Door Trim: Materials, Styles and Installation Guide

door mouldingA door trim is a decorative layer covering the gap between the wall and the door seamlessly. It is also the protective end of interior wallpaper and wall paints. Door trim frames the door from three sides. The sharp corners and edges of the door trim can make your door look neat and beautiful, uplifting the appearance of your room. Hence, door trim usually looks like a part of a door. A room without door trim can appear unfinished and odd. These come in different types, shapes, and materials.

It is pretty easy to install a door trim, and you don’t need any professionals for it. Here, we will show you how to install it properly, but first, let us learn about the different styles of door casing that will help you to make a better choice.

door trim

What material should I choose for door trim?

There are five main door trim materials: MDF, solid wood composite, metal, marble, and PVC.

MDF Door Trim

MDF is a kind of high-quality engineered wood, which is made by milling recycled wood fibers and resin under high pressure. The surface of MDF is very smooth and easy to paint over. It is widely used as painted trim because of its density and lower cost. However, MDF trim can be only installed on interior doors which are far away from moisture, such as bedrooms, study, playrooms. It’s not a good option for exterior doors, entrance doors, bathroom doors, kitchen, and balcony doors.

Solid Wood Composite Door Trim

Solid wood, as well as composite wood, is preferred for door trim by most homeowners because of its natural texture and easy to hold nails. The hardwood door trim is not only beautiful but also prevents the deformation of door and window frames. It combines the advantages of both solid wood and MDF, with high density, moisture resistance, and more eco-friendly. Undoubtedly, the price of solid wood door casing is higher than MDF door trim.

Metal Door Trim –Stainless Steel / Aluminium

The metal door trim is suitable for exterior doors, bathroom doors, and balcony doors, as it has the benefit of withstanding high humidity. Aluminum door trim with enough thickness is lightweight but very durable. it will not be impacted by termites. Moreover, it is fire-resistant and mildew-proof. If your exterior doors are made of aluminum, why not match them with an aluminum door trim of the same color? As a reward, you will never have a problem with your doors.

Marble Door Trim

With the advantages of durability, water resistance, sunlight resistance, and mildew proof, marble door trim has been more and more popular in these years. It enhances the entire appearance of the space. Above all, the brilliance of natural stone will not fade even after a decade. Marble door casing is suitable for those taller and wider entrances in halls and living rooms. Proper and firm installation is the only thing you need to pay attention to a marble door trim.

PVC Door Casing

Whether you are decorating your interior or exterior doors, PVC casing is the most affordable one with a beautiful look. It also has great humidity resistance. But as we all know, it can not withstand long time sunlight exposure and weathering. You may need to replace a new one after a few years.

Trendy Door Trim Styles

There are four main styles of door casing: craftsman, farmhouse, colonial and minimal.


The craftsman style of door trim contains some soft and intricate details. The designs showcase the signature style of traditional British architecture. These door frames are more than just pretty to look at. They are sturdy and complement your room very well. These are commonly colored in soft or neutral stones or very dark colors.

Farmhouse style trim for doors and windows

The farmhouse style is a classic design featuring clean and tidy frames with no superfluous designs. That doesn’t mean that your farmhouse frame has to be boring. To make it stand out, you can stain, whitewash or color it dark according to the style of your room. Farmhouse-style trim also goes well with windows.


Representing classic simplicity combined with elaborate details, these designs add the vibes of coziness to your room. This style usually features uncomplicated small lines and concave shapes called cavetto and curves, adding volume and depth to your room.


Minimalism is the latest trend, and this modern phenomenon has also influenced the designs of the door trim. For modern architecture, this kind of dream will enact well, especially in an office or other informal setting with modern and sophisticated furnishings.

How To Install Door Trim?

Equipment Required

  • To install the door trim, you will need some basic equipment, which you should gather beforehand.
  • Rag
  • Utility knife
  •  Nail gun
  • Drill and driver bits
  • Hammer
  • 5-in-1 toolbox
  • Paintbrush
    Apart from these, you need some extra materials:
  • Painter’s caulk
  • Paint
  • Drywall screws, each of 15/8 inch


Now that you have gathered all your equipment let’s get to work!

Step 1: The first thing that you need to do to install a door trim is to find a trim style that matches the style of your room. If you get a trim style that does not match with the other door trims or window trims, then it will leave your room looking strange and uneven, and you don’t want that!

Step 2: This step is optional. If you do not already have any door trim installed, then you can skip this step. To remove the door trim, take the pry bar and gently pull out the trim from the door casing. To avoid causing any damage to the wall, use the towel between the pry bar and the wall. Removing the door trim should be easy with a pry bar, and it should come off by simply pushing down on the bar.

Step 3: Another optional step that you have to follow only if the drywall beneath the door trim comes off from the stud. It is an occasional occurrence. Usually, this can happen if the drywall screws come through the drywall. If this happens, then install a few drywall screws into the stud to secure it properly. Further, this will ensure that there is no gap between the drywall and the stud.

Step 4: The next thing that you need to do is to make sure the cut of your wood perfectly fits into your door. Installing a door trim will take you about one hour if you are a beginner. Mark the area between the perimeter of the door jump and the trim area, which is usually called the reveal. The size of this area is usually 1/8 inch.

Step 5: Depending on the size of this area, adjust the blade of your set square. Place the body of the set square on the door jam properly. Take a pencil and run it along the set square blade. While you draw a line, keep running the set square and the pencil along the door jamb length. You have to do this again for the rest of the sides of the door.

Step 6: Take a measuring tape and measure the distance between the vertical door jamb lines that you have marked with the pencil on both sides of the door. Now, hold up the head molding above the door. Draw a line on both the ends of the door casing, which shows the direction of the miter cuts. You have to slash the molding at a 45-degree angle to fit it with the vertical sides of the trim.

Step 7: Set the miter saw to 45degrees, cut the molding, then place it on the top of the door jamb to see if it fits. You may want to cut only one side at a time before measuring it. After that, you may cut the other side of the head molding at the exact 45-degree angle. This is important to ensure that both sides of the head molding are even.

Step 8: Once you are done, nail it to the door jam with 4d or 3d screws, using about 60-80 nails on the upper part of the molding. Install the nails 1/4 inch away from the molding sides to avoid splitting the nails from the edges of the wood. Now it’s time to measure the leg molding that is the vertical part of the door trim. Measure from the inside corner up to the floor. Cut the molding at 45 degrees using the miter saw. Nail it on the door jamb in the same way you nailed the head molding. With the help of a nail set, drive the nails to the surface beneath the door trim.

Step 9: Apply some paintable caulk to the gap between the drywall and the trim. You have to apply the caulk on all the cut sides of the trim, including the two-leg molding pieces and the top of the trim. After applying the caulk, wait for it to dry up completely before painting. If you attempt to paint it before drying, the paint can be absorbed into the caulk and prevent it from hardening properly.

Step 10: Now it’s time to paint your wood trim! If you want to use a transparent stain on your wood trim, your approach in step 9 should be different. Instead of the paintable caulk, you have to use clear caulk. That’s because you don’t want the caulk to be noticeable against the clear stain as you won’t paint over it.

Step 11: Also, make sure that the caulks do not stick to the sides of the trim and only apply the caulk between the trim and the drywall. Before painting, check out if any excess caulk remains in any areas where it should not be.

Step 12: Sometimes, a door jamb can stick to the wall. In such cases, you may need to either fill behind the casing or screw the jamb side to the wall so that the casing is pulled tight.


By now, you must have a good grasp of the type of door trims and how to install them. Door trim can give your home a perfectly renovated and modern look. Even though the process can seem a little complicated, it is perfectly doable. The results are definitely worth the effort!

If you look for more details or are confused regarding any of the steps, consider watching tutorials on YouTube. There are many tutorials available about this topic. Follow all the steps properly to get the best results and have the most authentic door trim that can help to give your home a new and improved look.

Tags: door

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