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The foyer trim includes some quite beautiful applied moldings. With the addition of a closet and stained glass window, I wanted to match the new trim as closely as possible to the old. Unfortunately, the moldings are no longer available from any supplier. The solution was to make use of two products, Silputty and Por-A-Kast, available at VanDykes. I had never worked with the stuff before, but I was willing to give it a shot. If it worked, I would have exact matches for the missing moldings.

The Silputty is a two-part putty that when mixed in equal proportions cures into a flexible mold. After kneading the mixture, you apply it to the molding you intend to reproduce. In my case, this meant forming over the trim moldings being careful to push the putty into all crevices without leaving trapped air pockets. It worked so well every little detail, including imperfections (cracks, nail holes, etc), was transferred to the mold.

The next step was to mix the two-part liquid “urethane elastomers” together to form the casting itself. (Check out a short video of the casting process, if you are so inclined. No, it was not shot during a tornado or earthquake; my 11-year old is still working on perfecting her cinematography skills! I then employed my son to show the old man a thing or two by producing the video. My thanks to both.)

At this point, I will admit that I have not yet attempted to finish them in any way. VanDykes’ site claims that they can be stained and finished like wood. I have my reservations, but I’ll report back on any success, or lack thereof. Only two more weekends remain to finish all of these projects before the big graduation party. Ugh!

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