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Repairing window trim in an old home

Updated on December 13, 2008

This window had a very damaged trim from past tenants installing blinds and curtains using screws and nails. I took the old trim off and found the sill to be damaged as well. I cut the sill even with the wall with my reciprocating saw and added a 2x2 with predrilled holes and counter sank the screws.

The 2x2 which I added was made 1/2 inch longer than the width of the trim I was going to install. I cut the two vertical pieces and installed two finishing nails to hold them in place.

I always use a miter box to cut trim so that each cut is square. The saw that you see is a fine tooth saw so that it does not rip the wood and cause large tears in the wood. After each cut, I always take a sanding sponge to the newly cut piece to remove any fibers and keep the wood smooth. This allows the wood to fit together nicer.

Now I cut the top piece to fit and found it to be just a little bit too big. I never nailed it on yet so I took it back out to the bench, clamped it down, placed my belt sander on it at the right angle. I only sanded a little bit off of it before setting it back up on top. Now it fit alot better so I put the finishing nails in it.

Once I had the three pieces nailed in, being sure to not hit the trim with the hammer, I used a punch to drive the finishing nails in flush with the wood.

I know that you can see that the trim here did not match up exactly as I wanted it to.  The reason behind this is that the old window is not level so what I needed to do was to use a hard filler to fill and level the crack.  Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture of it.  I can tell you that it is finished very well and the new trim will hold up for years to come.  In these older rental units, I usually paint the trim the same colour as the walls unless it is in the kitchen or living room.  This window was in a bedroom.  If I was doing a kitchen or living room trim, I would have painted it the trim colour first with two coats then cut it and touch up later.  This saves time cutting in with the brush later on.  

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