how to fit door architrave

How to Fit Door Architrave in 16 Simple Steps

Do you want to replace that old, chipped door architrave in your home? Are you looking to give your home a more modern and updated look? Whether you’re aiming for a luxurious or modern feel, replacing the old door architrave in your home is a great way to brighten it up and impress your guests.

In this article, we are going to show you the proper techniques on how to fit door architraves. All you need is some spare time and a quick stop at your local hardware store for the right tools and materials. Follow the steps outlined below, and you’ll be on your way to fitting door architraves like a professional.

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Tools & Materials

Tool Checklist:

  • Hammer
  • Combination Square
  • Tape Measure
  • Nail Punch
  • Mitre Box

Material Checklist:

  • Architrave
  • Oval Nails
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood Filler
  • Pencil
  • Wood Glue
  • Safety Glasses

How to Fit Door Architrave

1. Prepare the Work Area

removing old architrave

If you’re taking off old architraves, insert a sharp chisel into the moulded edge of the architrave and slowly pry away the old one. Carefully remove any old glue or wood from the work area.

2. Mark Out Architrave Lines

marking architrave

The architrave must be set 6 mm back from the frame of the door. You’ll want to set your combination square to 6 mm and then mark out 6 mm around the door frame and above the door frame.

This will allow you to measure out the cuts of the architrave and will allow for a perfect fit without interfering with the door hinges. If you’re having trouble marking out around the door frame, take a look at this video around the 1:10 mark.

3. Take Measurements

measure door frame

Take a long piece of architrave and run it up the side of the door frame. Remember the moulded side of the architrave will be the inside edge.

Align the architrave exactly with the 6 mm margins that you marked out earlier. Mark the architrave where the margin above the door frame meets the side architrave. 

This is where you will cut the architrave at a 45-degree angle. If you’re having trouble with the measurements, you can refer to step 2 of this article.

4. Cut First Piece of Architrave

cut architrave

You’re now ready to cut your first piece of architrave. Slide the architrave into the mitre box and cut it in the marked spot at a 45-degree angle.

5. Fix First Piece of Architrave

fix architrave

Now you’re ready to fix the architrave to the door frame. Run a bead of wood glue all the way down the piece of architrave. Align the architrave perfectly with the 6 mm margins you marked out earlier. Hammer in one of the oval nails to fix the architrave to the door frame. Do not fully hit the oval nails in. 

This is in case you need to adjust the architrave. Partially hit two more nails into the architrave to secure it while you take your next measurements.

6. Measure out Top (Horizontal) Piece of Architrave

You now will need to take measurements for the top piece of architrave that runs horizontally. First, make a 45-degree mitred cut where the architrave will meet the vertical piece of architrave that you already adhered to the door frame. This will allow you to make the measurement for the second cut. 

Join the horizontally-mitred cut to the vertically-mitred cut and hold them tightly. Now mark the opposite end of the architrave where the two 6 mm margins meet. 

7. Cut Top Piece of Architrave

cut top piece of architrave

Place the top piece of architrave in the mitre box and make a 45-degree angle cut where you previously marked. Do not fix this piece yet, as you have to take one more measurement.

8. Measure the Last Piece of Architrave

Now run the last piece of architrave up the opposite side and make a mark where the margins meet, just like you did with the very first piece of architrave.

9. Cut the Last Piece of Architrave

Cut your last piece of architrave in the mitre box at a 45-degree angle, where you previously marked out.

10. Fix Second Vertical Piece of Architrave

fix vertical architrave

You’re now ready to fix the second vertical-fitting piece of architrave. Run a bead of wood glue all the way down the piece of architrave. Fit the vertical piece of architrave along your pre-marked margins and hammer in a few oval nails to secure it to the frame.

11. Fix Horizontal Piece of Architrave

fix horizontal architrave

You’re now ready to fix the last piece of architrave. This piece should fit perfectly between the two vertical pieces of architraves. Run a bead of glue on the backside before fixing it to the wall. Make sure all mitred edges are tightly fitted and no gaps exist. Now hammer in a few oval nails to secure the architrave.

12. Double Check Everything Fits

Double-check to make sure all mitred edges fit perfectly together and everything is nice and square. If any adjustments need to be made, you can easily pull the oval nails out and readjust. Once everything fits perfectly, hammer all existing nails all the way in.

13. Use Nail Punch

nail punch

You’re now ready to use your nail punch to hit the nail heads in beneath the surface of the wood.

14. Fill Nail Holes

You’re now ready to fill the nail holes. Take your wood filler and generously fill all nail holes. Allow the filler to dry for at least 30 minutes before sanding.

For more instructions on how to fill holes in wood, check out this video by Charlie:

15. Sand Nail Filler

Sand down all the nail holes you previously filled. Make sure all wood filler is sanded down flush with the architrave. Once these nail holes are sanded and painted, you won’t be able to tell they were ever there.

For more instructions on sanding filled holes, start watching the video above 4 minutes in.

16. Paint the Architrave

paint architrave

Final Thoughts

You now know how to fit architraves like a professional. If you follow the instructions outlined above, you’ll have professionally done architraves in just a few hours. Carefully make precise cuts and measurements and everything will fit perfectly. It’s a rewarding afternoon project that will definitely impress your friends and family for years to come.

I hope you’re now confident enough to apply what you’ve learned from this tutorial. Please do like and share this article if you think a friend or family member could benefit from some updated door architraves.