Tag Archives: trim

Trimming nostalgia

Salvaging, reusing, and repurposing materials can be hard work. That holds true for our effort in saving the 100+ year old original quarter sawn oak trim, restoring it to its natural beauty, and putting it back up.

But the moment when you step back and look at the finished product, you know it was worth it. Not only because we were resource efficient, or because you couldn’t buy that quality of trim anymore, but also because it adds a unique character to the building. This Victorian style trim fits this 1902 building like a glove. This trim has seen history—112 years of history. And it carries it proudly.

With that said, I felt a little bit of melancholy when Drew and I got ready to put up the last restored pieces we had saved for the half bath and kitchen back door.

Because the kitchen back door is an exterior door, we had to recreate the interior door buck, which came into existence with the added interior insulation. We also added some steel reinforcement around the strike plate. That will make it very difficult to break the door in.

That concludes our adventure around salvaging and restoring trim – for the 1st floor. And right now I would like to enjoy the fruit of this labor of love, and not think about the 2nd floor trim that is waiting for us.

Related posts:

Architrave installation

Window trim installation

Bathroom door trim

Lacquering what I like

Paint removal – Part 8: Sustained sanding

Paint removal – Part 7: Vertical trim

Paint removal – Part 5: Battling baseboards

Salvaging casings and trims

An expensive gap – or not?

Insulation update

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Architrave installation

Restoring the architraves with what we had salvaged plus some replacement trim was a full success. After we sanded and lacquered the restored pieces it was time think about installation.

We had taken care of the trim around the windows and doors. Placing the architraves on top was straight forward.

I determined the location of the framing header above the door or window, pre-drilled the architrave, and attached it with two long finishing screws. A little bit of wood putty over the countersunk finishing screws, and you couldn’t tell where I attached the architrave.

Getting to this point – i.e. dealing with all the paint removal and refinishing – was tedious in parts. But the reward came once we could step back and look at the end product. Installing the trim and architraves ranks among my favorite tasks.

Furthermore, we now can put our work on the architrave restoration to the test: Is it possible to tell the difference between original and restored? And if so, when?

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It turns out that one has to step up close to see the difference. But on first sight, they all look the same. Do I need to say that we are very happy with the outcome?

Related posts:

Architrave restoration

Window trim installation

Bathroom door trim

Lacquering what I like

Paint removal – Part 8: Sustained sanding

Paint removal – Part 7: Vertical trim

The race downstairs

Paint removal – Part 5: Battling baseboards

Salvaging casings and trims

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Architrave restoration

Let’s talk about something other than ventilation for a change. Let’s go back to the finishing touches to the 1st floor.

We installed the window trim and had sanded the salvaged architraves – or what remained of those original architraves.

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The architraves were made up of three pieces: (1) an oak board, (2) a trim piece at the bottom, and (3) a crown molding at the top. That crown molding was the most delicate piece, so much so that most haven’t survived the past 110 years.

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What we mostly had left was the oak board and bottom trim piece.

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I went on a mission to find a replacement for the crown molding. I browsed various print and online catalogues without finding a match. I went to a specialist mill shop that had a large collection of custom knives in the hope to find a match there. Again – no luck. This was truly a custom production.

Someone suggested that I could have a custom knife made to mill an exact match of the missing crown moldings. That didn’t seem reasonable, considering the small amount I needed.

The next best thing I could come up with was to cobble something together that would result in a close match. Back in the mill shop, and with some help of the staff, we figured that we could break down the original crown molding into three parts:

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  1. a small corner trim
  2. a small piece of board
  3. a piece of colonial crown molding

I had enough salvaged oak boards at home, so all I bought was the corner trim and colonial crown molding.

Putting the architrave back together was a little involved because I now had to deal with the extra pieces of trim. But it was worth it, because it turned out that the cobbling together process resulted in a remarkably close match to the original.

Related posts:

Window trim installation

Bathroom door trim

Lacquering what I like

Paint removal – Part 8: Sustained sanding

Paint removal – Part 7: Vertical trim

The race downstairs

Paint removal – Part 5: Battling baseboards

Salvaging casings and trim

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Window trim installation

What happened to our race downstairs? Well, we got the corner china cabinet installed and prior to that got some of the door and window trim pieces lacquered.

With the lacquer cured, I could install the trim and decided to start around the windows.

I attached the large oak window sills first as the other trim pieces would rest on them. The oak sills have been sitting in the corner waiting. We had salvaged, paint stripped and refinished them a long time ago.

Installing the window stop, which hides the small foam filled gap between the buck and window, was next. The original window stops were so encrusted with paint and so beaten up that I doubted the value of restoring them.

Instead I picked up salvaged oak trim from the Rebuilding Exchange and ReStore. It made perfect window stops after I had them refinished, and saved me a lot of time.

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The salvaged and refinished flutes that flanked the window on either side came last. This was the most exciting part because it made a big visual impact. It suddenly began to look like someone is living here.

The architraves, which go atop the windows and doors, have to come a little later. We have most of them sanded, but they still need a bit of tender loving care and lacquer.

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Bathroom door trim

This was a busy holiday season — so busy that I shelved the blog for a few days. After all, we needed to get ready for a Christmas party on the 1st floor. And a fabulous Christmas party it was, even though we were working up to the last minute to get things ready.

Here are a few posts that shed some light on our last minute crunch. The work kept revolving around the trim theme and associated items.

Most of the original trim was salvaged by Cathy. Some of it was missing altogether, such as trim around the bathroom door.

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We had to come up with something new, and it made sense to opt for something that would be relatively moisture resistant. Cedar came to mind, which was also relatively economical.

I got plain cedar boards to flank the door. To add ornamentation I added grooves by scoring them on the table saw. The scraps went into the architrave, which turned out pretty decent too.

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Another added advantage: Because I left the cedar untreated, we have a touch of cedar fragrance hanging in the air.

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