craftsman trim



It’s no secret that I’m a trim gal, Craftsman trim to be exact.  When seeing homes online or in person it’s the first thing my eyes are drawn to.  So much so that when my kids come home from a friends house they have never been to they will say “Mommy, you should have seen the trim work in their house, you would love it!”  On a side note, all 3 kids ages 20, 17 and 13 still call me Mommy and I’m not going to tell them they are old enough to call me Mom.

We live in your standard 1980’s home that at one time had orange oak trim EVERYWHERE!  No open floor plan, no high ceilings (except for the formal rooms that we DO NOT USE!) every bedroom is small.  No bells and whistles.  Ohhhh how I long to have high ceilings in order to install beams or box trim, but I make do with what we have and not a day goes by that I am not thankful.


Sorry I didn’t have time to go through all the pics to edit them and make them “Instagram/Pinterest/Internet Worthy”. This can also give you an idea of what the paint colors look like in different lights depending on the time of day they were taken.


MDF is affordable, flat and easily paintable.  You can purchase already cut pre-primed strips (a little more expensive) or you can buy a 4’x8′ sheet and have the hardware store rip it for you or you can do it yourself.  I have the ability to rip wood/mdf at home, but I prefer the ready-to-go strips. There is no guessings or math calculations involved!


  1. MDF Strips or 4’x8′ board cut to the sizes you need.
  2. Saw-I use a Compound Sliding Miter saw, but even a handheld will work if you have a steady hand
  3. Nail Gun
  4. Spackle
  5. Caulking

Here are the pre-cut sizes I used.  In this pic you will see the 1″x3″ that is the very top board. I only did this for the front door, all other doors and windows in our home do not have this.

Sides of the wall are 1″x4″ (actual .68″x3.5″)

Bottom strip 1″x2″ (actual .68″x1.5″)

Middle 1″x6″ (actual .68×5.5″)

Top trip 1″x2″ (actual .68″x1.5″)

Very top strip 1″x3″ (actual .68″x2.5″) This is the only place in the house I used this

craftsman trim


Before I get into the nitty-gritty of how to achieve this look, let’s take a look at some before and after shots.

Master Bedroom- Wall color SW Repose Gray, Trim SW Alabaster

Preston’s Room- Wall color BM Revere Pewter, Trim SW Alabaster

Parker’s Room- Wall color SW Repose Gray, Trim SW Alabaster

Formal Living Room- Wall color SW Alabaster, Trim SW Tricorn Black

Eating Area/Family Room Wall color BM Revere Pewter, Trim SW Alabaster

Kitchen Window- Wall color BM Revere Pewter, Trim SW Alabaster

Bathrooms-both of the two bathrooms below need a complete remodel, like tear down to the studs kind of remodel

Boys Bathroom- Wall color BM Revere Pewter, Trim SW Alabaster

Master Bath (I told you it was small). Wall color SW Repose Gray, Trim SW Alabaster

I painted the Linoleum floors. This technique works or Linoleum, Tile, and Concrete. You can read about it here 

Powder Room-Paint color SW High Reflective White, Trim and Ceiling SW Tricorn Black

Entry Way-New paint color is BM Revere Pewter, Trim SW High Reflective White, Door SW Tricon Black

I don’t have a before picture of this, but this is 20 feet above our Entry.  I don’t want to show too much as it’s part of an Entryway remodel that is AMAZING and I can’t wait to share it with you. You can see part of it in the pics above, but the rest is a surprise!  It was a little scary for me on the ladder replacing this. I painted it ahead of time and filled in the nail holes with a mixture of caulking and paint. Sorry, the quality of the pic is horrible, it’s very foggy outside.


I have completed 3 doors downstairs and hope to complete the upstairs doors this month. Door color SW Tricorn Black, Trim SW High Reflective White

Why do I have different trim colors? Because the entryway and this hallway do not receive a lot of natural light and the trim color SW Alabaster that I used on the rest of the trim in the house looked yellow in these areas.  You cannot tell that it is a different color from adjoining rooms.

Kaitlin’s Room

I have installed the trim (not after shots) and painted the trim the same color as her walls and because of this, it doesn’t stand out at all.  I’m undecided if I should paint her trim gray or do a brighter white.  I’m not in a hurry as she is in college and will most likely be moving into an apartment next year. At that time I will convert her room (formally the formal dining room) into my office.


Installing Craftsman Trim

You guys, this is super duper easy!

1. Remove old trim and remove or tap in any nails


2. Set Window shelf on sill plate. I forgot to take a picture of this but will show you below how to make one.  This will help you know the length you need to cut for your vertical side pieces

3. Install your vertical pieces (1″x4″)

IMG_3546 Sorry guys I thought I had taken pics of each of these steps, but here is what you do

-Install 1″x2″ above the vertical side pieces, nailing into them

-Install the 1″x6″ into the wall above the  1″x2″

-Install the 1″x2″ above the 1″x6″, nailing into the 1″x6″. Be sure to get as close to the wall as possible so the nail does not come out in front

-Install the 1″x4″ vertical underneath the window shelf aka Apron

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 11.20.39 AM

7. Fill nail holes with spackle and caulk all the seams

8. After spackle has dried sand it

9. Paint

10. Voila


Creating the window shelf

This I did remember to take step-by-step pictures because I had my husband teach me so I could do it so I could do the rest of the windows

For the sills you are going to want to use wood because of moisture.  This is a 1″x8″ $6.00 piece from Lowes

Measure the inside of your window and add 10″.  Since I used 1″x4″ for the vertical pieces I want the shelf to stick out 1″ on each side from the vertical trim.

craftsman trim

Once the board is cut measure 5″ on each side and mark with a pencil

Using a Triangle (I don’t know if this is the official name) draw a line across the board with a pencil where you marked your 5″

craftsman trim

Once you have marked where everything needs to be, scratch out the areas that need to be cut

Using a table saw we cut part of the area out.

craftsman trim

He then used the Mider saw to cut the other piece (when I made my shelves I used the table saw for everything)

craftsman trim

You can also use a handheld saw if you do not have the two saws above.  My hand is not steady enough to do this!

craftsman window trim

So there you have it!  This is an extremely affordable project that can make a huge impact on your home.  For instance, to give you an estimate the larger windows were around $30, but I was able to use the scraps from those for the smaller windows.

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