man salvaging molding
Photo: Laura Moss
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23. Salvage Molding

An old home's interior trim might well be one-of-a-kind—especially elaborate window and door casings—so spare it when doing demo. The less damage you do to molding during removal, the less restoration work you'll face during reassembly. Here's how:

1. Work a 3-inch wall scraper behind the trim, sliding it the length of the piece while exerting outward pressure.

2. Slip a pry bar into the widened crack with the scraper behind it to protect the wall as you rock the pry bar.

3. When the trim is free, pull nails through its unfinished backside by leveraging with end nippers or tongue-and-groove pliers. (Hammering nails back through the face can cause the wood to splinter and damage the painted surface.)

Shown: Slice the painted seam where wall and trim meet, to ease removal of the molding and prevent finish damage.
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