DIY Window moulding?

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Forum topic by Vrtigo1 posted 12-03-2012 11:23 PM 2274 views 1 time favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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434 posts in 2953 days

12-03-2012 11:23 PM

I have a small window in my guest bathroom which just has a very simple wood sill plate that’s painted white and isn’t very attractive. On either side and above the window is drywall. It looks out of place to me without something between the window and the surrounding wall to create a transition.

I was thinking about putting some moulding around the window to dress it up a bit and I was thinking about how Norm could make all kinds of great looking moulding in a few minutes with 2 or 3 router bits.

I looked at the projects and something like this is what I was thinking about (minus all the fancy stuff, just the stuff on the top/bottom/sides is what I was thinking about.

I think I probably have the router bits to create that, but what I’m missing is the instructions. I am useless when it comes to creativity or designing something myself but I feel like I could do it if I had some instructions or a video to watch.

So here are a couple questions:

If I’m just going to paint this, is using MDF ok or do I need to use wood? Either is fine with me, but I was thinking the smoothness and lack of imperfections of MDF would make it easier, plus I feel like I could probably get all the material I need from a half sheet of MDF for about $15-20.

Is it even worth going the DIY route or am I better off going to Home Depot and buying moulding from them?

Any suggestions on where to look at more DIY projects similar to what I am talking about?

8 replies so far

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2449 days

#1 posted 12-03-2012 11:55 PM

I’ll take a stab at this to get others started.

First, I’m not fond of MDF, besides being hard on router bits, the dust really gets to me.

Next, in picture #2 you are showing (from the top down), a crown molding with a shadow line under it. I would do it in two pieces with my small 2HP router.
Next is the rail, which is just a 1X4 or 1X6 capped by the crown molding and the shadow line piece.
Last is simply a 1/2” (approximately) thick piece of 1x that has had a round over used on it.

So your bit selection will be an Ogee bit, a round over bit, and maybe a couple of other bits of your choice to make the shadow lines.

On the ends of the crown mold, make certain you do a return or it won’t look right. In fact, do it on all pieces and while you are at it, round over or relieve the edges of the stiles. If they are too sharp they’ll look cheap and have a tendency to splinter.

Good Luck! You can do it!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View doordude's profile


1085 posts in 2945 days

#2 posted 12-04-2012 12:01 AM

it’s one window,why don’t just buy some 2-1/4 molded casing.miter it and nail it on, you’re done

View pintodeluxe's profile


5616 posts in 2775 days

#3 posted 12-04-2012 01:04 AM

I always prefer the look of real wood, and it will be more durable too. If MDF even gets damp, it is ruined.
This trim was created from rough qswo with not much more than a chamfer bit and a roundover bit.
Good luck with the trim!

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View bondogaposis's profile


4680 posts in 2313 days

#4 posted 12-04-2012 01:14 AM

MDF is not good in a bathroom. It swells w/ moisture.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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Dan Krager

3955 posts in 2196 days

#5 posted 12-04-2012 01:16 AM

I happen to like the style you linked to. Buy the crown, and put it on MDF if you like. It’s easy then because all you need is a good round over bit, could be done by hand plane, and good cut off saw, manual or chop. This amount of cutting won’t destroy a carbide bit. It will dull a hand plane quickly. 100 grit sand paper is quick.

You should be able to get 1×6 material very inexpensively. 1×4 for the sides. I buy the lower grades and cut around the bad spots. In either case you may wish to predrill the nail holes to prevent splitting. You can also spin the nails in without predrilling. Just chuck them firmly into your drill and turn slowly. There is such a thing as a nail spinner, a drill attachment that holds the finish nail head between three internal bearings that bind on the nail as you spin it, pull it off the nail, and set the nail with a nail set.
+1 on the returns at the ends of your work.

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL One should always prefer the probable impossible to the improbable possible.

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Dan Krager

3955 posts in 2196 days

#6 posted 12-04-2012 01:18 AM

I missed the bathroom part. You lose the cost effectiveness of MDF when you get the water resistant type, or if you need to prime all sides before installation, including ends.
Go solid wood.

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL One should always prefer the probable impossible to the improbable possible.

View Vrtigo1's profile


434 posts in 2953 days

#7 posted 12-04-2012 02:19 AM

Perfect, thanks for the suggestions.

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2210 days

#8 posted 12-05-2012 03:31 PM

This is a good video on creating some custom and fancy profiles with some pretty simple router bits cut at an angle. He is making a curved molding, but it would be a lot easier with straight stock


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