Here are my corner blocks covered with a cast iron detail.
In my master bedroom, bathroom and study, my house had some corner block rosettes that were just down right ugly. Imagine a corner block on a door frame with a hand-routed design. It looked so cheap and old fashioned I couldn't stand it.
Drumroll please...here it is. I really don't know what they were thinking!
Maybe for you its a shell or star detail like these.
I decided my corner blocks had to be covered up. I could have bought new ones, finished them to match, taken out the old ones and put the new ones in. But for fear of ruining woodwork or the sheetrock and paint, I decided to just cover it up. I found a cast iron piece that fit the bill perfectly (and only 87 cents each!). In Dallas we have an ironwork supplier that carries stuff like this (King Architectural Metals). If you go to their website and search rosette you will see the extensive selection they have. You want single faced so its flat on the back.
I used double-sided tape to put them up and it looks better than ever. The tape has held for 8 years now. I also wet them and set them outside for a little while to get them to rust a little. Help them blend better with the wood finish. Here's the after photo
Try an appliqué over the unwanted detail instead of getting rid of it!
Here's a before and after. Night and day in my opinon. Hope this inspires you to update a piece of you own : )