DIY Window Trim – The Easy Way

Learn how to add chunky window trim the easy way without any complicated miter cuts or special equipment.

We have been going a mile a minute here lately. As we’ve been getting closer to the finish line of Olivia’s bedroom makeover, we’ve been working around family vacations, reunions, and summer day trips. It’s exhausting but in a good way!

This certainly isn’t one of those gorgeously creative DIY posts, but this little project is by far one of my favorites for adding some oomph to a room.

DIY Window Trim - The Easy Way | Bless'er House - I want to trim all the windows in our entire house like this!

My favorite thing to DIY in our very plain builder box house is adding architectural interest, and since we’ve already done similar trim in our master bathroom, I find myself drawn to the idea of chunky window molding throughout the rest of our house.

You can find all kinds of versions of this similar trim all over the internet, but this is our very simple take on interior window trim.

Want more ideas to add character to your home?

Olivia’s bedroom window was uh…lack luster. Blah. Boooooriiiiiing.

DIY Window Trim - The Easy Way | Bless'er House - I want to trim all the windows in our entire house like this!

I mean, what’s a bedroom with a glamorous chandelier without some pretty window trim to go with it? That’s like wearing stilettos with your jogging shorts. Joan Rivers would have never forgiven us, bless her soul.

This trim is so easy and doesn’t require any fancy schmancy miter cuts. If you can cut in a straight line, you can do this. I pinky promise. So here’s how to trim a window.

DIY Window Trim – The Easy Way Without Miter Cuts

Supplies 

The Steps

Here’s the game plan. A visual is probably easier for this one.

DIY Window Trim - The Easy Way | Bless'er House - I want to trim all the windows in our entire house like this!

1. We started on the window sill first. Cut your 1×6 to the width of the window plus 10 inches to leave an excess of 5 inches on each side.

2. Once we had the width of our 1×6 cut, we held it up against the bottom of the window to mark where to cut out the corners to fit into the window base.

DIY Window Trim - The Easy Way | Bless'er House - I want to trim all the windows in our entire house like this!

3. Once everything looked good, we used the brad nails to attach it.

DIY Window Trim - The Easy Way | Bless'er House - I want to trim all the windows in our entire house like this!

4. For the sides of the trim, we held our 1x4s up on each side of the window to mark where to cut the length.

(Measuring is overrated in our house for some projects. If we can get away with lining up wood pieces, marking, and cutting, we do. It’s easier and just as accurate as going the extra step with a measuring tape.)

DIY Window Trim - The Easy Way | Bless'er House - I want to trim all the windows in our entire house like this!

5. Once the sides of the trim were up, Robert got to work on the header by cutting the remainder of the 1×6 the same length as the window sill. He cut the 1×2 in two pieces using the same length as the 1×6.

6. I didn’t get a shot of him using wood screws to secure the 1x2s to the top and bottom of the 1×6, but you can get a good idea of it from the pictures. (Sometimes I’m just in awe of his mad skills and wonder to myself how I ever got so lucky for marrying such a handy guy and forget to pick up my camera…oops.)

DIY Window Trim - The Easy Way | Bless'er House - I want to trim all the windows in our entire house like this!

7. He used brad nails again to attach the header to the top of the window and made sure to secure them into studs in the wall.

DIY Window Trim - The Easy Way | Bless'er House - I want to trim all the windows in our entire house like this!

8. He added a length of 1×4 under the window sill too.

9. Caulk any gaps and wood fill knots. You can get a better idea of how the 1x2s are attached to the 1×6 from this angle. See that not so pretty gap between the wood and the wall? Caulk is your best friend.  

DIY Window Trim - The Easy Way | Bless'er House - I want to trim all the windows in our entire house like this!

Just so you know, I posed with my caulk gun doing an oh-so-sexy Charlie’s Angels pose and somehow it mysteriously disappeared from my memory card.

Okay, you caught me. Turns out, I’m not good at oh-so-sexy Charlie’s Angels poses. More like awkward Mr. Bean face.

Good thing my caulking is better than my modeling.

DIY Window Trim - The Easy Way | Bless'er House - I want to trim all the windows in our entire house like this!

10. I went back over the brad nails with a nail setter one more time to make sure none were sticking out too.

DIY Window Trim - The Easy Way | Bless'er House - I want to trim all the windows in our entire house like this!

11. I gave the nail holes a fill-in with some wood filler, let dry, then sanded. 

12. Prime one coat on the raw wood so it will take paint more evenly and the wood knots won’t bleed through. 

13. Paint 1-2 coats in the color of your choice. We used Valspar Du Jour. 

After two coats of white paint, Olivia’s room suddenly looked so much bigger! I kid you not. And now Joan Rivers would approve of our ensemble.

DIY Window Trim - The Easy Way | Bless'er House - I want to trim all the windows in our entire house like this!

I have curtain panels ready to hang too, so this window is going to look so much bigger from the boring plain one before.

DIY Window Trim - The Easy Way | Bless'er House - I want to trim all the windows in our entire house like this!

DIY Window Trim - The Easy Way | Bless'er House - I want to trim all the windows in our entire house like this!

Amazing how much a little wood and paint can do, right?

DIY Window Trim - The Easy Way | Bless'er House - I want to trim all the windows in our entire house like this!

Once the curtains go up and the area rug I ordered arrives, this space will really be singing…er dancing. I mean this is a ballerina room after all.

What do you think? Is DIY window casing a project you could handle? Robert is already eager to trim our living room and dining room windows, and I’m totally on board.

Update:  See the full bedroom makeover reveal here!

signoff

Frequently Asked Questions

Does window trim have to match baseboards?

Not at all. Making your window and door trim, baseboards, and molding the same color can be good, but it’s not necessarily a rule.

Are window casings worth it?

Interior designers highly recommend window casings as they can make a room feel more finished, more high-end, and aesthetically pleasing.

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101 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for posting this method!! My bedroom window has been trim less for SIX YEARS. We had the window replaced, but my husband told the contractor he could handle installing molding himself. BUT, he never did it. Flash forward 6 years, he is gone, and I am left to finish up the bazillion little unfinished projects myself. Pinterest to the rescue!! I have now replaced flooring, a toilet, a bathroom sink and faucet, and NOW – WINDOW MOLDING!! This project was really my first foray into power tools! I could never have figured out HOW to do this myself. Your instructions were so clear, I thought, “Why not? If I mess it up, I’ll have some extra lumber for a campfire in the backyard next summer!!”. Thank you again!!

  2. Looks great. However, what really shocks me is that it didn’t have a frame. I’ve never seen a window without a frame. I live in Massachusetts and every house I have been in has window frames. I guess not. I learned something. lol

    1. I know! I thought it was weird too. Our builder didn’t include window frames unless we wanted to pay for the upgrade to get them. But so glad they were frameless because it made it that much easier to give them our own style.

  3. Ah this is awesome and perfect timing! The previous owners ripped out the frames and plasteed them (very badly I may add!) This is to be my next task after fitting a shower! …. on a side note, how the he’ll did you get his white vest so whitell? ! My husbands has gone a funny grey colour after wearing it to work ? and I just can’t get it clean!

    1. Love this window trim makeover! Define going to attempt this. Kate as far as the white vest advice, I’ve eliminated the use of bleach on many things, including clothing. I’ve got 5 children, best combo is hydrogen peroxide and baking soda and warm water.. what a HUGE difference without the smell and wear off bleach.

  4. Hi Lauren, great tutorial! We are beginners too, can I ask what kind of wood did you use to keep the cost low?

    Thank you, Diana

    1. Hi, Diana! I just used pine boards that I picked up at Lowe’s and filled the knots with wood filler. Worked great!

      1. Did you have to sand after filling knots and blemishes with wood filler?
        We are doing this same thing and about to prep for paint. Worried about knots and blemishes showing thru paint and trim not being smooth

  5. Now this proves how a small change can bring a lot of difference. You are lucky to have a husband who know these things. I have a single casement window ( http://canglow.ca/windows/casement/ ) in the bedroom and I like to do something like this with that one. I am not sure how it will end up but then, I want to try it.

    1. It’s taken a lot of learning and teaching ourselves how. Our first couple of DIYs were pretty rough. 😉 This one is definitely great for a beginner since it’s all simple, straight cuts. I have faith in you, Hazel. 🙂

  6. Just have to say thank you to you and Robert for posting this lovely idea. I completed my first window this morning and it only took about an hour and a half. It was just the perfect solution for my less than bland and boring windows. They have zero charm now but with this technique, they will be fabulous. Doing window number 2 soon. Thank you so much!

    1. I’m so glad to hear that, Donna! It really does add so much character for very little. We just finished window #10 in our house. 4 more and we’re done. 🙂

  7. thank. I bought plantation shutters from Habitat for Humanity that just didn’t fit the old trim. I think this is going to work and look great..

  8. Wow, that is beautiful. I am amazed. I would love to do this to our windows. Could you tell me what kind of saw you use? I have always wanted to do board and batten and I would love to do this window trim. What is the best power tools for amantures like me? ?

    1. Hi Harmony! Really the main two saws we stick to for all of our projects are a circular saw and a jigsaw. The jigsaw is especially easy to learn on if you’re a beginner and have never touched a power tool in your life. My husband does the circular saw because I’m still a wimp about it. 😉

  9. Okay this tutorial is wonderful! We just purchased a craftsman that has been remodeled and they removed the period looking window frames so we are looking to do this! Can you tell me, did you simply paint the inside of the window on the left and right sides or did you use wood there as well? Thanks!

    1. They removed the craftsman window frames?! Blasphemy. J/k But whyyyy?! Haha Yes, we just painted the inside of the window. We caulked the seam between the wood and the drywall so that it all looked like one piece. Less work and cheaper that way too. Hope it helps!

  10. A little trim really makes all the difference! Great tutorial. Featured at Be Inspired this morning. Thanks so much for sharing!

  11. This turned out beautiful–and you’re right–it is pretty easy! By the way I LOVE the paint color in that room. Would you mind me asking what color it is?
    Thanks for sharing this at the Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop. This will be one of my featured posts at our next party 🙂

    1. Yay! Thanks so much for the feature love, Carrie! The paint color is Benjamin Moore Gray Owl. It’s my new fave. 🙂

  12. Any idea on how to do this when your windows are not inset into the wall? Our windows and the wall are flush with each other and ive been trying to figure out how to recreate this look.

    1. Since it’s flush, I would do it without the window sill and replace it with a 1×2 instead. Hope that helps. 🙂

    2. You can add a faux window sill by doing the same thing that was done above the window. The 1×4 underneath it will give it support

  13. Trim like that instantly makes a room feel more fancy. Love the look of it in Olivia’s adorable bedroom. You’re so lucky to have a husband that knows what he’s doing….and has all the right tools (that’s always my problem with projects!) Oh, and by the way, I’m a huge fan of caulking…..can I join in with you for your next Charlie’s Angels pose?!!?!

    1. Thanks, Jamie! It’s taken a lot of trial and error and a lot of hand-me-down tools for us. 🙂 I’m totally down for a double trouble Charlie’s Angels pose. Haha I’ll be the awkward one.

  14. I love the simple, yet amazing transformation of the window! It totally changes the look of the room…. I am definitely pinning this for future reference. Can’t wait to see the “finished product”.
    Blessings,
    Lanita

  15. You don’t happen to have an estimate on the cost do you? I only have 4 windows in my downstairs (sounds pretty sad when I say it out loud) and this would make them stand out so much more!

    1. I’ll go back and add that in, Esther. I meant to mention that. With wood, caulk, and paint sample pot, the final cost is about $25 per window, depending on the size you have. It really does help a ton. 🙂 We have 6 windows downstairs that we’re wanting to do this to eventually.

      1. Hi I love this. Unfortunately I’m in a council house and they aren’t the best build where I am. One of those you can’t hang anything on the walls or can knock a nail in with your hand lol. Anyway my windows have a plastic type lip at the bottoms. How can I make the ledge? and the top piece of wood is that moulding? I also don’t have windows with space either side like yours so can I add this great look another way. I’m on my own, female and clueless with diy but really want to have a go. Thanks.

        1. Just remove the pkastic lip or ant other type of moulding that us there, you are going to cover it up anyhow, so even if it makes some large gouges it won’t matter.

          1. If you don’t have much side room door only on one side because of an adjacent wall, just omit that side or make the width less on either side

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