How to remove decorative framing

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I have a built in bookcase in my living room (which I love) but it has some scrolly trim/framing around it which I do not love-- is this something I could cut off with my jigsaw and then just sand down? Or am I going to make more of a mess than I realize?
q how to remove decorative framing, home maintenance repairs, how to, wall decor, woodworking projects
  8 answers
  • Ter743435 Ter743435 on Apr 03, 2015
    I would probably leave it in place and cover it over with a straight edge piece of trim of your choice. Not the whole scrolly piece but just lined up to cover the scroll. Then you would also have more dimension to the frame.

    • @Terri_carson54 the bottom one is flush with the wall so it may look kind of funny there. I could do that for the top though, then just have one piece to cut off instead of 4. Thanks for the idea! I hadn't even thought of just covering it up.

  • I always cut the edges with a razor blade first, then remove it. You'll have some places to repair with wood filler or spackle, but if it's cut first and carefully removed, it won't be so bad. Good luck!

  • Country Design Home Country Design Home on Apr 04, 2015
    Hi Stephanie- I had an old built in china cabinet in our dining room that had the same thing. Our (very experienced and meticulous) finish carpenter trimmed it off with a jigsaw. But, the cuts were not perfect-thankfully we were hanging doors there so it didn't need to be perfect. So I would say that taking a jigsaw to it might not be the best solution. If this is a built it-why not just remove the scalloped pieces? Typically those trim pieces are installed with some small nails and glue. We had one over our kitchen sink it it popped right out with a couple of taps of the hammer. Then either replace them with straight edge pieces or putty and paint.

  • Jill Drake Jill Drake on Apr 04, 2015
    I love it how it is....other comments are good....just wondering, if it can't be done, perhaps paint the back wall a bright happy colour, and that will possibly take your eye off the scallop edges......keep is posted as to what you decide....but personally, I think mb some different colour frames to make it less( please don't be offended) grey and white....., or you could just paint the shelves a bright colour......good luck and I'd love to know how it all turned out..good luck..Jill UK

  • Grace Gleason Grace Gleason on Apr 04, 2015
    @Stephanie (Sandpaper & Glue) : Sue@CountryDesignHome is probably correct. It is simply nailed onto the front of the box so it will probably pop off.

  • Sherman0097 Sherman0097 on Apr 04, 2015
    How about just getting rid of the swirls and making them straight lines? or my preference Deco lines..... Lots of tools out there today that would make the job fairly easy I think ..Funny thing is I don't like the swirling thing either...

  • Stella Love Stella Love on Apr 04, 2015
    @Stephanie (Sandpaper & Glue) Those trim pieces should just come off. Use a razor to score paint/caulk first or you will destroy the wall.

  • AJ AJ on May 22, 2018
    Don't do it!! It's beautiful work that cannot be recreated.