DIY Craftsman Trim

Y’all, this bathroom makeover is never ending. As soon as I get one thing done, I think…ohh, what if I did this too.  And so it goes..on and on.

So as I was painting the bathroom, I noticed something really stuck out… and not in a good way.  My new colors for the bathroom are gray and white.. and my doors, trim and casing are all dark brown wood.

Well, that won’t work.  What’s the point of completely redoing a bathroom if I cringe every time I look at the door… or trim.

So why not paint it all white, right?!

Of course, I had to take it a step further than that and give the ugly slab door a little bit of love too (you can see that transformation here), but I really wanted to “chunk-up” (is that a word?) my door casing and trim.

Craftsman trim is the simplest way to take your doors, windows and entryways from builder grade to custom.  When I say simple, I mean it.  3 pieces of wood, some finishing nails, caulk, paint and Liquid Nails and you are set!

Let’s get trimming!

Step 1:  Measure up!

I knew I wasn’t going to remove the side pieces of my door trim, so I measured from one end of the trim piece to the other.  If you are removing these and using 1″ x 4″ (or another size) to trim, you’ll want to make sure you measure from outside edge to outside edge.  My trim from edge to edge was 33″.



Step 2:

You’ll want to pick up 3 different pieces of wood/trim.  I used lattice, a 1″ x 4″ and a 1″ x 2″.

Step 3:  Cut It Up

  • 1″ x 4″ – Cut this to the same size as your measurement of the outside trim to outside trim. So in my case, it was 33″.  This will be your middle piece of the craftsman trim.
  • Lattice – this will be the bottom and will be laid flat.  You want it to be 1/2″ longer on each side than your 1×4.  So mine was cut at 34″.
  • 1″ x 2″ – This will be the top of your craftsman trim and it will be laid flat on the 2″ side.  Some people cut this the same size as the lattice so that they are even, but I wanted mine a bit longer. I cut this at 35″, so from the edge of the 1×4 it is 1 inch longer on each side.
Confused yet??  It will make sense in a sec when you see the pictures.

Step 4:  

Lay everything out on a flat surface and nail it together.  The flat surface makes sure that everything is even and fits up against the wall.  Here is mine with the 1×2 and 1×4 in place.


Here the whole thing is nailed together.

Step 5:  Caulk

Now, let’s caulk all of the seams.  This makes the craftsman trim look like one piece.
Side note:  I use to HATE caulking.  I messed it up… no matter what I did.  I even bought one of those caulking tools to smooth it all out and I might as well have been using a rubber chicken.  So here’s my trick.  🙂
Here’s a close up before caulk.
Place a bead of caulk down your seam.
Have a small cup or bowl of clean water and dip your finger in it.
Run your wet finger along the caulk seam and as the caulk builds up, wipe it off on a paper towel.
And… stand back and stare at your masterpiece!

Step 6:  Prime and paint!

This is when you are really going to see how pretty this piece is going to be.

Step 7:  Prepare your door.

Ok, so here is where I got lazy and it bit me in the rear.  I thought, why not just put it on top of the top door trim?  Well.. there is a reason, it looked awful!  And there it sat for 2 weeks (we went on vacation during that time and I was mortified that the girl that was house sitting for us saw this).  Finally, I realized that something had to be done, so I took the trim down and cut the actual door frame casing.  When you do this, make sure that you cut straight across so that your lattice will sit level on each side.  I used my Dremel MultiMax… I absolutely love this tool and use it all the time.
Once you make your cuts, the top trim piece should just pop off.  I ended up getting a little surprise.  This is the original wallpaper that was in this bathroom when we bought the house…isn’t it awful.. uggh, it screams “Hey y’all, it’s 1995 in here!”
I happily ripped that off.  🙂
Step 6:  I used Liquid Nails to attach my craftsman trim to the wall.
Once I got it up there and held it for a minute or two, I reached for my painter’s tape to hold it up… and knocked it right in the toilet.  It was holding ok on its own, so I ran to the other room to get some more tape and heard a crash.
Take it from me, make sure you have tape near and don’t walk away from Liquid nails and wood after only 2 minutes.  I couldn’t find any more painter’s tape, so as a last resort, I grabbed my husband’s packing tape and put a small piece up to secure the trim.  I also used my level on top to make sure everything was straight…  No fun-house doors please.
The next morning I took the tape off and the Liquid Nails didn’t let me down!

Step 8: Caulk AGAIN

Caulk the space between the door casing/trim and the new craftsman trim to make it all look like one piece.
That’s it!!
Here’s the final product and a sneak peek at what the door treatment looks like (it looks like there’s a gap, but I don’t have my door stops up yet, that should be fixed when those are in place).  When you read my post about the door, act surprised…ok?
Here’s the before:
And the after:
What do you think?  I absolutely love the craftsman trim and plan on doing this throughout my house… it just may take some time!  One foot in front of the other, right?!
Thanks for stopping by!
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  1. Ooo! I'm excited to see how you spiffed up the slab door!

  2. Thanks! It has been a little bit of a nightmare! But I think it's turned out great in the end.