Window Trim Inside/Sash Stop Question: Nails or Screws?

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Forum topic by Lovegasoline posted 05-24-2018 08:28 PM 1259 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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91 posts in 805 days

05-24-2018 08:28 PM

I’m not very familiar with window trim. I’m doing a lot of renovation work including laboriously stripping paint off a window frame.

My question regards what fasteners to use to attach the trim.

The inside trim, I think it’s called a side stop or sash stop, had a large gap with lots of crud behind it. Workers were skim coating the room’s walls and I asked about tightening up the window trim to remove the gap. I noticed there were originally nails holding the trim.The guy used his 5-in-1 paint tool to scrape out the crud behind the trim. Then he screwed the trim really tightly to the window frame. The guy did a quick and dirty job … at first he was going to drive the screws without drilling a countersink for the head, and when I mentioned that he used his Philips bit as a counter sink to make a rough hole and then drove the screws in really tight. He put several screws on each side as the trim needed to be coerced to lie flat. Ok, finally n

o more gap. I wasn’t sure about the use of screws at the time, but I was busy with other stuff and he was in a hurry.

I’m ready to complete my patching of the wood and priming it. However, I’m now wondering about those screws. I’d need to fill the screw head holes … at which point they’ll be completely hidden in the trim. It seems to me that if the trim ever needs to be removed in the future to access the window, it will be impossible to remove without destroying it. With nails it can just be carefully pryed off.

Should I remove the screws, patch the holes, and use nails?

5 replies so far

View RobHannon's profile


336 posts in 1298 days

#1 posted 05-24-2018 08:34 PM

I can’t say I have ever seen trim like that attached with screws. Brad nails or even pin nails for thinner trim like that would be what I would expect. If you are painting it anyway, you could leave it as is and no-one would notice.

View corelz125's profile


1335 posts in 1743 days

#2 posted 05-24-2018 11:29 PM

Ih you needed the screws to pull the trim in he should of used trim head screws.

View MrRon's profile


5910 posts in 4011 days

#3 posted 05-25-2018 12:04 AM

Trim is always attached with nails/brads. If it ever needs removal, it can be pried free. Trim is usually replaced with new material; a lot less work than trying to salvage the old trim. If you use brads or pins, you should be able to remove the trim without damaging it much. Thumbs down on screws.

View Lovegasoline's profile


91 posts in 805 days

#4 posted 05-25-2018 08:25 PM

Thanks for the info.
Duh! I actually have trim screws on hand.

View RobHannon's profile


336 posts in 1298 days

#5 posted 05-25-2018 08:38 PM

Careful with pulling window trim tight with a screw, you could cause a bow in the window frame and cause the window not to open and close smoothly. There should be shims to prevent that from happening easily, but you cant really tell what is back there once everything is finished.

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