Remove & Replace Window Stool/Apron with wider "Stool Ears". - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

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post #1 of 8 Old 04-14-2011, 03:01 AM Thread Starter
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Remove & Replace Window Stool/Apron with wider "Stool Ears".

All of my windows are trimmed with the standard 5 1/4 Stool and Apron (see attached picture). I will be adding a casing to some of the windows for which the "Stool Ears" on the existing Stools are not wide enough to fit properly with the casing once added. Therefore, I will have to remove and replace the Stools & Aprons.

Any ideas on an easy approach to removing the Stools and Aprons??? I'm planning on using a utility knife to score around them then just go at it with pry bar and hammer. I'm trying not to end up with a bunch of drywall repairs .... They seem to be pretty secure and I'm sure the builder used a finish nailer to install them.


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Last edited by etsherman; 04-14-2011 at 03:07 AM.
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post #2 of 8 Old 04-14-2011, 03:58 AM
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I have no idea how you build these over there, but by the look of it I would advice using slim wedges instead of prybar to loosen the apron.
And if the wall is some sort of masonry it might be an idea to cut the stool into pieces if possible.

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post #3 of 8 Old 04-14-2011, 06:49 AM
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You must live in the south. That is a very typical installation of window sills and skirts. You are absolutely right in removal. Like you mentioned cutting all the caulk is the best way to start. Then I would just hammer in your prybar between the skirt and the bottom of the sill and pry it up. If your caulk is cut they should pop right up. Then remove your skirt and again make sure the caulk and any paint is cut or you may tear off the outer layer of drywall paper.
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post #4 of 8 Old 04-14-2011, 08:15 AM
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My guess is that you will wind up with drywall repair. Before you get carried away, consider these two alternatives.

Install a narrower casing.


Add a moulding to the edge of the stools. It could be pronounced, or since it's painted, just sanded and filled to look like one piece.

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post #5 of 8 Old 04-14-2011, 09:36 AM
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cutting the stool in half will relieve the tension and allow you to pry the 2 pieces up from the middle. i have had good luck using this method.
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post #6 of 8 Old 04-14-2011, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by gus View Post
cutting the stool in half will relieve the tension and allow you to pry the 2 pieces up from the middle. i have had good luck using this method.
This is the best way I have found also. Also still cut the caulk and paint as mentioned.
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post #7 of 8 Old 04-15-2011, 04:52 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks all for the replies and useful comments. Yes, this is in the south (Houston, TX) and builders sometimes will strip a lot of the trim work off homes in order to save labor cost, etc. Leaving off the window casings has been pretty standard on certain price ranges of homes but I would have constructed the stool and apron such that the casings could have been added later on without have to replace them.

I've been debating this for a while because most of the windows are double wide meaning a 62" stool so the suggestion of cutting in half to relieve the tension definetly makes sense if I decided to go that route.

Cabinetman's suggestion of "extending the stool ears" is kind of where I originally started because it just seems like a lot of demolition/reconstruction work just to basically accomplish extending the stool ears 2 1/4 inches accomodating the width of the casing that will be added. It's not like the stool is rotten or needing repair and I can live with the width of the apron ... it's a cosmetic issue if the casing is added.

My thinking was add the 2 1/4" casing, cut 2 1/4" extensions of the stool ears (from stool stock if I can match the profile) and us a wood adhesive to hold them in place. Sand, prime and paint should make them blend very well. The apron is at the bottom and probably should be extended but I could live with them given the circumstances.

If I search long enough online, someone probably makes and sells "Stool Ear Extensions" since this is a common problem when adding window casing to existing windows.

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post #8 of 8 Old 04-15-2011, 09:38 AM
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I would take them out. In my opinion I think it will look like an after thought and that piece is going to be very vulnerable and with all the work you have to do to glue and sand you could replace it with less effort and it will look better.

To take it out without any damage to the drywall here is what you do.
And trust me I have done this type of removal many times. Get a 1" wide putty knife and place it against the drywall and tap in right down into the caulk at least a 1/2" deep, work your way all around until the sill is released from the caulk. This will cut any caulk or paint no matter how deep it is and release it from the drywall. More than likely they caulked the sill to the skirt so be sure to do the same thing to that. Then try breaking it loose using a block of wood underneath the sill and tap it up until you have enough room for a pry bar.

To be honest I wouldn't even cut the sill because you can use it for a pattern when you get it out and just add to the ends. The reason I say this more than likley the cuts are not square because it is a bead and drywall corner.
I know this because I was in Trim carpenter in Texas for 8 years and I literally installed hundreds of that type of sill.
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