying one unless you will use it for a significant amount of trim work or other projects, because while it may have taken a bit of time without one, it wasn't enough to justify the purchase of it specifically for this project.  I must say, however, that I am contemplating the purchase of one now for some of the other projects that I have planned for the house.  :)

But enough with all the blabber, let's get to the steps I took, shall we?

First, you'll notice that the trim has been off for a while, so I ended up painting into the spot where the trim is, but that's really actually a good thing, because that means that I won't need to break out the gray paint again after the install.  So, I made note of where some of the nail holes were that were used with the old trim, that way I wasn't nailing the trim into the existing holes and I was making new stronger holes. Also, since there is a pretty significant gap between the sheet of drywall and the rest of the door moulding, I wanted to make a mental note of that too so that I don't try to put a nail into the trim and then attach it to the space between. That wouldn't be too much help in securing the piece of trim to the wall.  

The other thing that I needed to do before I put the trim up on the wall was to make sure that it would line up properly with the nail that will attach it to the top piece of moulding.  Since the existing nail actually split the top moulding, I was stuck with using it's existing hole, so I needed to make sure that when I attached the new piece, that the nail wasn't going to go through the board, while at the same time, make sure that it would hold the two pieces together correctly, with as little gap as possible.  

Finally, it was time to put a nail in the moulding.  Using my foot to push the bottom towards the wall, and my hands to line up the top, I placed the board in place, and then hammered in the first nail, right in the middle of the board, but hugging the left side of the moulding so I could make sure it would go into the drywall and not into the empty space.  I chose to put a nail in the middle first that way I could still twist the moulding if I needed it to match up a little bit more at the top.  I tried to take a picture of this process, but as you know, my camera is having some issues, so I ended up looking like a giant blurry blob and the only thing in focus was the right side of the door.  

Anyways, following that first nail, I then made sure the angle matched up with the angle of the top piece of moulding, and then hammered a nail into the top, making sure it wouldn't interfere with the nail that would attach the two pieces together.  After that, it was just time to put in the rest of the nails, with the help from a handsome kitty cat, who was very interested at what was going on, but promptly ran away as soon as he heard the hammer banging on the wall.  

Following an alternating pattern, I hammered in the rest of the nails, so one on the left, then one on the right about 10" higher or lower, depending on the direction you are going.

After putting in the nails, I realized that I didn't have a Nail Set tool, which is the tool that is typically used to countersink the heads of the nails.  But, I got creative, and instead, I used a star-bit that was just smaller than the head of the nails so that I wouldn't mark up the moulding any more than the nails already had.  So, don't feel the need to buy one of those tools if you don't have one, especially if you will only have one project to use it on.  

And with just a few taps of this star-bit on the head of each nail, they were pushed just slightly further into the moulding so they could be caulked and painted over.  

So with that, I pulled out my trim caulk, which actually dries clear, but shiny, and ran a bead along all the seams of the moulding. The caulk dries enough to paint within an hour, but I have yet to pull out my trim paint and get to work.  But, for now, at least the trim is back up and we aren't staring at a rough looking door frame anymore.  It's possible though, that I will break out the paint brush and trim paint tonight, since I'm tired of the nails showing through and the wood putty down at the bottom of the interior door frame from where the dog chewed it.  

I am happy that I got to practice with this little project, and it was much easier than I anticipated.  It was good to learn the steps, since I have plans to mimic the chair rail and wainscoting that is in the hallway for the living/dining room.  

Have you had the need to replace your door moulding before? Have you ever installed an entirely new set of moulding?  What problems did you end up with? 

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