How to Install Oak Counter Trim

Place the length of trim on the countertop edge exactly where it will be installed. Carefully mark the back side of the trim where cuts will be needed using the edge of the countertop as a guide (Figure 1). Use a miter box with a sharp, fine-toothed saw to cut the trim as marked.

Insert the trim upside down in the miter box and place the saw in the guides needed to make the appropriate cuts for 45° inside and outside corners. A sharp, fine-toothed saw helps to reduce splintering. Lightly sand any rough edges. Try to avoid splicing trim pieces together along visible parts of the countertop. If it is necessary to splice exposed trim, miter the joining pieces at a 45° angle to give the best appearance and get the tightest fit. (Figure 2).

To give a professional look to trim
installation, drill pilot nail holes straight through the beveled trim edge with a bit slightly smaller than your finishing nail. This helps to avoid splitting the oak. When the pilot holes are drilled, squeeze a bead of wood glue on each face of the back side (Figure 3).

Lay the trim in place and drive in finishing nails through the pilot holes (Figure 4). With a nail punch, counter sink finishing nails. Fill the countersunk nail holes with wood
filler. Consult wood filler label directions for use and drying times.

When filler is dry, use a fine grade sandpaper to sand the trim in the same direction as the grain until the wood is smooth. Using a flat sanding block helps to keep joints sharp and square. When finished sanding, wipe the trim and surrounding areas with a tack cloth to remove dust.

Before applying stain to installed trim, test penetration and color of stain on a scrap piece of counter trim. When satisfied with color, brush the wood stain on installed trim (Figure 5). Let stain penetrate for 5 - 15 minutes.

With a clean cloth, gently wipe stain off, following the direction of the wood grain (Figure 6). To deepen the color, repeat the process. To lighten the color, wipe the trim with paint thinner. Give the stain 24 hours to dry and absorb before applying the finish.

High gloss polyurethane is recommended for a moisture resistant and durable finish. Make sure stain is dry and the trim and surrounding areas are dust free.
Gently stir polyurethane to avoid air bubbles, which may appear in the finish. Brush on the finish across the grain, then lightly smooth the finish by brushing with the grain. Follow the polyurethane label directions for drying time, second coat instructions and clean-up. To protect your finish during tile installation, cover the counter trim with masking tape when the second coat of finish is dry.