Classroom Doors and Trim

We started back to school in January and haven’t done a whole lot in the classroom since then. We did hang the doors when they arrived, and we hung some trim.

drywall seams

See those drywall seams over the door and dry-erase board? There was a long piece of molding that was there before we started this project. It was just under that wood panel detailing there. We decided to put it back in place, which meant we didn’t need to paint or texture up there.

The hubs made some slight adjustments to the part that went around the top of the door opening, since our new door casing would be a bit too tall. He pretty much just traced and measured and used a jig saw to cut off the excess.

That sounds like such a tiny thing wrapped up all nicely in one little paragraph. Far from true. We pondered several options and considered new molding all together, since that piece was too tall with the new trim.

We also discussed what to do about the color. It matched the paneling above, but since it would butt right up against our door casing (and especially since we had to jig it to fit exactly, as if it were all one piece of door trim) it seemed to make more sense to paint it.


This opened up a can of worms that I wasn’t ready to deal with. We’re not wood purists. I never was. The hubs has been swayed after years of dealing with ugly/dated woodwork. But we also do appreciate wood.

This house has a ton of woodwork, as you can see from all that detailing up on the second story. Some of it is in great shape and some of it is horrible. Pictures don’t tell the full story. It’s difficult to tell in images if the wood is all beat to heck unless it’s a close-up detail shot.

We have a ton of decisions to make concerning the age old “to paint or not to paint” question, but it was an easy decision for this one room. I know enough to know that I didn’t even want to try and match all the new baseboards and door casing to the existing stain color, and it wasn’t even an option on the doors unless we wanted to go with solid wood, which we didn’t.

We were able to find door casing that was the same pattern as the original trim through the house (thank you, Probuild), but we bought it in pre-primed pine since it was less expensive than oak and we were planning to paint anyway.

Since this is a pocket door, it is vital not to use nails that are too long. We didn’t want to nail the door closed into the wall.


We have a compound miter saw now, but we used to make these cuts in a miter box. That’s a cheaper alternate if you’re framing around doors or adding crown molding, but don’t plan to make a habit of it.

door casing level

My hubs measured and cut all the door casing and hung it on both the inside of the classroom and the hallway side. I filled the nail holes and then just stopped.


We also cut baseboards and never got around to painting them. They’re still in a stack in the corner where they’ve been for two months.

So we’ve been functioning just fine, but I’m anxious to call this room finished. My boards are working out great and it’s nice to be able to close off the classroom if need be.

classroom opening

I realized when I was uploading pics for this post that I hadn’t taken one with the doors closed. It was already dark outside by this point so you can see the light leaving crazy shadows. (I’m trying to decide on a practical fixture that isn’t ugly. A huge office fluorescent would be perfect, but not exactly pretty.) Also, you can tell that those pre-primed doors need to be painted too.

doors closed

We’re on Spring Break this week and the plan is to get all the trim installed and painted in both the classroom and the hallway as well as paint the doors.

The walls of the classroom also need painted, but it will likely be summer before we get around to that. We’ll need to borrow/rent/buy a taller ladder since these walls go all the way up to the second story. Everything will need to be pulled out of the Expedits so that they can be moved away from the wall; I definitely don’t want to drag all that out in just this week’s time. If I’ve learned anything in the last dozen years, it’s that everything takes way longer than you first expect it to.



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