how to replace trim around a front door

how to replace trim around a front door
Tools Needed
1 Utility Knife
2 Pry Bar
3 Putty Knife
4 Miter Saw
5 Finish Nails
6 Nail Gun
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Materials Needed
1 6d trim nails
2 10d trim nails
3 New door trim
4 Measuring tape
Total Cost
$50-$100
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Estimated Time
3-4 Hours
Skill Level: Advanced
The total cost and duration may vary when hiring a handyman!

Project Overview

person replacing trim around a front door

Numerous reasons exist for the need to replace trim around a front door. Trim is sometimes replaced by homeowners who want to update their current decor, or add a more decorative appeal to their home. Replacing trim certainly provides an invigorating look at the home’s entrance. Damage is far more often the reason for front door trim replacement. Rot and other damage occurs over time, oftentimes caused by age and various weather elements. Spotting damaged or rotted trim is as simple as looking at your front door. If you notice the trim is dented, cracked, or fading, the culprit is likely rotted wood underneath.

When it’s time to replace trim, don’t depend upon a professional to complete the task. Hiring a professional to replace trim could cost thousands of dollars, but when you tackle it on your own, you need $100 or less to do just as thorough of a job. Replacing trim is a simple DIY project most any handyman homeowner can easily complete in a matter of a few hours. Learn how to replace trim around a front door with the step-by-step instructions below, gather the supplies, and prepare for a replacement job you’ll feel good about completing.

Starting your project only to realize you’re without the tools and materials needed to complete the job is frustrating! Avoid wasting time and this frustration by gathering all the items you need before the project begins.

Step-By-Step Instructions

1

Remove the Old Trim

person removing the top trim piece from a door

If rotting wood has yet to cause the need for replacement trim at the front door, consider yourself lucky. This is a common problem many homeowners face. To minimize the damage caused to the trim around the front door (and minimize future repairs,) choose trim made from plastic composite materials. Plastic composite materials are weather-resistant, so snow, rain, and cold weather and heat don’t stand a chance of causing damage. The material is long-lasting, durable, and worry-free, making it a great investment when rotting wood and weather damage cause problems at your home. Wood preservative wonderfully protects against rotting for wood garage door trim. Covering the door with plywood before you start removing the old trim provides protection against various types of damage.

Don’t attempt to remove each individual nail from the existing trim to remove it from the frame. This can be a time-consuming, tedious process. Instead, break the trim using a hammer instead. Your pry bar can help you remove the trim from the frame. When breaking and removing the existing trim, use caution because it’s easy to damage the material surrounding the door if you’re not careful.

2

Remove Nails & Caulking

front door trims

If any nails remain after breaking the trim, use your claw hammer to remove them. Left behind caulk is just as easily removed while removing the nails. Use a putty knife to scrap the caulk and any residue that remains. For stubborn caulk, a caulk remover can make the job less burdensome.

The job is done when the reveal line becomes clearly visible. Finish the job with the use of a non-expanding spray foam insulation to further weatherproof the trim.

3

Measure the Trim

measuring front door trim

Recording measurements of the door trim is necessary to purchase new trim for replacement. A simple tape measure helps take those measurements so you can be sure the trim is cut to the right size to fit the opening. Find the header width by marking each piece of trim along the outside edge. Using the measuring tape, measure the length between the marks. A header that slightly expands beyond the trim looks best.

Remember,  you need to add twice the thickness of the header to the overall length when marking to cut. Write down your measurements. Never assume you’ll remember them later.

4

Cut And Fit the New Trim

cutting front door trim

It’s now time to cut the new trim to size for your front door. Use your Miter saw to cut the trim. Use a 45- degree cut to accurately size the trim, leaving an ⅛-inch reveal on the doorway.  Apply a urethane parting stop on the inside of the bottom and top header.

Before nailing the new trim onto the front door, ensure a proper fit. It’s much easier to correct ill-fitting trim now than after it is secured into place. There shouldn’t be any gaps between the frame and trim, but if there are, use a sander to adjust the trim. Once the trim is adjusted to properly fit the door frame, ensure that it meets the reveal line.

5

Nail the Trim into Place

new trim for a front entry door

It is the final Step! Set the header center of the door frame, ensuring it extends just beyond each side of the trim. Nail the trim into place using 6d casing nails into the door jambs and 10d nails into the studs and the sheathing. A nail gun is useful to apply the finishing nails into place, if one is available. Your claw hammer will work if a nail gun is unavailable. Use wood filler to set the nails, sanding when dry. Apply exterior caulking from the molding of the trim to the siding. Remove excess caulk with a putty knife or caulk remover.

Conclusion

Updated trim around the front door adds appeal and protection to your house. To further protect the trim, use a three-layer primer treatment. Primer is designed to fill wood fissures to enhance the durability of the wood. Allow each layer of primer to dry before applying another. A layer of latex paint dries to a flexible finish, preventing the trim from rotting. Wood sealer is also a great product that can help minimize wood rotting to protect your front door trimming for a substantially longer time. After protecting the wood with the three-step primer protection, paint the trim in the appropriate color to match the exciting decor.

How To Replace Trim Around A Front Door

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Questions And Answers

What color to paint a north facing front door?
The two best colors for a north facing front door are gray and white. You could also paint this door black, blue, gray or white. You should not paint a north facing front door purple, red, yellow, brown, green, pink or orange.
Can you paint a vinyl front door?
Yes. You could paint your vinyl front door. However, you need to complete the adhesion process first. Once you have prepared the door, you can use an additive or primer, to assure the job is done properly.
Is a steel or fiberglass door better?
Fiberglass doors and steel doors are both great doors. If struck hard enough a fiberglass door can crack, steel does not. Other than that, these doors are both really great options. Steel is the more affordable of the two but fiberglass may be slightly better in all other aspects.
How much does it cost to install a new door?
On average the cost of a new entry door is between $500 and $700. The price varies greatly depending on things such as the material of the door, the brand, the type of door, the company installing the door, and more. Installing the door yourself will reduce the cost.
How much does it cost to install a Prehung door?
To install a prehung door, the price may vary a bit, depending on the brand and other factors. If you want someone to take away your old materials and install the door for you, it may cost an average of $350. The door alone may cost an average of $200.
Do you need to paint a fiberglass door?
Yes, you should paint a fiberglass door. The edges are generally already primed, so they can be painted. If you choose not to paint these doors, they may start rotting or delaminating. The edges are usually made from wood which is why they may rot if not painted.
Can you paint a PVC door?
Yes, you most certainly can. You will want to be sure that you clean the door before painting and be sure that it is dry completely. You then will prime and paint. Be sure to use a good set of rollers when painting your door.
What does it mean to have a black door?
If you have black door, that signifies great things about you and your home. It can stand for authority, power, sophistication and strength. Anyone who goes by or comes over will know you are serious about protecting your home and your family members too.
How much does it cost to buy and install a new front door?
Most stronger, longer-lasting front doors will run between $350 and $750 plus. If you want a higher quality brand, the cost may be a bit more. In addition, if you want someone to install the front door, this would vary based on contractor rates but may be around $200.
How do you fix a door frame?
To fix a door frame, you must first take off the broken part. You will then nail in the new frame, place the door stop, put the strike plate in and install the molding. This project does not take very long for most people.
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INTERESTING RESOURCES

front of a home looking from the curb

External Wooden Front Doors

You have a mind-blowing house with perfect interior decorating, but whenever anyone comes in they keep quiet and say nothing about your exquisitely designed home. You scratch your head and ask yourself why? Maybe it’s because your house has a poorly designed or mismatched front door. When someone enters your house the first two things they see are your front door and entryway. However, if they are not designed properly, the person’s mind forms the image of an improper and shabby house. You can’t often change a person’s first impression, but with a little planning you can set the right ambience from the beginning. When selecting an external front door, functionality is as important as design. Having a magnificent front door is not the only concern because while it may be able to create a good impression, what’s the point of having it if it is not durable or secure enough to last and keep your family safe. Most people can’t spend a fortune on front doors, so making the right choice from a wide selection of materials is extremely important. Some homeowners may choose to use steel external front doors, while for others the appearance of wooden front doors is preferred. Not just because it enhances your entryway by its beauty, a wooden front door is better than steel for several reasons. It’s more durable and stands up against harsh winds, heavy rains, and sunlight; it also provides better security against intruders. read more

Aesthetic Appeal

view of the porch with a wooden front door and bay windows

Price & Functionality

family standing in front of their front door

Durability, Maintenance, and Care

family standing in front of their new house
Residential Front Doors

Residential Front Doors

Choosing a new front door can be a difficult process. This is why you need to have some more information about picking out residential front doors before you make your decision. There are many different factors to consider when you are thinking about this replacement in the front of your home. People are going to drive by and see your home. The price on your property taxes may change depending on which door you choose and there are other considerations need to be made as well. If you want to replace your residential front doors, that is a great idea. Just make sure you consider the above-mentioned things before doing so. read more

Property Tax Value

front door

Style of Your Home

entry doors with sidelights

Price of the Door

Residential Front Door
various front door styles and colors

Classic Front Doors

When you’re shopping for a new front entry door, many homeowners favor classic front doors for their timeless design. A traditional door can have a broad appeal, making it ideal for those who prefer an option that isn’t likely to lose its desirability as trends change or anyone interested in selling their home in the near future and don’t want to turn away potential buyers. . Since the designs have stood the test of time, most manufacturers produce options featuring the traditional elements associated with classic front doors, making it easier to find one in your ideal material and at your preferred price point. read more

Traditional Styling

double arched front doors on a large house

Wide Appeal

classic front door with a single sidelite

Material Choices

front porch of a house with a classic front door and sidelites and custom brickmould
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