With its simple lines, affordable materials and ease of assembly, there’s no reason you shouldn’t build this door surround at home this weekend.
This is one of those historic door trim patterns that I’ve seen all over the country, and especially in rural Victorian farmhouses.
But you’ll also find similar designs in early Craftsman style homes too. That’s because Victorian style homes were still being built when Craftsman style became popular, and so naturally there was some design overlap.
I designed this one to be more Victorian than Craftsman, though it’s easy to change this design to be more purely Craftsman style, as explained below.
On This Page
- Price to Have This Professionally Installed
- How to Convert it to Craftsman Style Door Trim
- Materials Inventory
- How to Build this Door Trim Step by Step
How Much to Have Door Trim Like this Professionally Installed?
Installed About $250.00 – $300.00 (including materials) to install a door trim trim pattern like this. If your finish carpenter uses more expensive materials, like poplar, this price could easily double.
Painted Most finish carpenters don’t prep and paint their own moldings, so you’ll probably have to hire someone else to do the painting. Better yet, just do the painting yourself and save a whole bunch of money. Spend the money you save on painting to buy more moldings!
Since installing this door trim was an afterthought on this project, we didn’t install new baseboards. But you should! There is a readily available Victorian style mdf baseboard you can buy at most any lumber yard, and so should include it in your own Victorian molding makeover right from the start. I’ll add that baseboard to my Molding Inventory page soon.
Door Trim Paint Color
- Benjamin Moore
- Satin Impervo
- White Dove #OC-17
Before & After Pictures
In case you missed it there’s a fun set of B&As for this pattern here: Before & After: Moldings for Patio Double Doors.
How to Change it to Craftsman Style Door Trim
A few simple changes will convert this door trim design from Victorian to Craftsman style. If you’re going to make the conversion, try to keep all of the proportions the same.
I’ve worried obsessively over all of the proportions on all of the patterns you see on our blog. So make sure to pay attention to the thicknesses of material, the placement of the details and the width of reveals (flat surfaces) whenever making adjustments to a design. If you’re not sure, then just make yourself a model and play with it until you’re happy.
Cornice Crown and Necking: Change to the Molding Profiles Below
Note: There are a number of small cove molding profiles available at local lumber yards, you don’t have to use this exact one. The point is to use a molding that is primarily a cove, rather than one with all the extra detail like in our Victorian example.
Plinth Block: Change to Simple Flat-Stock
Flat-Stock Plinth Block
You can see how easy it is to make a simple plinth block like this. I usually make mine from scraps left over from making the entablature. If you look closely at the below photo, I adjusted the thickness by adding a 1/4″ thick piece of mdf board.
Let’s say that you’ve made the above changes to your door trim design. Well now instead of having a design that’s more Craftsman than Victorian, it can still pass as Victorian. Do you see? Most all molding designs can be tweaked in this manner.
Material Inventory to Make this Door Trim $52.84
Starting from the top to the bottom. [See my Molding Inventory page for more detail about each molding]
Crown Molding Profile: Use for entabalature cornice, 10′ ($1.29/lf) = $12.90.
Use for pilasters and abacus. More about FS-001 here >>
Use for the entablature frieze. More about FS-002 here >>
Use for necking (collar).
Plinth blocks. If needed, these can be trimmed down to fit a narrower width pilaster.
DIY Step by Step Victorian Door Trim
This is such an easy door trim design to make. If you’re new to DIY moldings, this would make a great beginner project!
- Use lots of Liquid Nails on all contact surfaces when installing your moldings. And I mean all contact surfaces!
- Below Note the scribe line I made to mark the bottom of the frieze. That’s the guide I use to cut my pilasters. The pilasters usually are slightly different sizes on both sides, so don’t measure one side and then cut both pilasters. Finish carpentry is a cut-to-fit craft.
Below The pilaster is glued to the top of the plinth block as well as glued and nailed to the wall.
Cut the frieze board tall enough so that the bottom of the abacus rests on top of the frieze. (See abacus farther down.)
Below Use a 23 gauge micro pinner to nail those small pieces in place. Senco and Accuset both make excellent micro pinners.
Below I get quite a few questions about where I bought this crown molding profile. This one I buy from a specialty millwork company that makes all of their own moldings.
The material, finish and price far exceeds anything you can buy at the big box home improvement stores. Small molding and millwork retailers like these can be hard to find, but are well worth the effort.
Below This is a nice entablature pattern as is, even without the abacus. I could have stopped here.
Because this cornice molding has such a strong profile, I could have omitted installing the abacus. But I wanted this pattern to match the slightly more elaborate door moldings I installed in the adjoining living room, so included the abacus.
Prepare for Paint
I’m assuming you’re doing a top to bottom molding makeover: crown, baseboard, door and window trim, and so paining the walls is the very last thing you do before hanging pictures back up. This is the sequence that will get you there.
Caulking the seams and small gaps is the very last thing you do before you apply the first coat of paint.
Do You Need Help Painting?
I’m adding more posts to my How to Paint Moldings page, so you can go there for tips if you need a little help getting started.
Did You Make This?
I hope you’ll send me pictures of the door trim you made. I’ll add them to this page so everyone who visits can see what colors you used on the trim and walls, and just to see what other diy finish carpenters are doing.
Good luck making your own door trim!
That looks awesome. I’m so glad I found this site (added to my daily reading). It’s about the only source I’ve found that give you information that is actually practical and usable instead of vague without measurements!
So I’m torn between the two styles. I am planning on redoing most of my house’s trim but I just can’t decide. My house is a 90’s so I’m thinking the Victorian would actually look more proper, though I personally like the simpler look of the craftsman. Tough decision :). What crown molding and base board style would you recommend to go with these? I think your Crown Molding-103 would look great with the Victorian, but do you think it’s too ornate for craftsman?
Izrun: The most important question is what decorating style do you prefer, Victorian or Craftsman?
Generally speaking, most homes are generic enough that you can decorate them with whatever style moldings you want — that’s sort of the point of our blog. So what’s really important is what YOU want.
So I ask you, do you want a house decorated with the simple lines of Craftsman furniture, fabrics, fixtures and other decore? Or do you want the romantic lines of the Victorian era?
Let us know what you decide.
I love the moldings on your site. We are remodeling a tiny house and have decided that it needs beautiful moldings. Where can we get the crown molding profile featured in CM007? We can easily drive to get it. Thanks.
Sue: We bought that beautiful crown molding in Phoenix from Saguaro Moldings. They are an independent millwork company that’s been in business for a long time. The quality of each and every stick of molding is the best money can buy, and yet their prices are fantastic.
If you don’t live in Arizona, however, that profile or one closely resembling it, are commonly available at molding supply companies, but not so common at lumber yards.
Does that help any? Good luck with your project, Sue!
I live in Scotland and i have just came across your site which i find a great source of inspiration. I’m a Carpenter and Joiner to trade and trying to turn my home into something different from everybody elses. Over here simple mouldings are very expensive,so is any other wood other than pine or a Brazilian ceder which passes for Mahogany. Well not in my eyes. Has anyone any good ideas where to source the likes of a nice maple or Ash? Scottish saw mills are using poor quality and finding a piece of wood that is straight is a task all of its own! Basically that’s my rant over,haha. Just wanted to say to the guy who puts the pics up on here that your a great tradesman, really enjoy the detail you incorporate into your work and hope 1 day my skill levels are as high as your own. Superb finishing work.
We’re so glad you found some inspiration on our blog. Good luck finding the wood you want, it sounds like quite a chore. Send us some pics of your work so we can show off what a Scottish Joiner can do!
Thanks for your words of encouragement and to make it a bit more difficult i’m offically out of work just now so all mouldings will need to be hand made so hope i was taking it all in when my tradesmen taught me all those years ago,ha. Like the way you do i’ll take pics stage by stage and hopefully by then i’ll have worked out how to put them up here. Suppose if others can do it then i’ll work it out. I might even put a mordern material in somewhere (Corian) since i’ve hoarded many off cuts. Hopefully a wee Scottish Joiner can maybe impress you which would be an honour by the quality of your workmanship.
Being out of work in our respective economies goes hand-in-hand with being a tradesman. You can just email us the pictures of your projects and we’ll do everything else.
Good luck. Keep in touch!
Cheers, Ken and Jennifer
Ken, I live on the east coast, so driving to the specialty millwork shop in Phoenix is a no-go. In finding a substitute profile, could I use either a convex or a concase crown molding? Also, assuming I go with the victorian design, would it be appropriate to decorate the frieze with appliques?
A concave crown molding would be a good choice for a Victorian style entablaure. CM-003 (Lowes item #28738) or CM-009 (Lowes item #28579) would be good choices. If they are not available at your local Lowes, then you can special order from them.
Appliques are a great choice for either a Victorian or a traditional design.
Hi there, I was wondering if this application could be used on windows as well? Would there be any dimension changes?
Yes Matthew, you can absolutely use this pattern on windows.
I’ve always paid pretty close attention to how similar window and door dimensions are in historic homes, and I’ve never noticed any major differences.
You can see in the window and door trim is the same in this Craftsman style home: Craftsman Moldings and Crepes in Tucson’s Cafe Marcel.
So make them big, Matthew!
Hi there, is there a guideline you use to scale this type of Victorian door trim? For example, if I wanted to use a 5-1/4″ fluted pilaster, should the cornice, frieze, and necking be scaled proportionately?
Also, can you confirm the proportions of this trim? It would appear that the cornice is about 3-1/2″, the exposed area on the frieze is about 4″, and the necking is about 1″.
Thanks for your help, love your website. You have inspired me to remove all the “starter trim” from my home and install this Victorian door trim around all my doors, drywall openings, and windows. Just working on the final details.
My guidline is based on what I’ve seen in historic homes. And what I’ve seen all over North America are large moldings in small rooms. Remember, Vicotrian farmhouses were heated by fireplace or with the new wood stoves, and so rooms were small.
For example, I recently took a peak inside a small late Victorian home here in Tucson, and all of the door and window trim was at least 5-1/2″ wide. The baseboard was at least 9″ tall. That fits with what I’ve seen in the rest of the country.
The drop on CM-007 is 3-1/2″, but I don’t have the projection handy. The frieze is about 5″ (see How High Should the Entablature or Overdoor Frieze Be?). The necking is 1″ wide.
Good luck Chris. Keep us posted on your progress!
I have gutted an old home to put my office in and am putting new walls in. The home was originally a craftsman style home that was converted to a hair salon. I will put new baseboards and windows in as well as crown moulding and am very interested in doing as much finish work myself. I want to have doors with a transom above them installed and was trying to see how I can incorporate the door trim-133 Craftsman style with a transom. I have never done any trimwork but have no fear in trying.Any ideas?
I took a look through my reference books here at home, and I could not find a specific example of a Craftsman transome “surround.” But that’s not to say you can’t wrap your door/transom with DOOR TRIM-133. I think it would look really nice. I would suggest leaving off the necking, however, and just wrap the top flat-stock with an appropriate crown molding.
The historic Craftsman style transomes that I can recall are all wrapped in simple flat-stock moldings. If you have enough space between the top of the door and the bottom of the transom, then that would be a great place to insert a beauituful Craftsman tile mosaic. And there is no shortage of artists creating and selling unique Craftsman tiles online.
Since you are a fearless home-improver, I say go for it! Craftsman style moldings, in their simplest form, are a great place to start learning how to install moldings.
Thanks very much for putting this website together, it has given me lots of inspiration for my project. Could you provide a run down of the actual dimensions you used to create the craftsman style header, please?