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How to Make Craftsman Style Trim

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How to Make Craftsman Style Trim

Simplicity is the hallmark of Craftsman-style trim. And that's what makes it the perfect trim project for every DIYer, even if you have limited carpentry experience. There are no fancy shapes or store-bought moldings-just square-edged pieces of trim that are easy to make and assemble. You'll still have to work carefully to get nice-fitting joints, but the small size of the individual pieces makes them easier to cut and fit. Although each molding is simple, the combined effect gives the room a distinctive, handcrafted look.



Measure the doors, windows and walls of your room and calculate the quantities of each piece of trim you'll need.

Rip all the pieces to width on your table saw. Add 1/8 in. extra to the width to allow for planing.
When all the pieces are ripped, run them through the planer to remove saw blade marks from the edges.
Separate the pieces that need to be reduced to 1/2 in. thick and plane them down. Run them through the planer about four or five times, removing no more than 1/16 in. with each pass until they measure 1/2 in. thick.
Sand the boards and trim pieces with 120-grit sandpaper followed by 180-grit and stain them before installation.
Install the moldings.
Brush on a coat of sanding sealer.
Putty the nail holes with soft Color Putty. Mix two colors of putty to get a match if necessary.
Lightly sand the surface with 220-grit sandpaper after the sealer dries. Vacuum off the dust and recoat with the polyurethane or varnish of your choice. Use the same brand of finish for the seal coat and the final coat.

The trim may look complex, but because it's built up from multiple pieces, it's actually quite easy to install.
The 1/2-in. square moldings that run against the floor and along the edges of the cove bend easily to conform to irregular surfaces and hide gaps. In addition, most of the inside corner pieces simply butt together and don't require miters or bevels.

Use caution and wear safety glasses when using power tools.

Things You'll Need
In addition to basic hand tools, you'll need a table saw to rip the thin strips from larger boards and a miter saw to make crisp, clean cuts in the hardwood.
Use a bench-top planer to remove saw marks and to reduce the thickness of the 3/4-in. stock to 1/2-in. for some of the trim pieces.
If you don't own a planer, hire the lumberyard or a local woodworker to plane these pieces for you.
If possible, use an air-powered trim nailer - it not only speeds up the work but also makes it much easier to get tight-fitting joints.