Replacing Damaged Or Missing Pieces Of Wood Wall Molding
- Procedure code:
- Hspg Prepared For Nps - Sero
- Wood Ornaments
- Last Modified:
- This procedure includes guidance on removing and replacing damaged wood wall molding. This may include crown molding, chair rail, wainscotting, base, and door and window casings.
- See 01100-07-S for general project guidelines to be reviewed along with this procedure. These guidelines cover the following sections:
- Safety Precautions
- Historic Structures Precautions
- Quality Assurance
- Delivery, Storage and Handling
- Project/Site Conditions
- Sequencing and Scheduling
- General Protection (Surface and Surrounding)
These guidelines should be reviewed prior to performing this procedure and should be followed, when applicable, along with recommendations from the Regional Historic Preservation Officer (RHPO).
For Wood Molding:
- For names of suppliers, check building trades directories and publications and websited oriented to the custom and historic preservation markets, including but not limited to: Fine Woodworking; Fine Homebuilding; Traditional Building; Period Home; Preservation Magazine; Old House Journal; and Old House Interior among others.
- Also review the AWI - Architectural Woodwork Institute, www.AWINET.org for member directory.
- Consult also local preservation architects, architectural conservators, and restoration contractors to identify custom millwork shops that may not have ads and not internet exposure.
- Old World Moulding & Millwork www.oldworldmoulding.com
- Silverton Victorian Woodworks email: SVM@frontier.net
- Molding replacement piece of matched species, age, and grain orientation
- Finish nails
- White or yellow wood glue
- Wood putty
- Claw hammer
- Nail puller or pliers
- Putty knives
- Knife for marking
- Coping saw
- acksaw or dovetail saw
- 12" combination square
- Compass or pair of dividers for scribing
- Sturdy work gloves
- Inspect for paint that is worn, chipped, peeling, blistered, or flaking. If any of these conditions exist there may be moisture entering the feature. Check for possible sources of this moisture and correct as necessary.
- Inspect for the signs of decay and/or insect infestation and make repairs as necessary.
- Determine the type of corner construction used before removing any molding. Outside trim corners are usually mitered (joining pieces are both cut at 45 degrees). Inside corners are usually coped (one piece is cut with a coping saw so that it contours the adjacent piece at 90 degrees).
- Surface Preparation:
- Mask or cover adjacent surfaces and permanent equipment during repair and maintenance. Coverings must be adhered without adhesive tape or nails. Impervious sheeting that produces condensation shall not be used.
- Repair any scratches, gouges or dents in molding before removing it. See 06440-04-R for guidance.
3.03 ERECTION, INSTALLATION, APPLICATION
NOTE: IF MOLDING IS DAMAGED, REPLACE AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE. SEARCH STORAGE AREAS FOR POSSIBLE SPARE PIECES OR TRADE WITH A PIECE IN AN INCONSPICUOUS LOCATION.
IF A REPLACEMENT PIECE MUST BE PRODUCED, USE THE SAME WOOD SPECIES AND GRAIN ORIENTATION. IF POSSIBLE LOOK FOR SALVAGED WOOD OF THE SAME AGE AS ORIGINAL BECAUSE IT MATCHES BETTER THAN NEW WOOD.
- Remove damaged section of molding.
- Use a putty knife or scraper to loosen glue or paint build-up between the molding and the wall.
- Determine the type of corner construction used (see Section 3.01 above).
- Remove the coped board first (it would have been installed after its adjacent mate).
- Pry boards at the edges or joint; if removing baseboards or ceiling moldings, begin at the corners.
- Beginning at one end, gently hammer a prybar between the molding and the wall. PLACE A WOOD SHINGLE OR WIDE-BLADED PUTTY KNIFE UNDER THE PRYBAR AND AGAINST THE WALL TO PROTECT THE WOOD FROM BEING DAMAGED BY THE PRYBAR. FOR VERY SOFT WOODS, USE TWO PUTTY KNIVES - ONE FOR PROTECTING THE WALL ANDONE FOR PROTECTING THE TRIM.
- Gently pull the wood away from the wall using the prybar until a nail is visible.
- Pry the molding open at the visible nail until the next nail is visible. Continue prying along the length of the molding. WORK THE PRYBAR ONLY AT NAIL LOCATIONS.
- If large-headed common nails are used to secure the molding, try removing the nails before completely removing the molding from the wall.
- ) Pry molding approximately 1/4" away from wall as described above.
- ) Using a wood block, gently tap the molding back against the wall. The nai lheads should project enough from the surface so that the nails can be removed.
- ) If the nails are thin enough, cut off the exposed nailheads using wire cutters. -OR- Use a prybar to pry the nails from the wood. PLACE A WOOD SHINGLE OR PUTTY KNIFE UNDER THE PRYBAR AND AGAINST THE MOLDING TO PROTECT THE WOOD FROM BEING DAMAGED BY THE PRYBAR.
- If small-headed finish nails are used to secure the molding, they will either slide through the molding and remain in the wall or come out with the molding when it is removed.
- When all of the nails have been pried loose, gently remove the entire board away from the wall.
- Remove any finish nails remaining in the wood using a nail puller or pliers.
NOTE: ALWAYS REMOVE THE NAILS FROM THE BACK OF THE WOOD. NEVER HAMMER THE NAILS THROUGH THE FRONT. NAILHEADS ARE USUALLY SET BELOW THE SURFACE AND FILLED WITH PUTTY. PUSHING THE NAILHEAD THROUGH THE FRONT OF THE WOOD CAN CAUSE THE WOOD TO SPLINTER.
- If common nails remain in the wood after it has been removed, cut them with heavy wire cutters as close to the back of the board as possible. File any remaining pieces of nail projecting from the surface.
- If molding is to be reused, be sure to mark each piece on the back with its location.
- Cutting the Replacement Molding:
- For a Mitered Joint: Measure the new piece from the short point (the inside edge). Make cut mark with knife instead of pencil for more accurate cut. Always cut on the waste side of the line.
- For a Coped Joint: Profile cut the new piece. Smaller pieces can be cut to the right length in a miter box. Slightly undercut sawn edge with coping saw to assure tight fit.
- For larger moldings, butt board to be cut up against board to be mated at 90 degrees. Scribe the profile with a compass or a pair of dividers. Cut along scribed line with coping saw.
- To join a long piece of baseboard, ceiling molding, etc. to existing, make a scarf joint. To achieve a scarf joint, cut meeting pieces at a 45 degree angle. Position the joint over a wall stud for support.
- Installing the Molding:
- Test the fit of the molding by temporarily tacking it in position using two finish nails. DO NOT hammer the nails all the way in.
- If the piece fits well, nail in place with finishing nails. Use existing nail holes if possible, but hammer nails at an angle so that they will strike new wood.
- Hammer the nail into the wood until it is just above the wood surface.
- Use a nailset to set the nail about 1/8" below the wood surface.
- Cover the recessed nailhead with putty and wipe clean so that it is flush with the surface.