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mheisel
Need to remove previous glued-on trim

I just moved into a lovely small house with too many fussy details. All the moulding in the house was glued on - not nailed. How can I remove it without damaging the wallboard too badly?

A. Spruce
Re: Need to remove previous glued-on trim

Why do you need to remove the trim? Do you intend to reinstall it, replace with similar or larger trim? What is your plan, as this can affect our answers.

mheisel
Re: Need to remove previous glued-on trim

The trim is about five different styles, with those big blocks at the corners - some of the blocks have stars on them painted in night glow colors. I want to replace the moulding with plainer styles and mitred corners.

A. Spruce
Re: Need to remove previous glued-on trim

It sounds like you'll be installing a narrower profiled trim, which means you can count on some repair work to the wall surface before installing the new trim. A way around that would be to use a trim of the same width or wider to cover any damaged caused by the removal of the existing. Wider trims don't look too good with mitered corners, so the corner blocks are more appropriate aesthetically. Would you be opposed to this style of trim if everything were the same profile style? If not, this will cut out a whole lot of work by not having to do much if any wall repairs.

To use a narrower trim, even with wall repair, you'll probably have a noticeable mark from the old trim. It's not that you can't blend it in seamlessly, just that more likely than not, the old trim line or wall repairs will show through because of differences in wall texture of the repair, sheen of the paint over the previously painted surfaces as opposed to the repaired area, etc. If you choose this route, I would start with an inconspicuous door location to practice and get the hang of removing the trim with the least amount of damage and getting the repairs to blend into the existing wall.

Tips on removing the existing trim: Dwarf suggested a sufficient array of tools to get the job done. When cutting the paint/caulk around the door, err to the trim with your cut. That is to say, hold the utility knife handle flat to the wall so that the blade is cutting into the trim, not the wall. Hold the knife in the same manner when cutting the jamb side as well, so that the blade is cutting the trim, not into the jamb. Once the bulk of the trim is removed, it's easier to peel a scab of trim off these areas than it is to repair the wall. After cutting, I'd suggest using a 3" or 6" drywall knife to work under the edge because it's flexible and can be guided between the wall and trim more easily than a rigid putty knife or 5-in-1 tool.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Need to remove previous glued-on trim

I would not use a painters 5 in 1 it's to rigid. Get a 6" or 8" flexible dry wall knife. Buy a good on that the metal goes all the way up through the handle. Measure the width of the trim and place a piece of masking tape across the blade as a gage so you don't go into the ceiling dry wall. Lay the knife flat on the wall and lift the handle so you can tap it with a hammer. tap the knife under the trim a little at a time and pull it out until it is in up to the tape. Then move over and do it again. What ever method you use you will probably have some sanding and filling to do.
Good Luck,
Jack

mheisel
Re: Need to remove previous glued-on trim

Thanks to every person for the very useful tips. Wish me luck! I'm setting off to de-fussy my new house.

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