DIY Cast replacement molding?

A section of cast replacement molding installed.

Given that custom knives to reproduce a molding profile can cost $75 to $200—depending on the millwork shop and the size and complexity of the molding—it may be cost-prohibitive to have a knife cut for reproducing only a short piece of molding. As shown in the accompanying photo, I have had success casting short sections of molding to solve this dilemma.

In the example shown, I needed about 10 inches of a small Federal-style molding to replace short pieces thrown out when a door surround was fitted with a screen door in the mid-twentieth century. I made a casting mold using a surviving piece of the wood molding and cast several short pieces with epoxy wood filler. Once cured and cleaned up, they were cut with a miter saw and installed as shown.

The full process is illustrated with photos in Chapter 13 of Restoring Your Historic House, The Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners. Now available direct from the author as well as on the Barnes & Noble, Powell’s Books, Target, and Walmart websites and on Amazon. Order your copy today!

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