DIY Front Door Makeover - Crown Molding

by AvantiMorocha
4 Materials
2 Days

To make our home a little less ordinary and a lot more inviting we've been renovating our home little by little, improving things when we can, and turning our cookie cutter house into a unique home. While our front door was perfectly functional it was utterly ordinary, built by an average tract home builder, and that needed to change.

As we've been working through the house, we've been updating our windows using a craftsman style with crown molding and following a kind of farmhouse chic. Here are the necessary steps we followed to upgrade the entry door giving our home a much more inviting appearance from within the house.

Sadly I've misplaced some media and do not have every picture or video, step-by-step covering everything that we did to our front door. However, every door is a little different, every home has got something else at the front, and every person has slightly different taste. For these reasons, I've decided I don't actually need a 100% step-by-step guide. There's really no need to see every cut and how we painted every board. As the reader, you should be able to see what we did and derive inspiration from our process and work and fit it in your own DIY home improvement project.

1. Demo day. The first thing to do is to pull all of the trim off the door and around the adjacent windows. In this case, we also pulled the window stools and baseboards out.

2. Clean-up the area and patch anything that's needed.

3. Measure the entire working area, including the door and windows.

4. Sketch the design and decide on the materials.

With the measurements in hand and a rough sketch, head to your local hardware store and purchase the materials. For us, we used pine trim boards and 5" crown molding. While at the hardware store, discussing the best way to cut crown molding, we discovered the "crown king". This little tool is fantastic. It's incredibly simple but it makes cutting crown molding so fantastically simple. It's little more than a plastic jig with angles for cutting but these simple dotted lines and angles make all the difference. With the materials in hand, we started our renovations.

Cut the pieces to spec.

All of the wood placed around the door are straight cuts, except for the crown molding. While not required, it's recommended to cut all of the pieces as needed and then cut the crown molding last. Cutting crown molding can be a complete pain, and for that reason, it's recommended to deal with it last.

Prime and paint all of the pieces.

Once the pieces are cut prime and paint everything, this takes time, likely a day or more. Priming the wood is essential. Primer is what will give you a lasting look. I've used a couple of primers on various projects, but Shellac Wall and Ceiling Primer have performed the best so far. Its got great coverage and eliminates color bleeding. It's essential to paint and prime before moving forward, and it's equally important to allow the paint and primer to dry.

1. Place the runners.

2. Place the window stools.

3. Place the headpiece.

4. Place the baseboard.

5. Once everything is in place, cut the crown molding and set it.

After everything is set, caulk everything to fill any miscellaneous gaps and touch up the paint as needed.

We replaced the blinds in our door for a window film that allows light to go through but at the same time give us privacy.

Affordable Home Upgrades

Explore additional stunning and budget friendly home updates in our comprehensive article on Home Improvements That Look Like They Cost Thousands.

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Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 9 questions
  • Janet Janet on Apr 09, 2019

    How would that look just over the door when you don’t have side windows?

  • Cjc2419525 Cjc2419525 on Apr 10, 2019

    Where do I find that tool you called crown king?

  • Kri21663728 Kri21663728 on Sep 16, 2023

    I need a new front door and side window

    how do I go about measuring door and window?

    but I need new door frame. How do I measure this

    my entrance is small and dark

    the photo on left is similar to what I have photo taken from inside

    photo on right photo taken outside is what I want but stumped as doors are special size problem is door frame how to measure. Tks

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