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How to Replace Yellowed Plastic Molding on an Exterior Door

Thomas West

Plastic moldings are used on many exterior doors as window surrounds. The plastic will not rot like wood moldings and will last for many years. However, if not painted, the molding will fade or yellow, creating an unsightly condition.

The molding comes in two halves for each side of the door, and actually holds the glass panel securely into place when screwed together.

  1. Locate the plastic plugs on the inside perimeter of the plastic window trim molding. Pry the plugs out carefully using the tip of a utility knife.

  2. Remove the screws revealed after removing the plugs with a Philips screwdriver turned in a counterclockwise direction. Remove the molding from the inside of the door by prying it up if necessary with a flat blade screwdriver.

  3. Push the glass out of the door from the inside. Have a helper on the outside of the door to keep the glass from falling out of the door. Take the glass and outer molding assembly to a work area. Note: Make a cut along the outside perimeter of the plastic molding with a utility knife to release the glass and molding from the door if necessary. Use care to avoid damaging the exterior finish of the door.

  4. Carefully cut around the edges of the glass panel with a utility knife to release it from the sealer that holds it into the outer plastic molding. Lift the glass from the outer molding.

  5. Place a bead of silicone sealer around the inside edge of the new outer plastic molding. Carefully place the glass panel into the molding. Wipe any sealer that has squeezed out between the molding on the glass with a clean rag. Let the silicone set up as per the directions on the tube.

  6. Lift the glass and outer molding assembly and push it into the door from the outside. Have a helper hold the glass into position so that it does fall out.

  7. Push the inner half of the new molding into place on the inside of the door. Secure the inner and outer halves of the molding together by threading screws into the mounting holes on the inside molding and tightening them with a Philips screwdriver. Push the screw caps over each screw hole until they snap into place.

  8. Tip

    Your new window moldings can be ordered from the dealer that you purchased your door from. The molding may or may not come with new mounting screws, so save the screws from your old molding just in case.