Window trim makes the difference

April 20, 2015

I’m sharing another window trim project that makes a HUGE difference in a room. I am always so pleased and surprised by the difference it makes every time I do this – I will probably share every time I finish another window. It makes me that happy. :)

Here’s what the guest room window looked like years back when I repainted the room. I hung the roman shades high:

outside mount roman shades

I hung this one so high because of this specific shade – it was way too low even when fully open. Natural light is a biggie for me in every room so I try to take advantage of it as much as possible. When hung inside the window (inside mount), it blocked half of the window even when pulled up!

So hanging it above worked great. Fast forward to recently and you can see how this one has held up:

Ha! A little wonky. After time they sometimes do this. Usually it’s because the string is caught up on something on the back of the shade but this time it was more than I could fix – the string was worn through and the whole thing needed to be replaced. I had this one for close to ten years so it served us well.

As a side note -- I get asked about our roman shades all the time – I slowly replaced our blinds with these some time ago and I LOVE them. I get mine at Home Depot and they are the Home Decorators flatweave roman shades:

brown bamboo roman shades

I love them for a few reasons – they are a tight weave so they don’t let much light through at all. This is also great for privacy. They look good from the outside when closed, and my favorite part – they pull up super high so it allows as much light in as possible when I install them inside the window frame.

The only thing is – they’ve changed the color of the shade. Our entire house is more of a brown and the newer ones are more of an espresso, dark color. I still like it, I just loved the original color a lot too. :) And I noticed the new one I got doesn’t pull up quite as far as the others in our house.

So anyway, I’ve trimmed out windows before in our living room (and then in our family room but I didn’t share that process). Our windows just came with a window sill – nothing else. I used to use skinny trim to wrap them to give the look of a little more finished product, but the chunky trim is my favorite. All the windows in the house will get this look eventually…one at a time. 

I was so intimidated by this process at first but now I find it to be one of the easiest DIY projects ever. You need to remove the apron (the strip of wood under the sill) first, then use a crowbar to get under the sill and start pulling it up:

removing window sill

The only somewhat involved part after that is making a new sill – which is easy if you keep the old one. So…keep the old one. ;)

My helpers were there with me the whole time of course:


Sweetie heads. :)

I shared this whole process step by step here so check that out if you want to try this project. But you keep the sill so you can use it as a template for the new one:

adding beefy window trim

Framing out a window can be a really inexpensive project or a more mid-range one depending on the kind of wood you use. I use pine for everything – I never go nicer than that. I’ve never found there’s a need to when it’s being painted. But you can get the “select” pine that has no knots in it and that’s a little more expensive.

The knots in the pine can be covered with primer but sometimes the tannins will still come through the paint. For this window I went the cheap route – but spent time going through the cheaper pine for some that had very few knots. And then I cut my pieces around them as much as I could. 

Here’s the graphic I put together last time to show the size of each piece of wood: window trim how toThose windows were on the front of our house where we have brick and had deeper window sills. The rest of our windows have five inch sills so that saves some cash too.

Also, that stop piece and the 1x2 at the top are both about half an inch wider than the rest – I have them sticking out 1/4 inch on both sides of the window for a little detail.

The only thing a little different on this window is that I made the window sill flush with the trim at the bottom:

chunky window trim craftsman window trim

If you look above in that graphic you can see that the sill juts out a bit – I like both looks! I’d like to say I did this on purpose this time, but it was a total measuring mistake. ;) Good thing I liked the way it looked!

I was losing light but took this one before the sun went down to show the new trim against the old wall color:

do-it-yourself craftsman window trim

Instant charm and interest where there was none! OK, not instant. But once you know how to do this the project can be done in about 45 minutes. The three coats of paint takes a little longer than that. :)

You know how I love me some contrast – that old color was pretty but I wanted to make the room feel a little warmer and sophisticated. More on that soon, but here’s a peek at the new trim with the new wall color:

adding trim around a window

LOVE. This is the way to my heart. Chunky trim.

Here’s a comparison to show you the difference it makes!:

DIY craftsman window trim

I can’t wait to show you the rest of the room! I made a few changes but this trim around the window is one of the biggest impacts. I am always pleasantly surprised at the difference it makes! I won’t be putting drapes up in here – I love the look of the window open now that it looks so pretty. :)

The removal of the old window sill is what used to intimidate me most, but it’s incredibly easy and quick to pull it up. The total cost to trim out this window was $20 – I had the tools and paint. Have you tried adding some trim around windows? If you don’t have window sills to start with this would be even easier and quicker!

**See how I’ve started adding similar trim around the doors in our home here and here.

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  1. I trimmed out every window in my house, in a similar way, as soon as I moved in. I kept thinking I would hang drapes some day...but with my roman shades and my lovely trim, we've been there 6+ years and haven't felt the need for curtains yet. Thank you for validating that decision. ;-)

    1. I didn't add any on our front windows either. I love the simple trim!

  2. Wow...what a difference! Would never have thought it could look so different (and better) Great job! jodie

  3. Whoa!! I'm so glad you included that side-by-side comparison because the improvement is drastic! It really looks beautiful!

  4. Love this. We have no trim at all, just those curved drywall edges that every builder seems to do. I love all the trim you've added to you home and the new paint color for this room is so pretty too.

    1. Marty, you must be in the southwest too! I HATE the "Santa Fe" style rounded corners and heavily textured walls! I want to do something like this to our windows, but with those rounded edges at the windows, I have to give it some thought on how best to execute :(

  5. Looks great! The side-by-side photo really demonstrates the huge difference a bit of trim can make. After we installed very beefy trim around all our windows when we built our cottage, neither my wife or I could bring ourselves to covering them over with curtains. We did the inset panels instead.

  6. Can't tell if my comment went through - just wanted to say that this looks perfect. Nice work!


  7. holy crap, that really does make a HUGE difference. that looks amazing. :)

    xo, allie

  8. WOW! What a difference the trim makes, I love it! I hope you'll share it over at the Motivational Monday Link Party:

  9. Such a big difference! My hubby keeps trying to convince me to add trim to our windows. I know it will look great I'm just worried it will take him forever! Maybe it's worth the risk ;)

  10. Both the trim and the new color look great! Big difference.

  11. I have never tried this but would love to. I think it looks amazing, so finished. It's not something I see in Irish homes. I have some questions though. Does it work best if your window frames are white? Do you put wood on the reveal between the frame and the trim? Or is this just painted white? Thanks so much for sharing this!

  12. It look so sharp with the new beefy trim & the paint color really sets off your window. Ooo. Looks great. I'm thankful my house HAS trim, because you would surely be making me want it with these pictures! :)

  13. Wow! It looks so great! Honestly it's amazing what that does to make a room look high quality.

    Great job!

    Xo Rachel

  14. I love the way your windows turn out! I want to do the same, but can't decide if I should paint the trim before installing, but then have to touch up nail holes and caulking, or paint once installed and deal with trimming against the wall. Which do you think is easier? Thanks!

  15. I have been watching your website for months now as you have been adding the trim throughout your house. You have inspired me to do the same. we just put engineered hardwood in two rooms and i put down 1x6 mdf trim. I am also replacing the trim on the doors and bought the wood for one of the headers in my craft room. I am pretty sure I will love it! I also want to do the trim around the windows, but the edges are rounded? Have you worked w/ the rounded edges? I am not sure how to go about doing this and covering up the edges. I don't want to use too much putty, and don't think i can put wood in there. If we would ever have to have the windows replaced I might have to rip it all out! Anyway, if anybody has experience w/ this please let me know. Thanks

  16. I can tell you from experience, trim makes any room look so much better. We have mfg. home with typical "cheap" trim if any. Hubs was working for a building site/development when we bought our home so he was able to bring home many scrap pieces of nice bigger trim he used around windows, making window sills stick out so we can put things on them if preferred. He also put in wide base board where there was none in all rooms. What a difference it makes in how "cheap" construction can look when nice trim added.
    I'm wanting to make our hollow core doors into panel doors, saw demo/tutorial tonight, inexpensive and much easier to do. Wish I could think of blog name doggone it as they deserve full credit. Know I'll get lot of resistance from hubs but will buy plywood and show him what they did (pinned). Such a nice look compared to cheap hollow core doors with plastic paper on them, UGH!!! Our new dbl wide in MT had new doors, not cheapy ones. I would love to put a French door between bathroom and bedroom. Little at a time. Sure wish our oldest son lived here, he'd be helping us. He's coming on Thursday to put new metal roof on our single wide for us. One of his first jobs was roofing. He lives in San Diego. We just pray the blasted rain can hold off for Friday and Saturday which is all the time he has, will fly home on Sunday, bless his heart.
    You have sure inspired me seeing how you've used the trim, looks great. We might not have money but I still want things to look quality and nice. We'll be living in this house for rest of our lives., both in early 70's.
    We have bamboo shades I bought when we moved into our house in July/2006, they are still good, put them in living room windows. Want to take horrid looking mini blinds out of our room at last, til I can afford to put nice looking privacy shades up, no more ugly mini blinds, please.
    Because back of our house faces west I have sheers and lined drapes over bamboo shades, gets really hot in living room in summer and quite cold in winter. Bought drapes then lined them myself. Made lined curtains for bedroom windows (2) out of clearance table cloths, lot less expensive than fabric and whole lot more fabric length and width to work with, had lining. We live on our SS so I have to figure out ways to make it stretch further in good way.
    I love your home, you have worked so hard and done so much to make it awesome. When do you ever have time to relax? I'd do much more but hubs is resistant, not good but I try to say things in such a way he's more apt to cooperate. (fat chance).
    Love your blog and every one of your projects. Happy week

  17. Have I missed the post that gives the new paint color on the walls in the guest room? I've been looking for an attractive green that doesn't remind me of the horrible color in my elementary school cafeteria, and I like what you've used here. I suppose I can wait for the whole-room reveal, but please don't make it too far in the future - I have my husband primed (sorry) to paint now, and who knows how long that will last. ;-) Rebecca

  18. It looks fantastic! I love the your builder's basic home is looking even better than my all original 1920s duplex! It's the little things like this...

  19. Did you retrim the doors so the style matches the windows?


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