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Home Finish Work Trimming Window Around Pine Wainscoting

Trimming Window Around Pine Wainscoting

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How do you trim a window that has pine wainscoting and drywall around it creating two depths to the window frame?

My husband and I put pine wainscoting on some of the walls in the two bedrooms upstairs. We strapped the bare studs with 3/4 inch strapping and then we cut 1x6 tongue and groove pine pieces to a 40" length and mounted them horizontally along the lower portion of the unfinished wall. We hung drywall above the wainscoting and mud and taped and painted it. We brought the wainscoting and the drywall to the rough opening edge of the window all around.

Illustration 1
Window with pine wainscoting and drywall
Window with pine wainscoting and drywall around it.
Close-up of window with pine wainscoting and drywall
Close-up of window with pine wainscoting and drywall.

Problem: How do you trim a window that now has two depths to the wall that surrounds it? (Illustration 1) As you can see in the illustration, we brought the wainscoting right up to the rough window opening and how it created two depths around the window. Both sides of the window were affected this way. The image is showing the right side of the window.

In addition, we wanted to top the wainscoting with a pine ledger board to finish it and make a little shelf for small knickknacks and for decoration. How do you make it all fit and come together at the window edge? Here is what we decided to do and how we did it.

We decided to install the ledger board and finish the window up to it at the top and bottom. This meant we would need to cut the inside window casings in an L-shape to fit the two depths. We would need straight cut lines so using a jig saw was out of the question. We tested our plan by using some small scraps of plain pine and held it place as if one was the ledger, one the window casing, one the trim above the ledge and another the trim below the ledge. I didn't take a picture of this test. It appeared it would work, but we thought the ledger end might look too unfinished if it just ended in a square end right at the window. Also, there was the possibility that it might be a hazard and someone might knock themselves against the pointed corner. We thought we might be able to use the jig saw and cut the end at the window's edge in a slight curve to soften the look.

Illustration 2
Window sill installed
Window sill installed.
Window head jamb installed
Window head jamb installed.

 

Step 1: We cut the window sill to fit inside the rough opening with its depth even with the wainscoting edge below. The sill was 4 inches wide. We nailed it in place with 6D finish nails.

We cut the head jamb to fit inside the top portion of the window rough opening with its depth even with the drywall edge. The head jamb was 3 inches wide. We nailed it in place with 6D finish nails. (Illustration 2)

 

Illustration 3
Window with left casing installed cut in an L-shaped to accommodate the two depths to the wall surface
Window with left casing installed cut in an L-shape to accommodate the two depths to the wall surface.
Window with right casing installed cut in an L-shaped to accommodate the two depths to the wall surface
Window with right casing installed cut in an L-shape to accommodate the two depths to the wall surface.

Step 2: We cut the window casings to fit the depths of the wall surface. This meant that each side had to be 3 inches wide from the top down to the ledger bottom and below the ledger bottom, it had to be 4 inches wide. I did not take pictures of the cuts being made. I cut the pieces to length and made them both 4 inches wide. I then marked the distance up from the bottom that was to be below the ledger. I drew a line 1-inch long from the edge that would be even with wainscoting to inside the casing to mark where the 'foot' part of the L-shape would end. I set my table saw at 3 inches and slowly ripped down the length of the casing piece from the top right up to the line that I had drawn. I ran the casing trim board through the saw top side up so that the mark from the saw blade would be on the back side as I knew through the top before it made it all the way through the bottom side. I then set the table saw at 8 inches, the distance up from the bottom of the casing that would fit against the wainscoted portion of the window. It turned the board and ran it through the table saw again, top side up, to finish cutting the notch.

Once I was done cutting, I test fitted the casings. When all fitted correctly,  set the casings in place and nailed them with 6D finish nails. (Illustration 3)

Step 3: We cut the ledger pieces for the right and left sides of the window that topped the wainscoting.We cut them to length on the chop saw. Then we cut them to width on the table saw. We made our ledgers 2 1/4 inches wide.

At the ledger ends near the window, we cut it in a curve for aesthetics and practicality. We marked our curve on the window edge end of the ledger and used a hand held scroll saw to make this cut, sanding it smooth afterward. Since this is Camp Littlemore, we weren't as fussy as we might have been if this were a mansion.

We set the ledgers in place to insure a good fit. Once fitted properly, we tacked them in place with 4D nails.  (Illustration 4) The end of the left ledger lifted slightly as there was a warp in the board we used. We didn't worry because the window trim would fit snugly between the top trim and the ledger board and so it would hold it in place.

 

Illustration 4
Left ledger installed
Left ledger installed.
Right ledger installed
Right ledger installed.
The ledger installed
The ledgers installed.

Step: 4 We cut and placed the top and bottom trim pieces. We cut the top trim first. We allowed for the trim to extend beyond the side trim about 1 - 1 1/4 inches on each side. We also allowed for a 1/4 inch reveal along the edge of the window sill. You mark your reveal on the edge of the sill facing the room. Measure down the edge 1/4 inch on each end of the sill board and mark lightly with a pencil.  We centered the trim under the window and lined it up with reveal marks. Then we nailed it in place with 6D finish nails. We set the nails slightly into the wood so we could fill the nail holes later with wood fill so the nail heads wouldn't show. (Illustration 5)

Illustration 5
The bottom trim installed
The bottom trim installed.
The top trim installed
The top trim piece installed.

As a side note, we have the control box for the entrance cable set in the wall to the left of this window (as seen in Illustration 5). We had to be careful that our trim boards did not interfere with access to the box; therefore, we had to make the left extension of the bottom trim piece just a little shorter than the right extension. Since the wooden door we installed over the metal box hides the end of the trim board, you cannot tell that one side is shorter than the other.

We cut and placed the top trim in the same fashion as the bottom trim. We allowed for the trim to extend beyond the side trim pieces and so cut it the same length as the bottom trim. We marked the reveal on the head jamb as we did on the sill and set the trim board in place. We nailed it with 6D finish nails. (Illustration 6)

Step 5: In the last step, we cut, fit and placed the side trim pieces. We did the ones above the ledger board first. This trim needs to fit snugly in its place between the top trim and ledger and so we measured the distance from the ledger to the top trim exactly. Again, we measured and marked a 1/4 inch reveal on each end of the casing above the ledger on each side of the window. We set the side trim pieces in place lining them up with the reveal marks. We nailed them in place with 6D finish nails. (Illustration 6)

Illustration 6
Side trim pieces installed above the ledger
Side trim pieces installed above the ledger
The side trim installed below ledger
The side trim installed below the ledger.

We did the ones below the ledger board next. This trim also needs to fit snugly in its place and so we measured the distance from the underside of the ledger to the top edge of the trim under the window. We measured and marked the reveal on the each end of the casing below the ledger on each side of window. We set the trim pieces in place lining them up with the reveal marks and nailed them with 6D finish nails. (Illustration 7)

When we were done with this project, we were very proud of ourselves. We confronted the challenge of installing window trim around a window that had two depths due to the fact we had installed wainscoting on half the wall which affected the lower portion of the window trim.

As you can see in Illustration 7, the finished trim job looks pretty good for a camp, wouldn't you say?

 

 

 

 

 

Illustration 7
Finished window trim job
The finished window trim job
Last Updated on Sunday, 05 June 2011 11:38  

Newsflash

The windows are both trimmed out in Amanda's room! They might not be perfect, but certainly good enough for Camp Littlemore. Given the challenge of trimming around both drywall and pine wainscoting on one of the windows, I think we did a fairly decent job.