We did it! We finally finished replacing the trim in our upstairs hallway. We even replaced the trim in the master bedroom too. We started this project back in May when we bought and installed new doors (read more about that here). We spent most of the summer painting those doors, and door jambs, and we finally got to the trim this October. That’s seven doors, plus two closet doors, a hallway, and one bedroom, and it took five whole months. That’s the downside of DIY.
But the upside is apparent in the after pictures, and it’s won us over. We feel empowered to take on just about any house project after this.
Once we were able to block out a couple Saturdays to focus on it, it went pretty fast. We learned a lot about getting our mitered corners to match—fortunately paintable caulk is pretty forgiving at camouflaging our first few attempts where there are slight gaps. By the time we were on our fourth and fifth door, we felt like old pros. So, yeah, there are three door casings that are just so-so, but you really can’t tell if you aren’t looking for it.
The baseboards went up fairly easily, but none of it was exactly what I’d call easy. At the back of the hall, we have an angled wall. We bought an angle finder at Home Depot, so we knew we were working with a 132 degree angle, but it didn’t exactly help these two liberal arts majors know how to set our saw to get the angles to meet up just right. With trail and error–and caulk–we got it to look pretty good. But I can’t offer advice on that score.
We bought a pack of casing and a pack of baseboards from Home Depot. One pack is almost enough to do our whole upstairs. I think each pack was in the eighty dollar range. Then we gave everything two coats of paint before we cut it to size.
While we waited for pieces to dry, we removed the old casing from the hallway. We used a utility knife to cut through old paint. Then we loosened the trim with a flat head screw driver. We used an old piece of wood to absorb pressure from the screw driver and give us something to leverage the screw driver against. I found Brittany’s post at Pretty Handy Girl to be very helpful.
Once we had had the trim on, then we went back and painted and caulked the door jambs. I won’t do it in the same order when we tackle the downstairs—painting the jambs last felt like backtracking and slowed us down. We have two more bedrooms to go before we tackle the downstairs. And I’m hoping to share the streamlined process with you before another five months goes by.
Right now the trim looks pristine. Now vacuum scuffs, no finger prints, no shoe marks—it won’t last. But it’s beautiful while it does.
Here’s the picture of what it used to look like. Sorry for the blurriness of this picture. I struggle to get a clear picture with my point and shoot without natural light, but I think I was just rushing to get started with this one.
And here’s what it looks like now.
We are so happy with how it turned out. It wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t as hard as we feared it would be either. We’re so glad we did it.