How to Remove Trim

Posted by John on April 25th, 2012

Yep, we’re finally getting around to the dining room wainscoting project and we’re starting with a post on how to remove trim. There is quite a lot to do with this one, but we’re happy to finally get to it. We’ve got a full weekend of home projects ahead of us for a change and I can’t wait to get cracking!

Here’s a reminder of the general to-do list for the wainscoting:

1. Remove trim (in progress)
2. Decide on layout and sketch on wall (post coming)
3. Obligatory table saw post
4. Move any outlets and add additional one (in progress)
5. Build router table
6. Install stiles and rails
7. Make and install MDF panels
8. Paint

We added Build a Workbench to that list as well.

Last week I pulled a permit from my local township to cover the minor electrical work. I’ll be adding that extra outlet this weekend. It should be a simple task, but you never know. Last night, I started removing some of the existing dining room trim. I don’t feel too bad about removing this chair rail because the builder installed it, unlike the chair rail we added to the vestibule. Ultimately, all of it will get yanked before we start adding the wainscoting.

Here’s how I removed the trim…

1. First, I ran a razor, like my box cuter, along all the caulked seams. You’ll need a very sharp blade, preferably a new one. Go slow.

2. Next, I take a small pry bar and jam it into the bottom seam. The bottom didn’t have any caulk on it, which makes it easier to get the pry bar into.

You can see that the builder didn’t use glue and wrote the piece length on the wall. No glue makes it much easier!!

3. To get the caulk off the wall, I use a spackle knife and scrape it.

So this weekend, we’ll be popping off the rest of the molding. Before the wainscoting goes on, I’ll probably spackle these walls smooth with joint compound.

Can’t wait! How’s your week going? Do you find that it’s incredibly difficult to anything after work?

Posted in Carpentry,DIY Projects. Tagged in ,, , ,

  • I had no idea you needed a permit there to do electrical stuff! We only need them for major structural renos. Can't wait to see how the new wainscoting goes. And yeah, doing stuff after work is sometimes hard, haha.

    • John_OHFScratch

      We need a permit for everything here!!

  • Kristen

    Oo I am excited for this project! And thank goodness the builder's didn't caulk underneath the trim. Are you planning on reusing it or getting something different?

    • John_OHFScratch

      The wainscoting will essentially be the new trim. I\’m going to keep the longer stuff… Maybe reinstall it whenever we refinish the basement. The short pieces I\’ll probably toss.

  • Yeah, it's difficult to do anything after work other than pour a glass of wine. 😉 Excited to see how it goes!

  • Mike D.

    Doing things after work is easy! I am able to watch tv, eat, stare into the colorful abyss of a computer screen, and I find time to lay on the couch.

    • John_OHFScratch

      Hahaha. I believe it!

  • casadechristine

    Excited to see how this turns out! I agree- very hard to accomplish much after work aside from dinner, cleaning up dinner and a few minutes of relaxation!

  • I'm excited about this project!! And it's good to know it's easier to take off that chair rail if it doesn't have glue b/c we put our's up with caulk and nails, in case we ever take it down 🙂