How to make a farmhouse window with moulding

Make a farmhouse window - add window trim to beef up a plain window with no miter cuts in sight! via

Guys!!!! I cannot believe this pretty window is in my bathroom! It’s the first window moulding I’ve ever played with, so I’m pretty pumped!

But there’s a secret to making this one EASY…

NO miter cuts!

NO fancy boards to buy!

Only standard schmandard straight cut wood anyone can get and do with any saw. 

window moulding-2

I grew up in an old, rambling farmhouse with massive old window moldings. And I’ve missed them ever since.

I searched online how to do this, but came up with complicated tutorials with miter cuts and fancy board pieces. I wanted the easy button. Then I came across a variation that showcased a really easy way to achieve the look through normal planks. Hmmm….

All straight, boxy cuts. Perfection! So this is my twist of it! 

How to make a farmhouse window with moulding

window moulding parts / Make a farmhouse window - add window trim to beef up a plain window with no miter cuts in sight! via

standard solid pine boards in sizes as above

nail gun (mine is a Craftsman 16 gauge)

nails for nail gun (I used 1 ΒΎ”)

miter saw

jig saw

workmate or something to clamp wood down when hand sawing

palm sander

measuring tape


pry bar if you have to remove existing moulding


Here’s how!

window moulding parts / Make a farmhouse window - add window trim to beef up a plain window with no miter cuts in sight! via

Note: prep the wood really well. I didn’t do enough sanding on mine so the mouldings don’t look ‘brand new’ in some areas. It’s kinda cool that way, but just a heads up you need to work this wood well for a brand new look.

1. Create a window sill (or stool) / one 1×2 and one 1×6

What’s up with these new windows having no decent window sills? Well, I wanted one. So after removing all the outside window moulding, I left everything inside the wall intact and worked over top. Did I mention I cheat where I can?

I determined how wide (left to right) to make the window sill by measuring the two side casings in place. The sill was made slightly longer.

Depth (front to back) was determined by how much I wanted the sill to stick out in front of each side casing. 

Since I didn’t have a board that was deep enough, I doubled up.

This sounds complicated but it’s really not. It was just like building with blocks.

Making a window sill / Make a farmhouse window - add window trim to beef up a plain window with no miter cuts in sight! via

The 1×2 is in the back and the 1 x 6 is in the front. 

window moulding parts / Make a farmhouse window - add window trim to beef up a plain window with no miter cuts in sight! via

2. Side casing / two 1 x 4s

The 1 x 4s were cut to fit from the top of the window opening to sitting on the window sill.

Make a farmhouse window - add window trim to beef up a plain window with no miter cuts in sight! via

Adding the small 1 x 2 to the window sill pushed the sill out beyond the side casings.

Making a vintage styled window header / Make a farmhouse window - add window trim to beef up a plain window with no miter cuts in sight! via
3. Header / one 1×6 / three 1x2s / one 1×1 / one 1×4

I wanted a beefy header without all the fancy miter cuts. So I layered square boards in place instead.

The header was nailed together before installing on the wall.

Make a farmhouse window - add window trim to beef up a plain window with no miter cuts in sight! via

And just to show you what a true newbie I am with all this, I didn’t photoshop out the nail on the left. No worries, it didn’t show once installed. πŸ™‚

The 1×6 also slightly warped on me, but you couldn’t tell once it was up. And I refused to do it again. πŸ™‚

Tip: long ago my brother told me to search for kiln dried wood that was stored inside. Do that and the wood won’t warp on you.

Make a farmhouse window - add window trim to beef up a plain window with no miter cuts in sight! via

Window header in place / Make a farmhouse window - add window trim to beef up a plain window with no miter cuts in sight! via
Isn’t that lovely?! 

Window apron / Make a farmhouse window - add window trim to beef up a plain window with no miter cuts in sight! via

4. Apron / one 1×4

Cut the apron to match the width (left to right) of the two casings in place.

window before / Make a farmhouse window - add window trim to beef up a plain window with no miter cuts in sight! via
window moulding parts / Make a farmhouse window - add window trim to beef up a plain window with no miter cuts in sight! via

Make a farmhouse window - add window trim to beef up a plain window with no miter cuts in sight! via
Make a farmhouse window - add window trim to beef up a plain window with no miter cuts in sight! via
The window moulding was then primed and painted with semi gloss white.

The mullions (white bars on glass) are pieces of white sign grade vinyl cut to size and stuck into place. This makes cleaning a breeze and opening/closing the window effortless.

I LOVE my new farmhouse window and you can bet now I wish every window looked like this! But I’ll save that for another day after I’ve had some time to recover from this one. πŸ™‚

Think you might try one window?

Salvaged Farmhouse bathroom makeover via
Visit the farmhouse bathroom reveal post HERE

How to plank over a popcorn ceiling via
How to plank a ceiling HERE

How to make a board and batten attic wall via

How to create a board and batten attic wall HERE

Visit all master bathroom 2014 posts HERE

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Categories: All Cool Projects, DIY, How To Build, Junk Drawer, Tools & Building, What To Get, Window treatments
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  1. BRILLIANT- excellent way to make this effective window moulding without mitre cuts- stack the wood!!!
    Love it!
    The window just looks superb!
    Job well done, Donna!

  2. Thank you for this GREAT tutorial Donna. I’ve been wanting to do this but none of the blogs I saw gave so much detail and I just didn’t “get” exactly how to do it. Plus those darn miters. This will look awesome in my home. Wish I had more time!

  3. OMG the BEST tutorial!!!… I can do this too! This window looks A+ perfect Donna! Thanks for showing the world that they can do this too!

  4. Nice job! I love it and what a thrilling feeling to do something you’ve never done before and have it be a) exactly what you wanted, and b) absolutely beautiful! You are amazing.

    • Hi Anne! Sign grade vinyl is the kind of vinyl you can purchase from any sign shop in your area. It’s also the same material you get with any craft type cutter that makes decals. Even white contact sticky paper shelf liner whatever it is would work. Nothing fancy!

  5. This is unbelievable…I think I could actually do this! It’s beautiful! Thanks for sharing, you’re so amazing!

    • Thanks Bliss! I have a thing… if I don’t do it myself, that means maybe someone else can’t either.

      So please… if I hear any of you saying you need to hollar for the husband, you may get a message from me! haha

  6. Wowee–I absolutely adore this! We are working on a total house renovation for a 1910 house and this would work. I just found your amazing blog and I am so happy you are out there.

    Thank you thank you thank you!!

  7. Absolutely brilliant, Donna! And so easy!!! Thank you, thank you! I live in an old farmhouse I am restoring and the windows are trimmed in 1×4’s. I’ve been wanting to dress them up at the top especially and was dreading dealing with crown molding, etc. This is much cheaper and easier and looks fantastic!!!

  8. The trim around the window in my bathroom has bugged me since I bought the house. It has a lot of mitered cuts that look like they were done by small children with hacksaws. I kid not! It is all pieced together, caulked and then painted…and looks horrid. I have been wanting to put up beadboard in the bath with a nice fat trim board on top. I have put it off because the window is in the way and I didn’t know how to deal with the window trim. Your tutorial is excellent. I think I can do this. I will probably not attempt until spring but definitely will do it. If all works well, I will do the trim around the door. Hmmm…maybe I should START with the door!

  9. Absolutely beautiful. Job well done. But, we knew you could do it. Thanks for sharing. Can’t wait to see the other windows & doors!

  10. Really hadn’t even given my windows a though, with covering them up or drawing the attention to the drapes… Your just simply a design artist with flair, thank you for opening my eyes and pointing out how easy this could be for the novice. I have hopes to do an entire bedroom worth of windows like this. Thanks again…

  11. That is amazing. I LOVE the transformation and the whole new feeling you get gazing through it. I have old windows in my everyday house, but I am filing this away for my cabin. Don’t tell my husband. I want it to be a surprise. πŸ™‚

  12. I love it. It came out beautiful! I also like the old container pictured. I have been looking for something to put my homemade laundry soap in and love old enamelware. I may have to find something like that to put it in.

  13. Thanks! you laid it all out in a way I (a novice with tools and wood, but willing to learn)can understand and believe I can really do that! I’m remodeling a mobile home and need all the helpful hints I can get.

  14. Wow! Gorgeous! This window much change the whole character of the bathroom!!! Are you going to match up some door and floor moulding as well? It truly gives the window a farmhouse look so you got what you were going for, bigtime! Just love it. Brenda

  15. Your window is absolutely gorgeous! I love how it turned out and you make it look so easy to do. I may have to try this with my bathroom redo that’s currently a work in progress!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Jennifer @ Decorated Chaos

  16. I have plans to do all of the windows in my generally uninspiring mid 60’s raised bungalow. I think that may take a lot of time, but as my grandparents lived in a house with the same mouldings you had growing up, I want them too. To me, that’s what a house is supposed to be, and I would love to do my best to recreate it here.

  17. I love this look. I was just commenting to my husband that I wanted to make a beefy trim over our patio doors that haven’t had any trim for over 2 years. Once we replace the doors I’m going to do this! Thanks so much.

  18. Fabulous! It is absolutely beautiful!

    I’ve really missed being able to put my flower pots in windows because of the teeny tiny sills. NOW I have a solution. Next step, a jig saw and nail gun- watch out!

  19. These are gorgeous! We live in an old farmhouse and these would really look nice…if I could get the husband on board. He likes the simpler projects. πŸ™‚ Fantastic job!

  20. I absolutely eat these molding posts up. What’s been particularly helpful to me is the side view of the header. That’s the first time I’ve seen that and it makes a lot clear.

    I have 12 exterior doors and windows, and 15 pocket doors to trim. The $$ I’m going to have to spend on trim makes me want to do it right the 1st time! πŸ™‚

    Thanks for taking the time to walk through your work.

  21. I love this! My washroom window looks just like yours. I think you’ve given me the courage to give this a go. Thanks for the inspiration! Your window looks beautiful.

  22. This window molding is exactly what I have been looking for. I also ran into all the complicated miter cuts and details when I was looking. Then out of pure luck I found this site while looking at cheap window treatments on HGTV website. I LOVE THIS. I have been wanting to do something like this on the interior and exterior of my French doors, as well as all my windows. It may take me a while, but this is a definite TO DO top of the list. By the way, I think your way looks fabulous and just as professional as all the pro detailed moldings I have looked at.

  23. Hi Donna! I just stumbled across your blog and love all your fun projects. What a transformation the new molding makes. You did a great job and it looks amazing! I will definitely be following along from now on πŸ™‚

  24. Wow! It looks great! What a perfect way to add character to a standard window. And you’re right, what’s up with the puny window sills nowadays!? Thank you so much for sharing this tutorial. I’ll definitely be using it.

  25. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I have been searching for a tutorial on how to add trim to my windows and a couple of entryways. I, like you, didn’t want all the miter cuts. I love this look and can’t wait to get started!

  26. I have a farmhouse window that looks exactly like your naked “before” photo. Been waiting on hubs to do something with it. Now I’m inspired to do it myself!! Thanks. Beautiful job!

  27. what size nail gun did you used?and do you think I can used a brad nail gun instead and did you use any glue? can’t wait to start.look so good.

    • Hey Sharon, sorry I forgot to add those details in the post, I will edit! My nail gun is a Craftsman 16 gauge finish nailer. Nails were 1 ΒΎ”. No glue! But lots of caulk and wood filler to finish things off nice before finishing paint.

      And thank-you! πŸ™‚

  28. I just had this idea – no miters & was wondering how it would look. Yours is better than what I was thinking so far. Thanks soooo much

  29. I like your ideas and would like to add a tip when using knotty wood for painted projects. Pre-prime knots with Kilz or shellac prior to prime and finish coats of paint. This will prevent the knot from bleeding through.

  30. The mullions that you’ve ‘stuck into place’… is it on there with sheer tension or did you use something to apply it? I have 72″+ windows that have ZERO panes so they are very dull. want to add something to make it pop!

  31. Beautiful! I’ve been wanting to add fake mullions to my front windows for a bit of character, but didn’t know how “stickers” would look. . . so thanks for doing the experimenting for me. I think I’ll go for it!

  32. Hello!

    I would love to hire you to do this to my bathroom window, if you’re interested! I live in Chilliwack. Not sure if you do this sort of work for others or if you’d have time. Along with paying you, I’d be happy to bribe you with homemade, delicious chocolate cake!

    We’ve recently been renovating our bathroom, but now my husband has gone to work out of town and there are a couple things that he didn’t have time to finish (install the new light fixtures and trim the window!). He used your tutorial to install wooden planks on the ceiling. It looks awesome!!

    Thank you so much for not only sharing your ideas, but also how to do them. I just wish I were more handy with power tools and less of a chicken!


    • I love how the casing is flush without a reveal. I would also like to do that in my windows but I have been told the reveal on the casing helps if the wood shifts over time. Have you had any shifting or cracking?

      Thanks for your input!

  33. Builder-grade in my area have absolutely no trim at all. I think I will follow your example to change my nondescript windows in my master bath into something special. Since it is a bathroom I will be sure to prime all the wood (all sides) before nailing into place. I want to protect the wood from the moisture.

  34. I love this molding! We’re trying to update our builder grade house to get it ready for selling. I have a rather dumb question but I’m going to ask anyways. What is the measurements increments on the three top boards above the header? Are each board 1/2″ longer as they go up? I hope I’m making my self clear. LOL

    • Hi Sabrina, sorry for my delay in answering your question! I layered the overhang… ΒΌ”, Β½”, ΒΎ” on each side. But seriously? I’d just do it by eye. I didn’t use any special math to accomplish the look.

  35. Hallo Donna,

    my name is Erika and my house is in the middle of germany. I`m so happy to found your verry, verry pretty side.

    Ijust make a guest-room and your projekts are so beautiful and I love it too so much. The project how to make a easy window has my heard to make bumm bumm.
    On easter I will look more from your side, and I am happy about this.
    Please excuse my very bad English. I learnd it ia school about 35 jears ago.

    Very lovely greatings from germany sends


  36. The before and after picture of the window makes it hard to believe it was the same window. I love the big moldings, and the shelf that you created for the vase and license plate. I would love to do this for all of the windows in my living room, and I’m so happy that you found the easy way out of it. Doing all of those complicated cuts, and getting those fancy boards just isn’t doable for me.

  37. Absolutely perfect! I want this on every window in my house. My husband is against the idea because he is concerned that if I paint the window (currently stained wood) to match the trim, they will stick and be hard/impossible to open. Any tips on painting windows to avoid sticking?

  38. THANK YOU SO MUCH!! This has transformed my awful bathroom window, and we haven’t even painted it yet–I adore it now and want to go through our entire house window by window! We bought a place with very small windows and somehow this trim makes it seem bigger which is SUCH good news for me. Plus, it being an 80s ranch, and me having wanted a 1880’s farmhouse, well…it’s probably as close as I’ll get for a while.

    with deepest gratitude!

  39. Kudos to you on the bathroom window re-do! It is so simple and simply beautiful. Just goes to show that something does not have to be complicated to be enjoyable. Thanks for posting this.

  40. I’m doing all the windows in my house. They had very cheap and skinny moulding and hardly any sill. So I got two really long windows and two doors done yesterday. What a difference. I left off the top boards that made the crown for a simpler look. I got the nailer that you suggested and it was great. Thank you for inspiring me.

  41. My husband and I purchased all of the wood to do this for 2 windows in our family room. It looks like you painted the trim after installing it. Would you suggest that, or painting before the installation? I was planning on using my purdy brushes. Did you do anything special so it didn’t drip? Thank you for your help; I love you window trim and tutorial!

    • Hi Chelsea, for my first window, I indeed primed and painted after installing. But I believe I wrote in my post I’d suggest to purchase preprimed wood next round. It has a completely smooth texture to it, which results in a very different finish. It just appears more professional. I’ve since done this treatment to a door with preprimed and love it so much more! BUT it’s more expensive… ouch. πŸ™‚

      To avoid drips, I just don’t load the brush too much. A little at a time.

      Glad you like the window! It is SO EASY to do, and changes the feel for your entire room dramatically!

  42. Hi Donna:

    I’m trying to do my first window and I was wondering what kind of saw you used to get the angled cut in the window sill. I’m having a hard time with that and getting the measurements just perfect. I was thinking of making a template with a big piece of cardboard.

    Any tips would be appreciated and thank you!

      • Hi Donna:

        Well, I built my windows last week and they turned out AMAZING!!!!! I bought a new jig saw and it made everything soooo much easier than trying to cut the sills with a miter saw.

        Then, I got home and was looking at the websites (this is a second home of ours) and realized that I put a 1×6 for the apron instead of a 1×4. I also have the 1×6 for the header along with all the other trim pieces. Whoops. Do you think this is going to be okay or should I remove the 1×6 and put a 1×4 on the apron.?

        • Hi Carrie, first off, good for you! I’m so glad you’re going for it and it’s working!

          As for the apron, if you like the look, why not leave it? As long as it doesn’t make the window too ‘bottom heavy’… it may be a personal preference thing.

  43. You could prime and paint the wood before installing. After installation touch up nail holes and apply final coat of paint. Much easier to paint boards while flat and saves time on painting.

    • Great idea, Dinah! Although caulking is still mandatory, which then leads to a last coat of paint. I honestly found using preprimed boards the easiest way, the finish on the boards was much smoother than starting from scratch. More expensive though.

  44. Thank you for your post. I recently did our bathroom window using your instructions, with just a couple of size modifications, and it looks fantastic! Many, many thanks.

  45. Oh, my goodness! I do hope you monitor your site so you can know how much I appreciate having found it! I have been scouring the web looking for instructions to case a window tastefully but something that I can do, something that shows specifically, step by step what I need to do. Here you are and I’m very grateful. Thank you!

  46. Very beefy looking !!!!!!!!
    I will do this in every room in my home.
    Tutorial is very detailed,and easy to follow.
    One of the better ones.

  47. Love this look and am copying it for my home as it is the perfect look that I have been searching for. Not finding 1×1 wood though so may have to improvise. Thank you so much for this post and the great instructions as well as good photos.

  48. Thank you for this wonderful inspiration! I love the square layered look and the stock pine used! It takes a lot of creativity to build the look you want with a simpler method using cost effective and readily available wood!!

  49. Thank you so much for this tutorial. I just finished my farmhouse window and absolutely LOVE it. I could not have done it without your instructions.

  50. Nice work, just a point you might consider. The sill instead of using 2 pieces just use a 1×8 it will measure 71/2″ just about the same but you won’t have a seam to deal with. Second on the header instead of doubling the second tear you can go with first a 1×2, second a 1×3 and the top a 1×4 that gives you an even 3/4 inch step on all three. You did great for a first timer. Keep up the good work and you have the home of your dreams!

  51. I did this to my master bath window and it became the focal point of the entire bathroom renovation. The only power saw I own is a jig saw and it worked just fine for this project. Thanks so much for the tutorial.