The huge front picture window of our home needed some love because we have a curious German Shepherd, Kara, who is constantly putting her paws up there as she conducts Neighborhood Watch. This has meant our builder-grade window casings (just texture and paint right over the metal flashing) were torn up and dirty. So we put up window moulding with an interior window frame in wood to prevent the damage. So now we know how to repair interior window sills damaged by dogs. Being a home owner comes with a steep learning curve.
This is a photo of the culprit: “Kara: ‘The Window Sill Ruiner'”. She seems so sweet and innocent with her deer-like ears … but she is a mad dog when it comes to the neighbor’s cats sitting on her lawn. That is her lawn and she will bark and freak out until they respect her authority and leave her property. That lawn is hers and no other animal’s. Sadly, the window ledges have taken the abuse she wishes she could hurl at those cats.
I know, that looks nasty. Trust me, I know. But that was as clean as I could get it due to the texture of the wall coating, and the fact that Kara has literally dug her claws into the window ledge and removed a lot of that coating, leaving the flashing exposed (the darkest parts on the corners)… as well as gotten dirt into every possible crevice. Yuck. So we decided the best thing to do was to put some moulding around the window, including a flat board on the bottom of the sill which we thought would be easier to clean than this textured non-sense. And if worse came to worse, we can always remove the board and replace… and opposed to this sill which technically cannot be removed and replaced. So after measuring the length, width, height, and breadth of the window and sill…off to Home Depot we went:
The moulding section is cray. I see why some people shy away form home improvement projects and home improvement stores. Moulding comes in huge long pieces, towering over you. But no fear. You can cut it down to the size you need right there in the aisle with a saw provided… just add about 6-10 inches to your window dimensions in case you make a cutting error… no big deal.
We chose this 1/2 x 2-1/2″ primed pine for the bottom of our sill. I decided on a pre-primed piece because it saves me work
For the moulding we went with this 3″ Del Mar MDF – also pre-primed. I am a fan of MDF over wood for a few reasons: 1. MDF is more affordable 2. pre-primed saves me labor 3. MDF is usually very straight as opposed to natural wood which is often warped and can cause me headaches. Obviously I am a lazy DIYer.
Here are the tools we used at home:
The husband came home and marked off the measurements for the boards. FYI, I feel like I should mention a few things: 1. If you are an avid illistyle reader you are probably wondering why the pink dresser is under the window? 2. What is that piece the TV is on? 3. And what is on the wall opposite the window? 4. Where’s the sofa? Lemme ‘splain: we were given some nice sofas, guest room furniture, and that TV stand. So here’s the plan: 1. We have friends getting married who want the guest room furniture 2. Once they pick that up the pink dresser will be moved to the guest room 3. We want to build some sweet shelves and mount the TV over the fireplace, so the current TV stand is temporary. Everything is always temporary, am I right? lol. But back to the moulding.
We then cut the boards (and by we, I totally mean Evan), leaving them slightly longer than we thought needed, so we could trim as necessary. You can always shave more off, but if you cut a board too short, you cannot put any back on. Ya know what I mean? And *safety first guys: make sure you protect your eyes by wearing googles.*
We then worked as a team to hold up the moulding, place it, and use the awesome pneumatic brad nailer to keep those bad boys in place. Oh goodness. This was my first time using a pneumatic gun and I loved it. I wanted to nail all the things… but Evan said no. I will say, at first I was a little intimidated… but once I tried the brad nailer, I loved it. It’s light and easy to use. Lighter than a regular hand drill so your arm doesn’t get fatigued. It only took us a few minutes to actually install the boards once everything was cut. The whole project from measure, to purchase, to cut, to install was less than 2 hours.
This is what the board and moulding look like next to one another with caulking and paint (additional time was required for that). Much cleaner and nicer than that metal-showing, dirt-catching, scratched-up mess it was before, right?
If you have a dog who you love, but has messed up your window moulding, then this fix is easy to do. We are keeping our dog, but have found a way to protect our window sills from her scratches and dirt. The window sill is now easy to clean, looks awesome, and can be replaced at minimal cost/labor if our dog really tears it up.
Thank you to our sponsor, Arrow Fasteners, for providing the pneumatic brad nailer for this project. All opinions are my own.