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What are the Different Types of Window Casing?

By Harriette Halepis
Updated May 16, 2024
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The trim surrounding a window is referred to as window casing. Adding the right casing to a window will create a finished look that instantly gives any room charm. Window casings can be made from simple pieces of lumber, or they may be made from exquisite bits of crown molding.

Homeowners who wish to create a historic or artistic room may want to seek custom window casings. These casings can be purchased from woodworkers who specialize in intricate molding and embossing. Those homeowners who simply want to cover windows with customary casings will find that almost all home hardware stores carry stock casings that will fit nearly every type of window.

Most kinds of window casings are made from wood, though other materials are becoming quite popular. Casings made from bamboo, pressboard, hardwood veneer, and extruded plastic may also be purchased. Plaster casings can also be acquired, though these are far more costly than any other material, and are best suited for historic renovations.

The type of window casing that is chosen will greatly change the look of a room. While standard casings are ideal for rooms that do not need additional embellishing, elaborate casings are perfect for any room that will benefit from additional design. In fact, it is not uncommon for an interior designer to base an entire room around unique casings.

Traditional casings have four corners that meet neatly, and they are generally made from one piece of wood. Corner block casings are similar to traditional casings, only instead of four neat corners, a large block of wood is placed upon each corner. The third type of standard casing includes a top and bottom board that stick out from the window creating a top and bottom window ledge.

While it is not necessary to paint window casing, adding a bright coat of white paint to casings will help them stand out. This technique only works on wooden casings, though the same look can be achieved by purchasing plaster ones. In addition to enhancing the look of a room, window casing also serves a practical purpose.

When windows and doors are installed, there is often a gap between the new installation and a room's drywall. This gap is not aesthetically appealing, which is why window casings were originally used. Today, casings have come a long way from their humble flat board beginnings, though they still hide drywall gaps with ease.

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Discussion Comments

By jperry — On Feb 05, 2014

@Madelene, post 5: I have painted the sash a dark brown to appear bronze and stained the trim. It looks great. I see no reason why the casing can't be painted a different color. Pick the color carefully.

By anon173870 — On May 08, 2011

I always assumed that you would match your window casing with the door casing. At least, that is what I've always seen in homes.

By Madelene — On Mar 04, 2011

Do you paint the window casing the same color as the window trim if the window trim color is a dark chocolate brown? Should window casing color and window molding always match or just when off-white?

By gregg1956 — On Sep 29, 2010

One good thing to remember during your first window casing installation is to remember to keep your measurements really sharp, and to always cut on the same side of your measuring mark.

Remember that the saw will take off up to an eight of an inch of material, which is more than enough to make your window casing and sill look shoddy and gapped.

So take a little extra time with your casing measurements, and you'll really see the payoff in your work.

By FirstViolin — On Sep 29, 2010

Does anybody have any tips for installing DIY exterior window casing? I want to put some arch window casing on my front windows, but all of the estimates I got make my stomach turn.

Is it worth it to try and do this by myself, or should I just pony up for the professionals?

I'm pretty handy with DIY home stuff, but I was a little hesitant since it has to do with arches. Do you have any idea what I should do?

By TunaLine — On Sep 29, 2010

I am considering remodeling one of my rooms, down to the window casing and molding, but I'm kind of torn as to whether I should match the window casing and door casing. Is that too matchy-matchy, or do you think it could work?

I'm not going with anything too fancy, just a nice wood window/door casing. So what do you think, is it weird to match your interior window casing with door casing, or is it acceptable?

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