Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Trim Touch-Ups and Molding Make-Overs: A Guest Post


Much like the effect created by a hand with painted fingernails, the trim and molding in your
home can either elevate or cheapen the look of a room in one fell swoop.
Think about it: people who chew their nails try to hide that fact by slapping on a coat (or five)
of paint. But that superficial bandage doesn't address the root of the problem...they're still nail
Inevitably, those who bite their nails wind up chipping the paint, and at the end of the day, they'd
have been better off leaving their nails bare because all the painting did was draw attention to the
poor condition of the nails.

Photo Sep 23, 8 12 52 PM
The bottom line is that painting your fingernails only works when the underlying nails are in
great condition, and this philosophy also applies to the trim and molding in a room.
If you try to hide the underlying damage to your woodwork - like scratches, dents and dings –
by slathering on coat after coat of paint, you merely highlight the problems instead of concealing
Fortunately, you don't have to scrap your trim and start from scratch because the medicine for
what ails your molding is within your grasp!
Here are some inexpensive ways to repair your room's trim and molding to make even the worst
woodwork look flashy, pampered and polished in a flash!


Trim Toolkit

Here are some of the tools you should have at the ready when you're undertaking a trim or
molding repair:

Wood Putty/Filler

There are tons of wood repair products available on the market in a multitude of colors (premixed to match your existing wood stains) but a safe bet for an all-purpose trim repair product
is one in a natural color. This way, you can repair your gouges and paint over them without
worrying about color inconsistencies.
*Tip: Using a more substantial product like wood putty or filler is great for pet-originated issues
like chewed up baseboards or trim that has been used as a scratching post.
Putty Knife

A putty knife is something everyone should have, whether they own or rent, due to the multifunctional aspects of this handy little tool. Not only can you apply wood filler to damaged trim,
but you can also use it to fix holes in drywall, as well as many other DIY repair projects.
And the best part is that a plastic one (2" wide or less) can be had for about a buck!

You can use either sandpaper or a sanding sponge for your trim repair toolkit, just be sure you
use one designed for "fine" sanding.
An easy to use option is a dual-angled sponge that allows you to address the decorative crevices
in your woodwork as well as the flat surfaces.

Wet Sponge
A wet sponge is always good to have on hand during molding repair for a number of reasons,
the main one being clean-up. For example, if you need to tighten up the perimeter of a repair job
(too much caulking or wood filler smeared around the edges, etc.), a damp sponge wipes away
any excess.
*Tip: A quick wipe with a wet sponge before you sand will help keep the dust to a minimum!

Photo Sep 23, 8 03 12 PM


This is an essential item for your DIY arsenal! Not only can you use caulking to repair cosmetic
issues with your trim, but you can also use it to weatherize your doors and windows – leading to
even more savings now and in the future!
Moreover, caulking will solve many woodwork inconsistencies all on its own:
• Use a bead of caulking to seal gaps in between window ledges and the rest of the
• Caulking fills in the small holes that result from nailing in your baseboards and shoe
molding/quarter round.
• If you have mitered edges that do not line up exactly, a quick application of caulking can
create the appearance of perfect alignment.
*Tip: If you're repairing trim or molding in the bathroom, use a mold and mildew-resistant
caulking that addresses those ever-present bathroom concerns due to the heightened humidity
and moisture levels.

image 001

Classic white paint for your trim and molding provides that traditional elegance and makes your
doors and windows really pop!
However, you can use creativity when painting your trim and go with whatever color speaks to
Once they are fully repaired, paint your wood trim pieces with a semi-gloss finish to really make
them shine.
A good practice is to work in an entire house woodwork wipe down every couple of months (or
more frequently depending on your individual circumstances – pets, kids, messy husbands, etc.).
Sure, it's more work up front but it could save you tons of time and expense in the long run!
What are some of the ways you have repaired damaged trim and molding in your home?

Thank you so much Angelo for such an informative post!
 Angelo DiGangi is a Home Depot sales associate in the Chicago suburbs and is a frequent
contributor on windows and doors on Home Depot's website. Angelo provides tips on both
exterior and interior doors, as well as DIY advice on topics related to molding and other trim. Blessings and a wonderful day to everyone. XX

{images: nicety_journal}


  1. Love the classic white
    for my home
    because it makes every other colors pop out. The trim and molding of a home really are important details we should spend time to plan and maintain.

  2. Amazing spaces!
    Love that zebra rug!


  3. Hi Stacey, these are great tips. It just doesn't pay to take shortcuts! Great images!

    Tom Scheerer Decorates:
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  4. Great tips. I'm a classic white trim girl. You are braver in your color choices, Stacey.

  5. I like your analogy here Stacey! You're right on.. we have to treat the underlying problem and short cuts do not generally work:)

  6. I know this is so true. I have lived in so many apartments where they have done just that. And love that first picture. I love the trend how staining parquet floors dark so you do not have to put down all new floors and it looks great!

    Ali of Dressing Ken

  7. These are great tips! Caulk has become my best friend lately!

  8. YES!!!!!!!!!!!

    Stacey, that red wall with the one chair....that MOON photo with the striking cobalt blue background and highlights in the room; you have once again chosen some electrifying images today to spark my senses! How I love to work on the house. Our next project is installing exposed beams! And this time, my husband is going to do it himself, saving us a chunk of change!

    Enjoy your day sweet friend; off I go to school! Anita

  9. Stacey - this is so welled timed. I just finished repainting my living room and am now going to embark on some trim touch-up. Thanks for the great tips!

  10. Love the nail biting comparison(:
    and thanks for all the tips!
    hugs Z

  11. Love the nail analogy Angelo! Thanks for these awesome tips!

  12. Great tips! I didn't realize there are so many easy ways to repair molding!

    Chic 'n Cheap Living

  13. What great tips for one of my details in a house - the millwork!

  14. love the first living room :)


  15. The white is wonderful, Stacey!
    Thank you so much for the great tips. xo.

  16. These tips are so good!! Especially for someone like me that has no idea about this stuff. ANd I will be adding trim to my bedroom so this comes in handy!! Thanks so much!

  17. What a LOVELY post:) your blog Is SO inspiring and Im now following..I hope you follow me back.

    Check out my blog today…divine royal bedroom inspiration:)

    Have a great week dear

    LOVE Maria at inredningsvis - inredning it's, Swedish for decor :)


Your comments are like my daily dose of sunshine. They brighten my day:-).