How to Add Door Mouldings for Architectural Detail
Did you know that there is a very easy way to create a custom look in a room? One of the simplest ways to spice up a “plain-jane” room is by adding moulding and millwork to existing door trim.
This creates instant architectural detail, resulting in the doors looking larger and more substantial.
You wouldn’t think that this would make much of a difference, but it truly does. And it’s such an easy way to dress up builder grade doorways.
When we purchased our 1970’s fixer upper, every single room needed renovating.
As we tackle each room’s makeover, we are also updating the existing door casements.
This gives each room character and detailing. We’re even adding extra moulding to the closet doors, and it’s amazing how something so simple results in such a rich and custom look.
It’s a wonderful way to add value to your home without a lot of expense.
This is what all the door casements looked like in our house when we moved in. Nice wood doors with classic wood casements.
Nice millwork trim was already there, but I wanted to expand the height to create an illusion of larger doorways and higher ceilings…..and also make them a little fancier. I know…..I can’t help myself….I like fancy.
To design this look, we used pre-primed MDF boards. You can use solid wood but we chose MDF boards because they are pretty much perfect, consistent in thickness and width, and perfectly smooth with no wood grain or knot holes to deal with. And once painted, it looks and feels like solid wood.
Of course, if you have a stained finish, you will need to stick to solid wood.
We used 5.5″ tall baseboard moulding. Yes, that’s right, we used flat baseboard moulding as part of our design!
And this traditional crown moulding:
It was so easy to do this update, and once the moulding was added to the existing doorways, we painted them all white.
- Step 1: Measure and Cut
Measure the width of your doorway and cut a section of baseboard molding the same width as the doorway.
Cut a section of crown moulding the same width as the doorway, and mitre cut each end at a 45 degree angle.
Measure and cut a small piece of crown moulding to wrap around the side, with one side mitre cut at a 45 degree angle to fit into the corner of the larger section.
- Step 2: Apply Moulding as Shown
The flat baseboard moulding sits on top of the existing door casing. Place a generous amount of construction adhesive on the back of the flat baseboard moulding and place it on top of the existing door casement. Press to the wall and then use finishing nails to nail to the wall. We used 1.5″, 18 gauge nails in our nail gun for this. Try to nail into a wall stud if possible.
“Layer” the crown moulding on top of the flat baseboard moulding, gluing and nailing in place. Then place the crown end piece and nail and glue in place.
Caulk and Paint.
It’s such an easy way to add character and detail to a room.
There are so many different designs you can use to add moulding, from very simple to elaborate, so let your imagination run wild.
You can get countless trim ideas from browsing Pinterest or checking out the trim aisles at Home Depot or Lowe’s.
No matter what you do, adding the moulding will create pretty details, and something different from the standard, ubiquitous mitered corner door trim.
I don’t know how many doorways we’ve completed, but we still have quite a few left to do.
We’ve started stripping the guest room down for it’s renovation and adding the mouldings to the doors will be one of the first things on the “to do” list.
So if you’re trying to think of a simple way to customize your home, adding door mouldings may be the answer.
This post is about the mouldings that we used, but remember there are no rules.
If you find a different combination that you like, go for it!
And remember, just because something is labeled as a baseboard, it doesn’t mean it can’t be used as a door casing!
On personal note: I mentioned in the post that we are currently prepping the guest bedroom for renovation. This room has been a “catch all” for just about everything! As we renovated each room, we would shove furniture and miscellaneous stuff into the guest room. Now it’s time for us to clear it out…..I think I need to have a yard sale and get rid of some of it! Here’s what the guest room looks like now as we have begun clearing it out. Actually, in this photo, most of the “stuff” that was stored in here has already been relocated. We removed the old turquoise carpeting from this room when we moved in several years ago, but the rest of the room is still as it was when we moved in…..lots of blue and green, which was so popular forty years ago when this home was built. It’s time for a change…..I’m hoping that wallpaper isn’t going to be an issue to remove!