A Guide on How to Fit Architraves Around Your Doors

An architrave is a feature of the housing industry that has been around for over 40,000 years and remains as useful as ever. Architraves are strips of material, usually wooden, that can be fitted around joins in your construction, such as windows, doors, and lofts, in order to provide an aesthetic finish as well as protection from movement and shrinkage. If your home or commercial building does not already employ architraves to this effect, or if you are finishing a new construction or renovation, it’s well worth installing architraves for a beautifully effective, durable finish. Fitting MDF architraves needs to be done with precision for the best results, but it is a relatively simple process if you attempt it carefully and thoroughly.


First of all, in order to fit an MDF door architrave to your door frame, you’ll need the following materials and tools:

  • A new architrave
  • Drill
  • Hammer
  • Spirit level
  • Mitre box / mitre saw
  • Safety glasses
  • Tape Measure
  • Strong adhesive
  • Pencil
  • Nails
  • Hand saw

The safety equipment is particularly important as it will keep you from potential injury.

Measure and Mark Up

Your first step will be to measure your architrave to the required lengths and to mark up the area around your door frame where you want the door frame architrave to sit. Your installed architraves should sit slightly away from the door (around 4mm) so make sure to include this space within your measurements. This is to avoid the repeated wear-and-tear that opening and closing the door could create upon a flush-fitted door architrave. Mark out the margins clearly with your pencil and tape measure.

Cut and Mitre

The mitre is the diagonal edge where two sections of architrave meet together. You will need to use your mitre box and saw to cut the architrave to the correct lengths and make sure the mitre sits accurately. It’s worth holding the lengths of architraves up to the doorframe and even securing them in place temporarily so you can check that all the measurements work in situ, and make necessary adjustments.

Fit and Position

You should cut and position the two upright lengths of the architrave first, then the ‘head’ or horizontal architrave that will lie across the top of the door. This is so you can make sure they all fit flush together, and you can make adjustment cuts to the head architrave.

Prepare the Wall

It’s important that you make sure the wall behind the door, and the pieces of architrave themselves, are clean and free of dirt before you begin fixing them permanently. Dirty walls or trapped dust may interfere with an adhesive that you use, so ensure you have thoroughly cleaned and dried the area first.

Fix the Door Architrave

The final step is to nail the architrave into place. Use six nails for each vertical length, and four nails for the ‘head’. It’s also worth adding an extra nail down from the ‘head’ into each ‘leg’, that will fix the architraves to each other as well as to the wall behind, to ensure they do not move away from each other and create irritating gapes at the mitre. It’s also recommended that you use adhesive behind the architraves to help secure them alongside the nails.

At Cutting Edge Skirting, we manufacture and provide a wide range of architraves to suit your preferences. Interested in finding out more about the architraves we offer? Get in touch and speak to a member of the Cutting Edge Skirting team today on 0333 366 0249 or send us an email on info@skirting.co.uk. You can also contact a member of our team by using the contact form below. We look forward to hearing from you.