One of the bigger projects I’d envisioned for this house is upgrading some of the basic finishes. For example, spray painting my interior door knobs with ORB gave them a cool contrast against my white doors. But I hated the flimsy door frames made out of 1-1/2″ wood. It was pretty simple, just mitered corners and nothing special.
So when I installed the new master bedroom floors I took out the frames, pulling the wood back with my crowbar and removing the nails. This wood was pretty splintered so it went right into the trash.
I waited until the floors were installed in each space before adding the new frame so it would sit nicely on the laminate, I started with 3.5″ common boards from Home Depot. If you’re doing this project first measure the height of the door frame and add a couple inches if you’re doing a miter cut. Mine needed to be 81″ tall in most cases so I went with the 10′ long boards for $4.06/ea.
Keep in mind that if you’re doing this project that most of the wood will be way too cracked, curved or filled with knots to work. I recommend going midweek because the stock gets pretty picked over on the weekends.
While the individual door frame wasn’t too expensive, I had a lot of them to replace – 6 doors going room-to-room and 2 doors leading outside. And each door has the frame on both sides. What made this a little easier was that I’d already framed out the door in the garage leading into the house and don’t need to frame the outside of the front door. And I opted to skip the new trim on the interior master bath door because I’d just finished that trim and inside the hall closet because no one will see it.
Even with a 3.5″ board, some of the door frames were too close to an adjacent wall to fit. So I took the boards out to cut them down on my new table saw. After cutting the boards to width, I measured and cut them to height to reach the top of the frame, but before installing the side boards I hit them with the orbital sander, smoothing the rough edges (because I’m clumsy) and giving the ends a quick polish. Lining up the boards I used the Airstrike to install them with 1.5-2″ finishing nails.
Have I mentioned yet today how much I love this tool? It’s super light so you can easily use it one handed and quick but the biggest bonus is that you don’t need an air compressor which is both loud and expensive, not to mention heavy. #win
So with the side frames nailed in it was time to devise the top. While I like a mitered cut, I wanted something fancier. So I chose to use another 3.5″ board trimmed out with stop moulding which is thinner and rounded on the corners.
The bottom piece is this 1.25″ pine stop which you can find at Home Depot here for $6.06/ea for a strip 84″ long.
The top piece is 1.375″ redwood which you can find here at HD. Keep in mind that each of these boards are long enough for several doors and the length used varies on the door size and frame.
I assembled each top piece in the living room to make sure it was lined up well and then nailed it to the top of the frame. As you can see I made the stops 1″ longer than the frame on each side, except when it was too close to the wall.
I love how fancy these look, very craftsman style and a lot more stylish than the old frames!
The next step is to caulk the seams, cover the nail holes with wood filler, sand it once more and paint white. I’ve also been sanding down the corners because they hurt when you run into them.
So here’s my handy dandy checklist of doors to finish:
- Master bedroom to master bath – framed, needs finishing
- Master bedroom to hallway – framed, needs finishing
- Hallway to closet – framed, needs finishing
- Hallway to guest bath- framed, needs finishing
- Guest bath to hallway – not yet demoed
- Hallway to office – framing started
- Office to hallway – framing started
- Hallway to guest room – framing started
- Guest room to hallway – demoed
- Living room to front yard- framed, needs finishing
- Living room to garage – framing started