Easy Pediments For Greek Revival Homes

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.

Curtains

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.

Make Pediment1

I decided to use pre-primed beaded corner for the pediment top.
pediment9

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.

Make pediment2

I then transferred this angle measurement to my miter saw. I LOVE my laser guide light.

Make pediment3

I then cut the beaded corner at the angle. It makes a perfect angle at the top of the triangle.
pediment8
I did it again for the other side of the pediment.

Make pediment4

I then placed them together at the vertex of the pediment board. The trim boards have a nice, tight joint.

Make pediment5

Make pediment6

I then glued the beaded corner down, pre-drilled holes to avoid the wood from splitting, and nailed the pieces together.

Make pediment7

Voila! I have a simple pediment replacement. Add some fluted trim, some glossy paint, and I’ve got a Greek Revival window.

pediment10

Photo taken before trim was painted.

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!

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4 Responses to “Easy Pediments For Greek Revival Homes”

  1. Lin Says:

    It is sooo perfect for your home!! I’m impressed…yet again. Is there anything that you cannot do??

    Hey, I miss Livvy! How is my cat friend? I am missing “find the kitty” posts!

    • Mrs. Mecomber Says:

      Hi Lin! Um, yeah, there’s a lot I can’t do, lol! I’m sorry I have been neglectful of Livvy’s fans. I got some very cute photos of her this morning, though, which I hope to post soon. šŸ˜€

  2. Marg Says:

    That really is amazing and awesome. You really are one talented person. And what a great lesson in how to do it. Well done.
    Can’t wait to see Livvy. Hurry up with the photos. You haven’t got anything else to do. LOL

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. New Kitchen: The Jewel of the Room | New York Renovator - October 16, 2012

    […] stock pieces for the window trim. The pediment is basic pine, with red oak corner bead at the top. The pediments are, generally, not difficult to make, but this was a very wide piece of pine. I had to measure very, very carefully because I would have […]