how to make wall trim look good - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 20 Old 01-23-2012, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
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how to make wall trim look good

I'm putting up some chair rails in my house which was built in 1839, so needless to say, the walls aren't perfect. There are spots where the chair rail (1x6 with routed edge beads) does not sit flush again the wall. I'm wondering, should I fill that gap with wood filler, caulk, leave it be, or some other method?

Also where two boards meet, they may not be completely lined up with each other (one sticks out a little more than the other). I'm guessing i could have notched a back plate in to joint the two and keep them flush, but i didn't think ahead. Should I just sand down the part that sticks out, or use wood filler to make a smooth transisition?

I'd appreciate any guidance to help make these problems less noticeable!
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post #2 of 20 Old 01-23-2012, 11:59 AM
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Is there a cap to the chair rail?
A cap will allow you to scribe to the wall.

Boards not being on plane should be hogged out of the back.
Don't use a bunch of wood filler because it will crack with the expansion/contraction of the wood.

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post #3 of 20 Old 01-23-2012, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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There isn't a chair rail cap. it's a 1x6 and the top and bottom edges have an http://www.amazon.com/CARBIDE-TIP-FLUTE-BEADING-PROFILE-ROUTER/dp/B0012JG97Qfinish.

[quote] Boards not being on plane should be hogged out of the back. [quote]Can you explain what this means? I live in the city and hogs are hard to come by.
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post #4 of 20 Old 01-24-2012, 08:25 AM
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Sorry ......... just an old carpenter's term meaning " remove."
Hogging out implies a large amount of material to be removed.
This is done with a power planer, block plane or belt sander.

As far as not having a cap.....
Most wall in most houses have imperfections so it is difficult to get chunky pieces of wood to sit perfectly flat on them without unsightly gaps.
A detail of a smaller, more manageable piece of decorative trim on the top allows you to scribe and fit it perfectly to the irregular surface.




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post #5 of 20 Old 01-24-2012, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
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Hey thanks for the feedback on this. I don't have a close up of the problem, but maybe I can snap some photos tonight. I have attached a photo of what my chair rail is (pardon the mess). It's new but a remake of what was original to the house so i'd rather not add anything to it. I think i might just end up with some caulking to fill the gaps.
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post #6 of 20 Old 01-24-2012, 02:07 PM
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If that is the finished detail, then yes to caulking.
You might consider Frog Tape to make a perfect caulk joint.

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post #7 of 20 Old 01-24-2012, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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Here is a closer look at what I was talking about. This piece is probably the worst of what i'm having trouble with. Thanks for the help.
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post #8 of 20 Old 01-24-2012, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by chsdiyer View Post
Here is a closer look at what I was talking about. This piece is probably the worst of what i'm having trouble with. Thanks for the help.
You should have mitered that on the other face of the wood. I have found this to be a lot easier. Also if you lap it correctly it will look seamless when sighting down the trim. As for the wall gaps, I would just caulk behind it and be done.
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post #9 of 20 Old 01-25-2012, 12:30 PM
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You should have mitered that on the other face of the wood. I have found this to be a lot easier. Also if you lap it correctly it will look seamless when sighting down the trim. As for the wall gaps, I would just caulk behind it and be done.
+1 on the miter of joints.

It is also less noticeable when expansion and contraction happens.
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post #10 of 20 Old 02-14-2012, 01:49 AM
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1. I think in matter of un-straight wall you can't do a lot, when its wavy (bump, recess) its probably vertically from the bottom to the top (bad sheetrock joint or recessed / sticking out beam) so try to nail the molding as close to the wall as possible and caulk

2. when making a trim connections, cut both pieces with 15 degree angle (one inner and one outer) so they can overlap each other, this way they hold each other on the same level, use Gorilla glue on joist, great strong stuff but be careful, don't put it too much it gets foamy and expands, not easy to sand off when completely dry, easy to wipe off when wet.

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post #11 of 20 Old 02-15-2012, 12:37 AM
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post #12 of 20 Old 02-15-2012, 12:50 AM
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If you don't have cap to Scribe you can mix spackle and float the walls. I am fortunate to have a master plasterer and sheet rock taper and master spackler on staff. He is Amazing I have had kitchen ceilings in New Construction none the less that are so out of level. He comes behind me and fares entire ceiling the attached pic ceiling was out 1/2" and he floated entire ceiling.he uses long custom tapered shims does his work then cuts out the shims and floats everything together.

I will ask him tomorrow and add post to what he uses and his mix ratios .

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post #13 of 20 Old 02-15-2012, 08:02 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks a lot for all the info and good ideas. I guess if i wanted to be original(ish) i would have put the trim up and then the drywalled around it. That's at least how they did it originally with the plaster. I'll have to experiment with these options and see which works best for my situation. Thanks again! Nice work on that kitchen Master! I hope mine turns out half as good.
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post #14 of 20 Old 02-15-2012, 08:54 AM
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I've found a few ways around this problem. Lay out the room (or wall), and try to line up a joint on a stud (if possible). That gives you something to shoot into.

Instead of a butt/miter type of joint, use a scarf joint vertically. That eliminates the hard edges. If painted, that little bit of wall gap can be caulked, and a wet finger makes it disappear.






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post #15 of 20 Old 02-15-2012, 09:44 AM
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[quote=chsdiyer;290239]There isn't a chair rail cap. it's a 1x6 and the top and bottom edges have an edge beaded finish.

[quote] Boards not being on plane should be hogged out of the back.
Quote:
Can you explain what this means? I live in the city and hogs are hard to come by.
Even though there is not a cap in your plans you should add one. Nothing else that you do is going to look as good.

As for the transition between the two pieces of wood, sanding is the only option short of removing the boards and correcting the problem. Sand in a long transition and it will not be noticeable.

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post #16 of 20 Old 02-15-2012, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chsdiyer View Post
Thanks a lot for all the info and good ideas. I guess if i wanted to be original(ish) i would have put the trim up and then the drywalled around it. That's at least how they did it originally with the plaster. I'll have to experiment with these options and see which works best for my situation. Thanks again! Nice work on that kitchen Master! I hope mine turns out half as good.
You are right, they did install the trim and then plaster up to it in the old homes but that is a little late for you now. The beading on the chair can be cut off and a new separate bead made and installed. If the chair is 3/4 inch thick you could make the separate bead thicker to be able to scribe to the wall then caulk where there are small gaps.

Even the old antique homes had mitered joints instead of butt joints that I have seen.

Just an added note, I don't recall ever seeing the small trim at the top of the windows installed in any of the old homes I worked on, not saying it wasn't back then, it just looks out of place to me.

I just read this post again, you have sheetrock instead of plaster? Did you install sheetrock on the studs where plaster was removed? If you did there is no wonder the walls are wavy, the studs back then were not consistent as they are supposed to be today.

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post #17 of 20 Old 02-15-2012, 11:01 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry for not using the quotes but the computer i'm on runs real slow on this website.

Lots of good info...thanks guys!! Cabinetman you're right, i was thinking I probably should have cut the boards to overlap on the studs. Not sure why I wasn't thinking that when I was installing it. I tend to think to much or not at all...gotta find that middle ground :) I've been thinking about maybe cutting that board in the picture back to the stud and then recutting a new (longer) piece.

Thanks George. I think i'd rather replace than add a cap on the molding. But if I don't end up replacing it, for the joints, i was thinking of taking the Dremel Multi-max tool to shave off the parts that stick out higher then sand it down.

You're right Jim, the old trim i have had mitered joints, I just didn't process that till after I got where I am now. That's a good idea on the bead replacement. I could probably blend it in since the troubled spots seem to be between windows. I could break the bead under the window sill and it would probably not show much. Someone in an old house forum told me the picture frame molding dates back but that I wouldn't have had crown molding. They used the one at the windows to hang paintings by (at least that's what i'm told). Unfortunately when I bought the house it was a duplex so the original stairs were torn out, as was all the plaster downstairs (and one room upstairs). The people who did this had the brilliant idea to use 1/4" plywood instead of drywall. The studs were actually not too bad, but some places were a little out of wack.
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post #18 of 20 Old 02-15-2012, 08:18 PM
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post #19 of 20 Old 02-16-2012, 08:43 AM Thread Starter
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Interesting. I was always told you did want your drywall to have butt joints under or over windows/door because it reduced the amount of finished butt joint you had to do. I was just told you dont want it to have a joint under the end (corner) of a window. But what you said seems to have logical sense and what I was told maybe is more people trying to save on time/effort
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post #20 of 20 Old 02-16-2012, 02:57 PM
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