Recreating the Past: Custom Mouldings for your Historic Home

You’ve done it! You have bought your dream home and everything about it screams exquisite charm and character. The caveat, the home has endured decades of neglect and restoring its original beauty will take more than a paint job. Where do you start?  Follow our step by step guide to matching your trim.

Starting the Process

First things first, there is good news.  There are dozens of historic profiles that are already stocked by Millwork retailers (like McCoy Millwork) all across the country.  To start you will want to get a good sample, drawing, picture or moulding of the profile, with dimensions, to use as a point of comparison.  It is critical that you get a cross cut section with a clear outline of the profile.  If your sample is cut on a mitered angle, that will be more challenging to compare, thus try to get a straight cut. If you take a picture, avoid taking the photo from straight on, try to get as much of an angle as possible.  Bring your moulding to your nearest millwork supplier and they will help you determine if they have a stock item that will match or can be sourced from another supplier.

in stock moulding available at McCoy Millwork
Stock Mouldings


If there is no match available, you still have options. The mouldings created by the Builders, Craftsman and Artisans of their time spoke to the architectural style of the home and it’s unique beauty. Each profile, it’s own individual work of art, were an integral part of telling the story of the design and craftsmanship of the home but as custom craftsmanship was slowly phased out by mass manufacturing, many of the profiles fell by the wayside. Fortunately for you, there are thousands of unique profile patterns circulating among today’s millwork shops (see our custom catalog here), if a pattern matching your moulding does not exist, not to worry, there is a process to recreate them.

Samples of Custom Profiles


Custom Crafted

Many Materials Suppliers house their own custom shops where they have the capability to recreate mouldings. By using an existing sample or a CAD drawing, a pattern is created into a “knife” or sawblade and then used in a Shaper or Moulder machine to cut the pattern into the wood of choice.

Old vs. New

While the initial cost and set up can seem pricey, the process becomes more cost effective with the more footage you order. Because of this, it would benefit you to take a good stock of everywhere in the home that needs moulding replaced. Most shops, including McCoy Millwork, can get a quote worked up for you for no cost. As a recap, you will need to 1. provide them with a physical sample or drawing, 2. the total footage requested and 3. the species of wood that you are looking to have it made in. If preserving the true integrity of your home is important, the custom process is a critical step in your overall restoration.  Follow these steps and you will be on your way to restoring your home to it’s original historic masterpiece.


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