My 1855 home was constructed in the Greek Revival style, a popular architectural style in Upstate New York from the 1840s to the 1860s. Even though my home is a modest home, the builder didn’t shirk from adding a few subtle but beautiful Greek Revival elements here. This is a photo of the original 1855 trim in the dining room.
Simple, but nice, don’t you think? Unfortunately, I could not salvage the original trim. It was encapsulated with lead paint, and was pitted horribly. It would take a whole lotta acne scar cream to fix those pits, baby. So I decided to get rid of it, and construct my own. Here’s how we did it.
First, I cut basic 1×6 lumber into a triangular shape. I didn’t take photos of all the complexities, but here’s a quick rundown of how I did it. I measured the length of the framing (a window or a doorway), and added more length for the fluted trim on each side (totaling 6.25 inches, in this case), plus a half-inch extra on each side. So if a window was 33 inches wide, I added 7.25 inches to that measurement, to account for the additional fluted trim and a slight overhang of the pediment on each side of the trim. I cut my board to this length; I then measured the center of the board, and measured four inches up on each side of the board– this made my triangle, and I cut it with the circular saw.
In order to create a tight butt joint where the beaded corner would meet in the middle, I would have to cut the beaded corner ends at angles. So I measured each side of the pediment board with my angle tool to find the angle size.
I then transferred this angle measurement to my miter saw. I LOVE my laser guide light.
I then placed them together at the vertex of the pediment board. The trim boards have a nice, tight joint.
I then glued the beaded corner down, pre-drilled holes to avoid the wood from splitting, and nailed the pieces together.
Voila! I have a simple pediment replacement. Add some fluted trim, some glossy paint, and I’ve got a Greek Revival window.
This kind of carpentry work is not difficult at all, and it looks SO MUCH better than the cookie-cutter modular-home, basic casing trim that so many homes have. The trim work, even such basic trim as I have detailed here, adds so much to the house. We painted it this evening (haven’t taken any photos yet) and the trim looks absolutely fabulous, just so classy. I’ll post the photos when I get them. Little touches like these make all the difference!