Enhance plain windows by building farmhouse window trim using stock lumber! NO fancy miter cuts nor expensive boards are required. This tutorial is easy and looks authentic, dramatically changing the entire vibe of your space into one of utter farmhouse charm!
I cannot believe this vintage farmhouse window resides in my now Salvaged Farmhouse Bathroom!
It’s the first farmhouse window trim I’ve ever played with, so I’m pretty pumped!
But it sure didn’t look like this just a short time ago…
By the way, I do not live in a farmhouse! I live in a typical suburban home that has every builder grade window standard in sight.
But there’s a secret to making this farmhouse window trim transformation so easy….
This farmhouse window trim was created with standard lumber with no fancy miter cuts!
The inexpensive upgrade of this beautiful farmhouse look outcome is simply outstanding, dramatically changing the entire room vibe into one of vintage farmhouse charm.
So if your own windows are currently wearing traditional builder grade molding, and your preference is more charm, here’s how to create a huge difference with charming farmhouse style window trim with simple cuts of stock lumber… yourself!
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How to make farmhouse window trim
Why farmhouse window trim?
I grew up in an old, rambling farmhouse with massive old vintage window trim mouldings. It’s a classic style I’ve missed them ever since.
After searching online, I came across plenty of farmhouse window trim ideas, but most revealed complicated tutorials requiring miter cuts and and expensive trim boards. There just had to be an easier way!
Then I came across a variation that showed how to achieve the look using standard wood layers with straight cuts. BINGO!
Combining the concept with my own twist, here’s my version of simple DIY farmhouse window trim that’s so simple, even a non-builder can create this look using simple stock lumber!
Supplies I used for the farmhouse window trim:
standard real wood solid pine lumber in sizes as shown above (I suggest pre-primed)
(also works well with primed MDF board although the trim will not be quite as durable)
nails for nail gun or brad nailer (I used 1 ¾”)
pry bar if you have to remove existing moulding
wood filler for nail holes
paintable caulk and caulking gun
Remove original window trim
1. Remove existing window trim with a pry bar, leaving all the inner window wood intact as shown above.
Removal is so easy! Gently ease the pry bar between the wood moulding and wall, then pry the moulding off. You can avoid damage to the walls by placing a board behind the pry bar.
Create a window sill
2. Create a window sill (or window stool) / one 1×2 and one 1×6
- Cut a window sill with trimmed edges out of a 1×6
- Add another board such as a 1×2 if you need more depth to reach the back of the window.
- Place both boards on top of existing window sill, then nail into place from the top.
What’s up with these new windows having no decent window sills? Well,I wanted one. So after removing all the outside window trim, I left everything inside the wall and worked over top.
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.
You can do this all in one piece if you can find a piece of wood deep enough to do the job.
The 1×2 is in the back and the 1 x 6 is in the front.
Add side trim pieces
2. Once window sill is in place, measure and cut two side casings. / 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.
Adding that small 1 x 2 to the window sill pushed the sill out beyond the side casings.
Building the window header
3. Dry fit and nail together a window header / one 1×6 / three 1x2s / one 1×1 / one 1×4
- Measure the width of the window plus the two side casings. Make the main header piece (1×6) that exact measurement.
- Make the two touching boards above and below the main header piece slightly longer.
- Lengthen the final two top boards slightly wider than what’s under them.
- (note: my top two boards are flush on the left side because I ran out of wall space. If you have room, make the top board the widest.
- After dry fitting all the cuts, the header was nailed together before installing to the wall.
Nail together before installing
Stack all the wood, then nail together all the header components before installing on the wall if desired. I found this easier.
Choose kiln dried wood to avoid warping
And just to prove how much of a true newbie I am to this, you can see one exposed nail plus one slightly warped board… proud moment here.
The 1×6 warped, but I didn’t notice until after the build. Neither of these little window trim glitches showed once the header was installed.
Installing the window header to the wall
4. Install the header by holding it into place, then nailing it to the wall.
The window header was held into place, then the center nailed, rotated straight, then further stabilized with more nails. Be sure to nail through any wall studs where possible.
This farmhouse window trim is really coming to life now!
Add a window apron
5. Add an apron underneath the window sill. / one 1×4
- To determine the correct apron length, cut a 1×4 board the same width as both of the window side pieces (casings) combined.
- Attach the board underneath the window sill to create the window apron.
The finished farmhouse window trim results!
And here is the farmhouse window trim result! Isn’t it amazing what a few layered plain boards can do?!
Now let’s turn that wood into beautiful white trim!
Finishing window trim details
6. Sand, prime, caulk, then paint the window moulding with 2 coats of semi gloss white paint.
The finishing details ended up being a fair amount of work but you will save money.
To cut the workload way down, choose primed stock lumber instead. I have since used primed trim to create an interior farmhouse trim doorway and it turned out amazing!
Adding faux window mullions with vinyl
7. Add faux window mullions with cut white sign-grade vinyl.
- Cut strips of white sign-grade vinyl into long strips at the desired width.
- Stick onto window where desired, and trim excess with an exacto blade.
What a difference the window mullions made! Don’t they look totally authentic?
Going faux window mullion bars using vinyl makes cleaning the windows effortless and the outcome is instant!
Questions and answers:
What kind of trim is farmhouse style?
I like to describe Farmhouse style trim as thicker window moulding offering more character and charm to windows. There are many different styles one can choose. This style shown in this guide is a combination of several combined, using my own twist.
What trim to use for modern farmhouse?
I would personally beef up any builder grade window with thicker trim similar to what this guide shares. The finished results are completely dependent on the look you yourself desires.
What is the best material for window trim?
I have found the most durable window trim is solid lumber. However MDF boards also do the trick, however they will not be quite as durable. It’s no different than baseboard moldings. You can choose one or the other.
I LOVE my new farmhouse window trim and you can bet now I am working on the rest of the interior builder grade windows and doorways to emulate this authentic vintage charming farmhouse look!
Think you’ll give your builder-grade windows an instant old window farmhouse trim makeover with this easy method?
How to make farmhouse window trim with stock lumber! (with photos)
- Wood trim boards in various sizes. Primed is less work. Works with both MDF or solid wood.
Header boards: - width of window
- 1 piece 1 x 6
- 3 pieces 1 x 2
- 1 piece 1 x 1
- 1 piece 1 x 4
Side casing boards: - height of window
- 2 pieces 1 x 4 (one for each side)
Window sill or stool - width of window
- 1 piece 1 x 6 and 1 x 2 or to fit (make deeper than original window sill)
Apron: width of window
- 1 piece 1 x 4
- Remove original outer window molding gently with a pry bar. Leave all other wood intact, including the window sill if flush with wall.
- Create a window sill to place on top of existing. Determine how wide (left to right) to make the sill by measuring with two side casings dry-fit into place. Cut the sill an inch longer (on each side) past the side casings. Trim inside of sill with a jigsaw to shape. Nail into place.
- Cut header boards to the full width of the window measuring the width of both side casings.
- Stack header wood, then assemble with a nail gun before installing. 1 1x6, 1 1x2, 1 1x1, 1 1x4 - or install one board at a time on top of the window.
- Install intact header on the top of the window.
Tour the rest of this farmhouse bathroom
Take the full farmhouse bathroom tour HERE
View the bathroom window in this Christmas home tour HERE
How to plank a popcorn ceiling HERE
Create a board and batten attic wall HERE
Visit all primary bathroom posts HERE
Check out sign stencils suitable to add farmhouse charm HERE
160 thoughts on “How to make easy farmhouse window trim with stock lumber!”
Gosh I want to do this so bad…. any pointers on how to do it with an arch? Am really starting to hate the arches…. ;oP
Yikes! None. Maybe just go up as far as the arch? Sounds like you’d have to get something specially made.
How high is the arch? If it’s a shallow arch, maybe you could ‘cover’ it with the header.
Rachel may be onto something! Great idea!
You can do exactly what Donna did on the sides and bottom, with a shaped arch on the top, made from a few pieces of wood. A picture is worth a thousand words, so I would need to post a photo to show it, please email me and I will make up a drawing that might help explain it better.
Well, now that’s just brilliant!
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!!!
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!
Looks fabulous! Be proud, well done 🙂
I did something very similar two years ago and this was your comment, Donna, on my post “Gorgeous! What a difference! My dream would be to have every window similar to this in my own home. One day… :)”
You done good, girl!
Ohhhh I totally forgot about yours Julie! Isn’t getting old grand?! 🙂 Thanks for including your link for others!
Absolutely beautiful. Job well done. But, we knew you could do it. Thanks for sharing. Can’t wait to see the other windows & doors!
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…
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. 🙂
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.
So love this!! Great tutorial and YAY to no miter cuts!!! 🙂
Great job, Donna! It inspires me to try more woodworking.
This is really cute! I could do this! Just getting the hang of straight cuts, not ready to graduate to miter cuts!
Donna: There is a whole lot to love about those moldings. Beautiful!
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.
It’s beeeeeeautiful! I love, love, love it. Congrats on crossing the finish line. 🙂
This looks fantastic! I love the moulding and the detail on the window with vinyl looks so good!
Amazing!! It is BEAUTIFUL!!
Ok! I am impressed!
I love it! And adding ‘mullions’ with vinyl is brilliant. It REALLY adds to the look.
Bravo! Really looks great. Love your can-do attitude and see why you needed the nail gun working!