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How to Make an Eared Architrave Part 1

[This is part of A Kitchen Molding Makeover series.]

Posts in This Series

1.  DOOR TRIM-103 Home

2.  How to Make an Eared Architrave Part 1

3.  How to Make an Eared Architrave Part 2

 

On This Page

  • Materials Inventory
  • Demolition
  • How to Make the Plinth Blocks
  • How to Make the Upper/Lower Scribers

 Materials to Make this Door Trim $74.60

(See all moldings I use at my DIY Molding & Millwork Inventory series.)

All three pieces of molding came from Lowes Home Improvement.

However, you’ll probably get a much, much better price if you buy them from a local lumber yard or specialty molding and millwork retailer.

I haven’t bought moldings from Lowes since 2008, and I was shocked at how high their molding prices went — most are double what they cost just a few years ago.

 

MDF door trim casing from Lowes Home Improvement and Home Depot

$12.68/8′ (4 ea.) = $50.72

CA-001 is a common door trim profile and is often in stock at lumber yards with a decent molding inventory (not all do).

When buying any molding profile, make sure the resolution is nice like this one.  Most Home Depots carries this profile as well, but the quality of the MDF, the primer finish, and especially the resolution, are vastly inferior.

More about CA-001 here >>

pine molding lattice for door trim casing surround

$6.13/8′ (3 ea.) = $18.39

FS-003 is a simple flat-stock molding that’s often called lattice, and I’ll use it to make both my upper and lower scribers.

I feel this molding is too expensive for what it is, but we have very few choices of where to buy moldings in this town.

You would be much better off buying a full 4′ x 8′ sheet of 1/4″ thick MDF board from a local lumber yard and then cutting it down to size, because then you would have lots left over to use on other projects.

More about FS-003 here >>

pre-primed mdf flat-stock board for plinth blocks

$5.49/6′ (1 ea.) = $5.49

FS-002  I used this versatile MDF board to make the plinth blocks for this door trim pattern.  I’ve got enough left over to make a few more sets for the other doors.

More about FS-002 here >>

Demolition

I love tearing out old trim, because that means I’m getting close to the really fun part, building the door surround, my favorite part of decorating with moldings.

how to install door trim

remove old door trim

Note  Be careful not to gouge up the door jamb with your utility knife.

how to remove old kitchen door trim

old kitchen door trim

how to install new door trim

How to install new door trim moldings

how to install new kitchen door trim

Below  I’m not going to remove the door jamb if it’s out of whack.  But I do need to know where the problems are so I can plan ahead when I install the door trim.

how to install new door trim moldings

Below  I’ll be filling up that space with some scrap moldings.

door trim not flush with wall

Below  I can deal with the door jamb being out of whack at the bottom, but I’m glad it’s flush at the top.  Less work for me.

door jamb flush with wall

How to Make the Plinth Blocks and Scribers

Think of the plinth blocks as the door surround’s foundation.  This sequence shows you how I make them out of some simple MDF flat-stock so they fit just right.

how to make simple plinth blocks

Below  I want a sharp edge to my plinth blocks, so the rounded corners have to be trimmed off.

plinth blocks for eared architrave

Below  Use lots of glue.  It would be better to clamp them together for a while, but for some reason I just didn’t think of it that day.

how to make mdf plinth blocks

senco 23 gauge micro pinner on plinth blocks

Below  I shave a hair off of each side to make sure all sides are flush.  When they are painted, they will look like solid blocks.

trim the plinth blocks

plinth blocks made from mdf

Below  I’ve decided to make these plinth blocks 7″ tall to accommodate the baseboard I’ll be installing.

trim the plinth blocks to size

Test the Fit

Below  The plinth block is a little too thick for what I want, so I’ll shave a bit off the back with my table saw.  The lower scriber will need to be trimmed down so that it fits just inside the plinth block.

plinth blocks and mdf casing

eared architrave lower scribers

Below  Since this is an outside door, the back of all the door trim moldings get primed.

prime mdf plinth blocks

Below  Everything is primed and ready to be installed.

plinth blocks diy, scriber moldings

Posts in This Series

1.  DOOR TRIM-103 Home

2.  How to Make an Eared Architrave Part 1

3.  How to Make an Eared Architrave Part 2

[This is part of A Kitchen Molding Makeover series.]

2 Responses to How to Make an Eared Architrave Part 1

  1. Tim August 7, 2012 at 8:19 AM #

    Love the site! It has inspired me to tackle the moldings in our dining room.

    Quick question on the plinth blocks and any other exposed MDF end ‘grain,’ did you treat the edges with anything before priming? I know that the ends of MDF tend to suck up paint, so curious if the primer you’re using works well on them. I’ve seen people slap some spackle on them, or rub wood glue into them, but doesn’t look like you did any of that.

    Thanks in advance!
    -Tim

  2. Ken August 7, 2012 at 1:01 PM #

    Hi Tim,

    So glad you found our blog inspiring enough to take on a molding project, that’s what we really love to hear!

    Priming MDF End Grains

    At a minimum I prime mdf end grains with a sandable primer like the Sherwin Williams brand we’ve been using in our kitchen. You can see it on our Consumables page. Primer like Kilz2 is not sandable.

    I sand the end grain first. Or, like you suggested, smear a coat of spackling on it and then sand. The primer will soak into the end grain and raise it up a little and the surface of the primer will be powdery. When the primer is dry, sand it by hand or with a palm sander. If you want a smoother surface you can simply repeat the process.

    If the end grain is going to be at eye level and very obvious, then I usually end up doing all of the above steps, otherwise just primer, sanding and two coats of good paint will be enough.

    So Tim, tell us what kind of moldings you’re installing in your dining room?

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