Trim Your Windows! Save Big!

Window Trim DIY

I’m a huge sucker for some custom wood detailing. Trimmed out windows, bead board, and whitewashed wood paneling is the stuff of magic. There’s just something so finished about a room with extra wood details and trimmed windows. I mean, carpenters have a sexy line of work, if you’re asking me. And they charge arm and limb to install any custom woodwork, so any time you can cut costs by doing it yourself I’m totally game! One of the most affordable and doable woodwork projects you can do in your home is to frame your windows in trim. And I am talking easy peasy folks…Not a single 45 degree angle! Plus I’ll teach you a little painting trick that saves you even more $$$!

Window Trim DIY

How to Trim Your Windows Yourself and Save BIG!…


– Trim (in the width you prefer…I mix it up ant do thicker pieces on the top and bottom of the window, and thinner pieces on the sides)

– Paint (Pure white paint matched my existing baseboard color so that’s what I picked)

– Nails or screws (I borrowed my generous neighbor’s nail gun to make it go faster, so I bought the nails that fit her gun)

– Acrylic caulk and a caulk gun

– Putty (for nail holes)

Before you head off to your local hardware store, make sure that you measure your windows. When deciding what trim to buy and how much you need, keep in mind the width of your trim. For example, if my window is 40″ wide and my trim is 3.5″ wide, I will need to get a bottom and top piece of trim that accounts for the window width and two pieces of side trim (40″ + 3.5″ + 3.5″ = 47″ piece of trim).

Step 1

Window Trim DIY

Measure, measure, mark, cut. That’s measure your window, then measure it again (just to be sure). When I trim out a window, to avoid all angle cuts besides a 90 degree cut, I cut the top and bottom piece so that they go past the bottom of the side (vertical) trim pieces. I cut the vertical pieces to the actual height of the window. So after you measure (accounting for the side trim pieces), mark your board and cut that sucker!

I nail trim up with a nail gun while my darling husband holds it level against the edge of the window (romantic, really).

Step 2

Window Trim DIY

Now for the beautification! To putty the nail hole, cover the hole with a mound of putty. It should mound up over the nail hole. Then you let it dry (for about an hour or so) and sand it down flush with the wood. Mound-ing the putty up and sanding it down makes sure all the nail holes blend in with the smooth wood.

Step 3

Window Trim DIY

Nobodies perfect…and neither is your window. Once you get all your trim up you will notice some gaps between trim pieces and maybe even around the windowsill. Caulk is a miracle worker because it fills up all those gaps! It’s like white-out for carpentry. Genius. So when using caulk you’ll press it into the cracks and then go back and smooth it out with your finger. Remember, you can’t sand caulk down, so you want it to be smoothed out while wet.

Step 4

Window Trim DIY
Paint! Now here is where the extra savings comes in…You don’t have the trim the inside of you windows because you can paint them! Painting that inside portion gives the illusion that the whole window is trimmed while saving some sweet $$$ in trim costs! Brilliant. Make sure to paint all sides of the trim for a really finished professional look. I do 2 to 3 coats of paint to make sure it looks clean and sharp. Doesn’t that look awesome?

Step 5

Window Trim DIY

I can’t trim a window without dressing it up. For the final step add some drapes or favorite items to really show off your handiwork. And thing of all the money you saved by doing it yourself!

Window Trim DIY

What woodwork projects have you done to save labor costs?!

Alix Adams is a glitter user and ice cream abuser. She blogs at A Ruffled Life when she’s not kissing her baby’s fat rolls or painting a wall.


9 thoughts on “Trim Your Windows! Save Big!

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  1. Heidi

    AWESOME!! I had a few new windows installed in my son’s room a few years ago…and believed my less-handy-than-myself husband that he’d “get to it”. Now it can get done this summer!!! Yay!

    Now…I only need the above-mentioned son to clean that room so I can GET TO the “get to it” stage of framing! :)

    1. Alix Adams Post author

      Oh I am excited that you are trimming some windows! It really is a super simple project to do on your own. You an even get your local hardware store to cut the wood to size. Glad I could help (although I unfortunately can’t make your son clean his room) :)

  2. Pingback: Trim your window! Maintain your bike! Help your babysitter! | A Ruffled Life

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