The trim on one of the sidelights around the front door has started to come off (see pictures below). The door gets a lot of sun and I suppose this is what caused this.

I initially thought I could just nail or glue the trim. However if I do that, the trim will not be flush with the others.

  1. How is the trim attached to the sidelight? Is it glue or something else?
  2. On the inside side of the sidelight, I see something that looks like nails (see last picture). Is this what holds the inside and outside trim in place?
  3. How would you repair this?

Thank you!

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  • "However if I [nail or glue], the trim will not be flush with the others." Why do you think that? The things on the inside look like plastic screw caps.
    – Transistor
    Jul 5, 2021 at 19:50
  • If I push on the outside trim, the trim does not align with the others. I would have to put a wood shim behind the trim to make it align. Regarding the potential screw caps, I tried to remove the cap and I couldn't...
    – Martin
    Jul 5, 2021 at 20:01
  • 1
    Is the trim wood? Or plastic most trims hold it in place by the screws from inside screwing into risers on the back of front piece to sandwich it together also is the door wood? Jul 5, 2021 at 23:49
  • 1
    I have several metal doors with plastic grids in them, very similar to your side lights. The doors come with plastic plugs to cover the screw holes where the grids mount to the window. These aren't just little surface covers - they're actually fairly deep. Once they're inserted they would be quite difficult to pry out. However, they are just plastic, and the very careful, use of a drill at a slow speed would remove the plastic. You would, of course, have to find replacement caps.
    – FreeMan
    Jul 6, 2021 at 16:12
  • Thank you FreeMan, David. Your comments were very useful. I was able to remove the cap/cover and it looks like my trim is missing a screw... :(
    – Martin
    Jul 18, 2021 at 21:42

1 Answer 1


Those are covers, not nails. Most likely the screws/bolts have rusted out inside, causing the lite to come free. I would pop a few covers off (on the INSIDE of the door) and find out if they've come loose (door slamming does cause that) or rusted away.

Metal fingernail files usually work well to pop them off, or long thin flat head screwdrivers.

  • Thank you Bee. You are correct, it is a cover. With a lot of patience, I was able to remove the cover and found out that there are no screw/bolt. There is just a pre-drilled hole. However the hole wasn't drilled all the way. It looks like I am going to have to drill a hole in the trim from the inside of the house. :(
    – Martin
    Jul 18, 2021 at 21:40
  • Hey Martin, do yourself a big favor and take the lite OUT of the wall before doing that drilling. Things tend to shift right at the very moment that you don't want them to.
    – Bee Kay
    Jul 20, 2021 at 15:46

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