Aren't these windows lovely? So clean and finished.
White, crisp, clean frames.
But in Arizona we don't have windows like this (sigh). No, we live in the land of drywall frames
...and plain, rounded drywall corners. Seriously, I don't know a single person in Phoenix who lives in a house with trimmed windows, except the lucky few who live in custom homes. (FYI- Arizona is also the land of beige tract homes, so custom homes are REALLY something special)
Well I have some small, lonely windows on either side of my bed that I didn't know what to do with. They were really too small for curtains, but were in dire need for some detail. I decided one day to take some leftover 1x and cheap window casing (which coincidentally in AZ builders constantly mistake and use for baseboard) and trim out my windows. They turned out thus-ly
I've always loved them. They are the first thing I see when I walk into my bedroom and the clean, white moulding makes me happy. If I had it my way, every edge and opening in my house would be trimmed out in moulding... one day. Well I have this bank of windows, above my bay window seat that felt left out. I made up my mind, they were getting trim too!
|(my crappy "before" shot)|
Sorry for the lack of "before" photos. Also, I have to address the photo quality. Admittedly, I have a LOT of learning to do about photography but to my credit, I was shooting at open windows during the day- pretty much the hardest shot ever. I tried my best to brighten up everything without losing too much detail.
Start by measuring your windows. I discovered that the depth of my windows was almost exactly 3.5 inches. The very same width as a 1 x 4! How lucky is that? My exterior walls are constructed with 2 x 4 studs, so I'm assuming that explains the perfect depth. Make sure you measure before you cut anything, But I would be willing to bet if your walls were built with 2 x 6 studs, your windows would be 5.5 inches deep.
The first part is the hardest. First, you need to cut your "window stool", often mistakenly called the "sill". The stool is the horizontal part of the trim that extends past the window frame.
You should figure your stool measurments using the width and depth of your window sill, and taking in account your moulding. For example, the casing I planned on using was only 5/8 in thick, so I wanted my stool to extend past the wall only about 1 in. Since they don't sell 1 x 5, that meant I had to rip down my 1 x 6 down to 4.5 in widths. My casing was also 2.5 in wide, so I wanted my stool to extend 4 in on either side of the window to have somewhere for the trim to meet up with, and having a little extend past.
I did the first two windows before I had my table saw. You can use a circular saw, or even a jigsaw if you scribe your line and have a steady hand. It doesn't have to be perfect.
*A quick table saw tip. After you set the width on your fence, double check the distance between the fence and the inside of the blade, just to make sure everything is square.
Once your board is ripped to the correct width and cut to length, it's time to mark your inside corners.
I started by marking where the edge of the window will be, 1 inch in from the edge.
I then marked 4 inches from either edge.
Now, I got really scientific for this part. I needed to scribe the radius's of my dumb, rounded drywall corners. I simply looked in my tupperware cabinet for something small and round, comparing it to the corners until I found a close match. Line the circular object up with the lines, on the back and outside edges and trace the curve between the lines. If your drywall edges aren't rounded, you can skip this step.
Use your handy-dandy
Now test fit your stool before you do anything else. Mine took a little adjusting to get the corners to sit right, but it wasn't anything too challenging.
If you like craftsman style and want to keep things simple, you could leave your stool like that and nail it in. I like a little more detail, and wanted to match the previous two windows, so I needed to rout the outside edges of my stool. I just used a 1/4 in round over bit, sunk slightly to create an additional edge.
Make sure to go all the way around the outside edges.
Lay your stool in place and attach with a few finish nails. The rest of the trim is simple.I just cut 1 x 4 boards square and ran them along the inside of the window frame. I nailed my top piece in first, then the sides.
Don't freak if it isn't perfect. Lets say you have a ridculously inaccurate miter saw like me and your "square" cuts look like this. It's okay, that's what caulk is for.
I wish I had taken more detailed pictures of the next step, but it's kinda basic. I just cut my casing to go around, mitering it at the top and running it square at the bottom. Remember to not bring the moulding all the way to edge of the 1 x 4 frame. Leave about 1/8 in "reveal".
The next step is where you can get creative, deciding on an "apron". Google "window apron" for inspiration ideas. I went with something simple. I took a wider piece of casing, measured the length of my stool, and cut in at a 45 degree angle, creating a trapezoid. I chose not to do a "return", or wrap the moulding back on the outside edges for two reasons. A) The mouding is very thin, and with my crappy miter saw, cutting that small of a little wedge would not only be hazardous, but also inaccurate B) With the stool being so close to the window seat, I decided it wouldn't be very noticeable. Small crown moulding is gorgeous as an apron! If you chose to build your apron out with crown moulding, you would definitely want to "return" the moulding back to the wall and you would need your stool to extend out from the window further.
*Make sure to document the spots where your 3-year old grabbed a pair of pliars and decided to "help" you.
Two coats of semi-gloss, white paint and there she be! I now have beautifully trimmed, anti-Arizona windows.
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE AZ! I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. It's a fantastic place to live. I'm just going to do my best to add a little detail to the place. DON'T BE INTIMIDATED! This project was actually very easy! You can do it and you could do it with very few tools if necessary. Warning: there is a good chance that when you start this project you'll take down your dark, heavy valance and decide you need a different window treatment.
P.S. I am SOOO sorry you had to look at my trashy back yard! It quite embarrassing honestly. That's a BIG project for down the road.
My Romantic Home
The Shabby Creek Cottage