Adding Trim Around the Inside of Our Front Door (Finally)

July 11, 2016  —  Written by Chris 

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For our frequent readers, you may remember a few months ago when we added our new front door and trimmed it out. As a refresher:

Adding Trim Around the Inside of Our Front Door (Finally) | Chris Loves Julia

Adding Trim Around the Inside of Our Front Door (Finally) | Chris Loves Julia

We opted out of the sidelight on the door and instead went with some heavier trim to fill the gaps. We still love this door and everything it has added to the first impression our home gives.

All that said, the inside has been a bit… neglected. Here’s how the inside looked before we replaced the door:

Adding Trim Around the Inside of Our Front Door (Finally) | Chris Loves Julia
Eeks, throwback. That was taken pretty much right after we finished laying our tile floors in 2014. Here’s how the inside has looked ever since we swapped out the door in March (2016):

Adding Trim Around the Inside of Our Front Door (Finally) | Chris Loves Julia

No shame. What can I say, life happens. And sometimes, we live with ugly things in our home because we have other priorities right then. BUT! That almost makes something small (like adding trim around a door) feel so much bigger when you actually get around to it, which we finally did this past weekend. Here’s how the inside looks now:

Adding Trim Around the Inside of Our Front Door (Finally) | Chris Loves Julia

The thicker trim was of course a necessity for us, but we also love the way it turned out. It feels so grand and substantial, which I think is appropriate for a front door. It also adds height to the door where our standard ceilings could potentially make things feel short.

Creating this look was pretty quick and easy, actually. Here are the materials:

• two 8ft primed MDF boards (1/2in x 8in)
• one 8ft primed MDF board (11/16in x 7 1/4in)
• one 84in primed MDF header moulding
• one 96in primed pine brick moulding

With this, you simply start from the ground and work your way up. This means cutting the two side pieces (1/2in x 8in moulding) so they are about 1/2 inch shorter than the door frame itself, and attach those with a brad nailer.

Adding Trim Around the Inside of Our Front Door (Finally) | Chris Loves Julia

Pardon my bed head. Sometimes you just gotta do a project immediately after you wake up. You know how it is.

Next is to connect the header moulding piece to the 11/16in x 7 1/4in primed mdf. First, when you cut the boards, make the primed MDF as wide as the distance between the outside edges of your side moulding pieces you’ve already put in place. Second, cut the header moulding so it’s 1 inch longer.

Adding Trim Around the Inside of Our Front Door (Finally) | Chris Loves Julia

Next, connect the two together using short brad nails (like 1 inch), and being very careful that the nailer is straight up and down so you don’t get any nails shooting out the sides. The boards should be centered together, so the header moulding extends 1/2 inch on either side.

Adding Trim Around the Inside of Our Front Door (Finally) | Chris Loves Julia

Attach that to the door frame with a brad nailer so it’s secure in place.

Adding Trim Around the Inside of Our Front Door (Finally) | Chris Loves Julia

Now begin with the top “crown” piece (brick moulding). The narrower part of the brick moulding should be the same width as the header moulding you’ve already attached, but you’re going to miter the edges and attach angled pieces to create a custom look. Like so:

Adding Trim Around the Inside of Our Front Door (Finally) | Chris Loves Julia

These can be tricky to nail together. But hold the sides as tight as you can and secure it with 1in brad nails. Once that’s made, add it to the top of the trim work, with the wider end to the top, nail it in, and caulk all the cracks and holes for a seamless look:

IMG_1972Adding Trim Around the Inside of Our Front Door (Finally) | Chris Loves Julia

Allow the caulk to dry, paint everything, and pat yourself on the back.

Adding Trim Around the Inside of Our Front Door (Finally) | Chris Loves Julia

Adding Trim Around the Inside of Our Front Door (Finally) | Chris Loves Julia

Now, the elephant in the room, it doesn’t match any of the trim in the entire rest of our house. “Doesn’t that drive you crazy?!” you might ask. Well, not really, and for a couple reasons. First of all, it’s waaaaay better than the uneven, bare, rough 2x4s we’ve had for the past almost 4 months now. And secondly, if the trim on something in your house is going to differ, the front door is the place to do it. Now, if we had one window that was different from all the others, or one hallway door, that would drive me nuts. But where the door itself is already different from our other doors, the trim being different doesn’t bother me.

That said, this new trim work looks so good, I may just want to change it in the rest of the house. The longest part of the project was waiting for the caulk to dry, and it’s really quite amazing how expensive of a look you get for less than $50.

Adding Trim Around the Inside of Our Front Door (Finally) | Chris Loves Julia

What do you think? What front doors are you currently inspired by when it comes to your home? Would love to know your thoughts, answer any questions, and hear what you plan to do if you’re gonna be tackling a front door in the future.


Ps. See how we chose our front door here, our front door hardware here and installing the door here.


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What do you think?

  1. Donna says:

    What brand and model is the door? It looks great.

  2. Cherry says:

    For your trim- did you measure for a reveal? I’m looking into doing this for our entry door but am worried about the hinges?
    There’s not a lot of info for doing this style trim on an entrance door. Thanks for sharing yours it looks great!

  3. Where did you order the front door? It’s beautiful

  4. Katie M says:

    This will probably sound like a silly question, but has your front door held up well to the elements, like snow and freezing temperatures? I’m about to order from the website where you found your door – I was so relieved to find your posts about finding a front door that had some lovely character instead of settling for something less than thrilling. I can’t get over how terrible the choices are for basic, run-of-the-mill (read: not ultra expensive) front and back doors. Even listened for the first time to Young House Love’s podcast just to hear their take on finding those diamond paned doors. I’m nervous ordering a door online, but it seems to have worked out for you guys.

  5. KiloRomeo says:

    What size are your baseboards?

  6. Katherine says:

    I love your door and interior trim and I’m hoping to replicate it on my house in Texas. I was wondering about the EXTERIOR trim. Is it the same as inside? I am not able to tell from the picture. If not, do you have a more detailed picture on your site you can direct me to?

    My house is a 1990’s suburban pseudo colonial. The door has some kind of extruded foam fluted pilaster/cap combo. It’s in poor shape due to southern exposure, plus it’s replicated on a bunch of other houses in the ‘hood. I want to simplify with hefty trim to modernize it and add a portico to shade the door.

  7. Jennie says:

    What color white did you paint all of your trim?

  8. Christy says:

    I’m wanting to do this exact thing… I was so excited to find this!! I have a question- was your old door a standard 36 inch and did you replace it with a 36 inch door or did you buy a wider door?

  9. Haley says:

    Love the chunky molding! That must feel refreshing to get done. I have lofty front door dreams so until I win the lottery or at least the door lottery maybe some molding would help. I would one day love and old, thick, rounded door with wood and metal or with crazy colors and titles. Think moorish, Moroccan or Iranian. Like I said, lofty.

  10. Stephanie says:

    I love this trim! Do you have a caulking tutorial? I really need to see this to do it!!!!!

  11. Amanda Taylor says:

    Love, love, love it!

  12. Jeanna says:

    What happened to the trim piece on the Right?

    • Julia says:

      You mean the baseboard? We’re installing a new staircase railing so we’re waiting to put that back on until we replace that.

  13. Kates says:

    Silly question – Have you considered painting your brink on your house to match the siding? I am DYING to paint mine! I see it all over HGTV and newer homes but didn’t know if you ever thought of the same thing? while I love the look on other homes the brick on my house is a funny color and it doesn’t match the gray siding at all!

    • Julia says:

      We were just discussing that this weekend. I think we’re gonna do it! Stay tuned.

      • Kates says:

        My co-workers who are architects say NOOOOOO but I love the look of painted brick when the house is a half/half combo like yours!!!

  14. Karen F says:

    It looks so great! And you make it sound so easy, although I’m sure it wasn’t as easy as it sounds!
    Isn’t it killing you a little, though, to have that tiny part of the unfinished baseboard to the right of the door? I assume you’re waiting until you update the railings to finish that part?

    • Julia says:

      Hahaha, good eye. Yes! We ripped off the baseboard and almost reattached it, but it’s even more motivation to get those new railings in.

      • Emelia says:

        I was thinking just that! Can’t wait to see how the new railings turn out. :) I was also surprised to see that we have the same light fixture in our hallway! Ours seems to give off a yellowy glow but I love how it looks.

  15. Heather says:

    I am sure someone has already commented on this, but having a glass door myself I feel like commenting here. You do know that when you have a glass pane in your door you need to have a keyed deadbolt, right? This is for security reasons and from your pictures it looks like you do not have an inside keyed lock on your door. If you do and I am mistaken I am sorry, I would just hate for someone to break into your house because they can see these pictures on the Internet.

    • Julia says:

      Thanks for your comment, Heather. Rest assured, we have a great security system in place and a big dog as backup. We feel very safe.

    • AP says:

      I think the fire hazard created by a double keyed deadbolt is of far greater concern than that of a break in. If someone wants to break in they will break in one way or another. If there’s a fire and the only way out is the front door you’re in major trouble if you don’t have your key.

  16. I love the way you have you made trim on your door. It gives your house new dimension. As I see, you are very handy with making you own custom trim. I would never dare to doing that because I am not so patient. I would rather use prefabricated plaster trim.

  17. Michelle says:

    Awesome job on the front door- it looks great! We have double front doors, which makes the enterance look very grand. I just painted the front entry an almost white color and now the front doors (which are white) look…blah. Without seeng it, would you recommend that I paint the inside of the front doors black to make them really pop (the outside of the doors are red)? Also, where did you get your light in the front entry? Thanks!

  18. Christina says:

    Where, oh where, is that cute, simple little light fixture number from?

  19. Debra says:

    Love your trim. We have a rental that has no trim around doorways and it drives me nuts! Going to use your method. Thanks for posting!

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We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

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