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What is a Bullseye Rosette?

What is a Bullseye Rosette?

This week’s Ask the Craftsman Question comes from Jasper.

“What is a Bullseye Casing?”

Jasper, a bullseye casing or a bullseye rosette is the item pictured here. Rosettes were historically a very popular way to dress up door and window casings.

They also made installing interior casing much easier by eliminating mitred cuts. The head casing and side casings would simply intersect the rosette in a butt joint which simplified the process.

There have been many different styles of rosettes over the years. And there are still a variety available today, but the bullseye rosette has always been the most popular style across America.

Often used with plinth blocks, where the casing meets the floor, rosettes are a unique piece of your home’s historic details because on older houses, each one was uniquely made by a local mill or craftsman before the days of mass production.

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4 thoughts on “What is a Bullseye Rosette?

  1. Depending on where you live and how much you need replaced, you may be able to find an “architectural salvage” store, a place where people take out stuff from old houses to salvage rather than put it all in a landfill.
    I think my local mill quoted $75 just to set up a dedicated run of a style they had in stock, much more than that if they needed to make a blade, and then the fee per foot for cutting and the wood price are added on.
    Which makes 6 feet of floor trim sort of expensive if you’re on a tight budget…like many of us…

    If you are missing only a few, or can’t readily find a match, you can make a mold of an existing one and cast replacements. Abatron makes specialty compounds for this kind of work, but I’ve had a little success with Durham’s water putty of plaster of paris as well. In my most successful efforts, I used water putty to make a mold, and then used Wood Epoxy (harder and less brittle) to do the casting. You will either need to break the mold off or use something (wax, waxpaper, silicone spray,etc.) as a barrier between the mold and the casting.
    Like I said, Abatron makes specialty stuff for this, but I think it is in larger volumes for pros, not something the typical homeowner would invest in.

  2. This has been one subject that I just couldn’t find any information about. I have a approx. 1910 home. Someone came in tore out some plaster walls and didn’t save the old baseboard. I have the rosettes and door/window trim. There are many plaster walls w/baseboard left but I have no idea how to get what I need replicated.

    We do have a saw mill not to far, is that where I can go to the baseboard replicate? I have really been racking my brains over this.

  3. Great post! We have these throughout our 1880s home, surrounding most of the windows and doors, but I didn’t know what they were called. Sadly, some of ours seem to have been removed before we bought the home. We’re planning to replace the missing ones to restore the historic character.

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