As originally mentioned in my DIY – Installing Hardwood Floors post from last April, we spent most of the summer and fall replacing the trim, baseboards, and interior doors and closets in the entire house. We are not 100% finished but I wanted to go ahead and write a progress post to avoid trying to cram everything in to one post at the end.
I do plan to write in more detail how we specifically did this so anyone who is interested in doing the same will know the technique we used and read some tips that we have based on our experiences of trial and error. This will come in the spring when it is warm enough for us to resume (and finish!) our work.
As a recap, we spent the end of September through mid-December 2017 installing hardwood floors and you can read about that here.
Below is a timeline of the work we did on the trim and baseboards.
April – May 2018 (Dining Room)
We took a break between January and April 2018 and resumed our work when the weather was warm enough to work outside (cutting wood, painting, etc.). We started in the dining room by removing the chair rail and refinishing the bookshelf. Then we removed the chair rail. The baseboards were removed the previous year before we installed the hardwood floors. We bought new trim and baseboards that has already been primed and then cut them down to size. Using several saws, paint, staples, and caulk, we installed everything in about six weeks (only working on weekends).
Top picture was taken in 2012; bottom picture in 2018
June 2018 (Entryway)
We then moved on to the entryway and took the old trim off of the front door and the side windows. This was a really easy room because the baseboards had been cut the previous year and we just needed to install them. We had to sand and prime the sills of the windows next to the door and then install the trim and paint everything.
Right picture taken in 2017; left in 2018
May – July 2018 (Hallway)
The longest portion of this project was the hallway leading back to the bedrooms. The reason it took so long is because the hallway contains 3 bedroom doors, a laundry closet, a regular closet, and a bathroom door. All of which had to be removed and replaced.
We started removing the bedroom doors in early May and then replaced them one-by-one with new doors that we had to paint (two coats of paint on each side).
Here are the old (left) and new (right) bedroom doors:
The laundry closet doors were in good shape so we just sanded, primed, and painted those instead of replacing them.
We decided to trim out all of our closets. To do that, we installed 1 by 6 inch primed casing (that we cut to the thickness of the wall) to the inside of the closet opening, filled the nail holes, and painted the wood.
After we installed the casing to the inside of the closet opening
From there, we added trim to the outside (then filled the nail holes and painted). Next was to install the new door track and the new doors. Then we had to drill holes in our lovely new floor so we could secure the closet doors at the bottom. Finally, we added a simple piece of baseboard to the top to hide the track.
When that was done, we installed baseboard like we did in the dining room and entryway.
Left picture was taken in 2012; right in 2018
August-September 2018 (Living Room)
We then moved on to the living room. This was daunting because we have a built-in bookcase and a large bay window that both had to be completely sanded and primed. I hate sanding because I have to wear a mask that fogs up my glasses and the dust gets everywhere. I also hate priming because it smells awful, it’s watery and messy, and it is hard to clean up (I just throw away the brushes instead of trying to clean them with paint thinner. No, thank you).
I started with the bookcase. I took the shelves outside to sand them, prime them, and paint them. While they were drying, I sanded, primed, and painted the inside portion of the bookcase. When everything had dried, we brought the shelves inside, installed white tracks, and installed the shelves.
Here is the before and after picture of the bookcase:
Then I started working on the bay window using the same method I used on the bookcase. The only thing left to do here is to buy a new light for the top of the window.
Top picture taken in 2011 a week after we moved in; bottom in 2018
After the window and bookcase were done, we put down baseboard and installed new trim around the other windows in the room.
August-November 2018 (Bedrooms)
During the time we were working in the living room, we also worked in the bedrooms to refinish the trim around the windows. We decided not to replace the window trim in the bedrooms because they were in good shape. So instead, I sanded, primed, and painted them. This was a pain because of how much I hate sanding and priming but also because there were 7 windows. Which doesn’t sound like a lot but it felt like a lot.
In October, we removed the old baseboards and replaced them with new ones. We also worked on removing the closets, trimming them like we did the hallway closet, and painting new doors.
In November, we got carpet. I know a lot of people will wonder why we covered old hardwood floors with carpet and I get what you mean but we had several reasons: 1.) The hardwood floors in the bedrooms are 50 years old and in really bad shape. They’re also outdated in terms of thickness and color. We talked about refinishing them but it’s a super expensive and messy process. 2.) We didn’t want hardwood floors throughout the entire house 3.) I prefer carpet in the bedrooms. It just feels more homey/comfortable to me.
Anyway, we also primed (with some heavy-duty stuff) and painted the ceilings to cover up the ghosting that was showing.
Top picture taken in 2011 right after we moved in; bottom in 2018
What’s left to do:
- Install closet doors in the bedrooms
- Finish installing hardwood floors in the back hallway, the stairs down to the basement, and in the back hallway closet
- Replace the doors of the back hallway closet
- Install new baseboard in the back hallway
- Replace the trim around the back door
Given everything we’ve done so far, it’s not a lot. I am going to include more before and after pictures after we are further along. Stay tuned.