Much like the effect created by a hand with painted fingernails, the trim and molding in your
home can either elevate or cheapen the look of a room in one fell swoop.
Think about it: people who chew their nails try to hide that fact by slapping on a coat (or five)
of paint. But that superficial bandage doesn't address the root of the problem...they're still nail
Inevitably, those who bite their nails wind up chipping the paint, and at the end of the day, they'd
have been better off leaving their nails bare because all the painting did was draw attention to the
poor condition of the nails.

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The bottom line is that painting your fingernails only works when the underlying nails are in
great condition, and this philosophy also applies to the trim and molding in a room.
If you try to hide the underlying damage to your woodwork - like scratches, dents and dings –
by slathering on coat after coat of paint, you merely highlight the problems instead of concealing
Fortunately, you don't have to scrap your trim and start from scratch because the medicine for
what ails your molding is within your grasp!
Here are some inexpensive ways to repair your room's trim and molding to make even the worst
woodwork look flashy, pampered and polished in a flash!


Trim Toolkit

Here are some of the tools you should have at the ready when you're undertaking a trim or
molding repair:

Wood Putty/Filler

There are tons of wood repair products available on the market in a multitude of colors (premixed to match your existing wood stains) but a safe bet for an all-purpose trim repair product
is one in a natural color. This way, you can repair your gouges and paint over them without
worrying about color inconsistencies.
*Tip: Using a more substantial product like wood putty or filler is great for pet-originated issues
like chewed up baseboards or trim that has been used as a scratching post.
Putty Knife

A putty knife is something everyone should have, whether they own or rent, due to the multifunctional aspects of this handy little tool. Not only can you apply wood filler to damaged trim,
but you can also use it to fix holes in drywall, as well as many other DIY repair projects.
And the best part is that a plastic one (2" wide or less) can be had for about a buck!

You can use either sandpaper or a sanding sponge for your trim repair toolkit, just be sure you
use one designed for "fine" sanding.
An easy to use option is a dual-angled sponge that allows you to address the decorative crevices
in your woodwork as well as the flat surfaces.

Wet Sponge
A wet sponge is always good to have on hand during molding repair for a number of reasons,
the main one being clean-up. For example, if you need to tighten up the perimeter of a repair job
(too much caulking or wood filler smeared around the edges, etc.), a damp sponge wipes away
any excess.
*Tip: A quick wipe with a wet sponge before you sand will help keep the dust to a minimum!

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This is an essential item for your DIY arsenal! Not only can you use caulking to repair cosmetic
issues with your trim, but you can also use it to weatherize your doors and windows – leading to
even more savings now and in the future!
Moreover, caulking will solve many woodwork inconsistencies all on its own:
• Use a bead of caulking to seal gaps in between window ledges and the rest of the
• Caulking fills in the small holes that result from nailing in your baseboards and shoe
molding/quarter round.
• If you have mitered edges that do not line up exactly, a quick application of caulking can
create the appearance of perfect alignment.
*Tip: If you're repairing trim or molding in the bathroom, use a mold and mildew-resistant
caulking that addresses those ever-present bathroom concerns due to the heightened humidity
and moisture levels.

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Classic white paint for your trim and molding provides that traditional elegance and makes your
doors and windows really pop!
However, you can use creativity when painting your trim and go with whatever color speaks to
Once they are fully repaired, paint your wood trim pieces with a semi-gloss finish to really make
them shine.
A good practice is to work in an entire house woodwork wipe down every couple of months (or
more frequently depending on your individual circumstances – pets, kids, messy husbands, etc.).
Sure, it's more work up front but it could save you tons of time and expense in the long run!
What are some of the ways you have repaired damaged trim and molding in your home?

Thank you so much Angelo for such an informative post!
 Angelo DiGangi is a Home Depot sales associate in the Chicago suburbs and is a frequent
contributor on windows and doors on Home Depot's website. Angelo provides tips on both
exterior and interior doors, as well as DIY advice on topics related to molding and other trim. Blessings and a wonderful day to everyone. XX

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