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Monday, November 25, 2013


Trim.  It needs no introduction (in my mind).  But maybe you feel differently.

When I think of our trim I think of two words: Big and Beautiful.  Like Queen Latifah!

Ok, maybe not.  And before I start comparing the flooring to some other 90's rapper, I think its time to move on.

I don't want this to be a whine-fest about how much work our trim is (and believe me, its a lot of work) because, I have to say, I'm absolutely in love with our trim. I think it is beautiful and I think it is making our house beautiful.  In other words, trim is important to me and therefore worth all the work.

The reason the trim is so important to us can be better explained by looking back at our house hunting must-have list.  Michael and I really wanted an older home.  Something built prior to 1940, something with lots of character.  And what did we get?  A 1975 basic Cape Cod reno.  Pretty far from the character filled home we were looking for.  So in order to bring this home more in line with what our dream home would look like we decided  to build character into our home.

One of the best ways for us to do that was to upgraded the trim - since we had already torn down the old stuff anyway- and replace it with something that has a much bigger statement to make!

Check out the old stuff...
This window trim screams something but it is not character.  Yikes!

So here's what we did.  We switched out the window to maximize the view of the river.  Added grills to the side windows to fit with the cape code style of the home.  And finally we added large layered moldings around the windows. 

Yeah.. I'm in love.  I can't wait to rip off those stickers and watch the river go by.

Another area we added character was the entryway.  The entryway has a bit of a functional issue that we had to remedy - there is no coat closet (the door on the left goes to the 2nd floor).  And there really was not room to add one when we were moving walls around.  So what we did was create a built in coat rack with beadboard.

We obviously have not hung the coat hooks yet, but they will be on the two horizontal pieces.

If we zoom out a bit, you can also see that the entryway was very closed off because of this wall separating it from the living room.

So we opened up the space making it feel much more spacious. And to the opening we added some more big and beautiful trim.  I'm really excited about this! I was inspired by something my mom had installed in her home when she re-did her kitchen.  The molding at the top of the opening is actually a shelf and hidden on the right end of the shelf is an electrical outlet (see the wire sticking up?).  That way we can have lighted garland at Christmas time or whenever else we are feeling festive! And lets be honest, I'm always feelin' festive!

In the bathroom we had another functional problem to solve.  Remember when I talked about our tub Harriett and how we are building in a "bump out" behind her for extra storage? Well here it is, sans Harriett. 

You can kind of see the subtle line where you can lift the lid to the bump out and store things inside of it.  Also, the beadboard goes all the way around the bathroom to add character.


So it is looking like the trim is almost done, huh?  You would be almost right! Steve is going to finish up the big opening between the living room and kitchen/dining room today and then after thanksgiving, he will finish up the dining room and fireplace mantle. And then its done. :-D

Guys, we've been at this since August with the trim. There are so many steps to getting the trim finished... you have no idea.  But you will if you read the rest of this post!

A Step by Step Process for Getting Beautifully Painted Trim

1. Sand - we sanded all the wood trim with 100 grit sandpaper (some by hand and some with a power sander), knocking off sharp edges and any rough spots.  

2. Prime with a primer that works as a filler.  This helps fill in uneven areas and give a nice smooth foundation that sands very well. We used our paint sprayer to expedite this process.
3. Sand -  During this step we used 220 grit.  This was an important step since we used pine and poplar for our trim.  Our paint guys at Snyder Paints (which are fantastic, by the way) helped explain that poplar, especially, has a tendency to have little fingers that pop up after priming so its very important to sand them down before the next step.

4. Install - This has been Steve's forte and something he is amazing at! We are very thankful for his hard work and eye for detail in this area!

5. Fill holes and caulk. - obviously important so you don't see the little nail holes or gaps.  It makes for a clean, finished look. You'll need to get rid of the extra wood filler by sanding too.  Using a foam sanding block like this one has worked really well for us.  I call him my little buddy because I seem to carry him everywhere around the house with me. Don't forget to caulk!
As you can see once sanded and primed again, the filled hole have disappeared!

6. Prim with a sealant.  Yep! We are priming everything again! It is an expensive additional step but we need to seal the wood so it's important not to skip this step.

7. Sand - not kidding...again!! I think that shows just how important it is.  This time we sand with a super fine sand paper- sort of like a scouring pad. And of course every time we sand, we have to wipe down the wood before we paint so we don't get our finish gunked up. 

8. Paint!!! - We have finally made it to this step! We are using a ceramic paint that we got color matched to our kitchen cabinets.  Ceramic paint is supposed to be a great option for trim because of its strength and scrubbability (if that is a word).

It's a lot of work but we are almost done! The bathroom trim is completely finished and everything has it's second coat of primer - Thanks Emily and Cory Bender!!! And Michael and I sprayed the baseboard with the final coat of paint yesterday.  We had to get that done because the cardboard protection is coming off the floor Tuesday so they can add the last coat of sealant on the hardwoods Wednesday.  And once that is done, do you know what that means?

 We can move in!! 

Now that is something to be thankful for!