instant architecture: molding

Source: Domino Magazine

Give character to a featureless room with this modern take on Colonial-style wall panels. It will look as if the place has been around for ages.

Photo and Illustrations by Francois Dischinger & Mirk November 2005

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We chose a rich coffee-brown background and bright-white panels for a dramatic contrast. This 1 3/8″ astragal molding has a graphic, modern appearance, but molding of almost any size and profile will work.
Our total cost (including paint, materials and four molding panels): about $200


molding: 11/16″ x 1 3/8″ Poplar (181), about $.70/foot
adhesive: liquid nails, $1.99
spackle: Dap Fast ‘n Final lightweight, $6.49/quart
primer: Bulls Eye 1-2-3 water-base, about $8/quart
paint: Regal Wall Satin in Mustang (on walls), $24.49/gallon
Waterborne Satin Impervo in White Dove (on molding), $49.49/gallon

1. plan out your panels

Measure the walls. Determine the number of panels you want and how many inches will surround each one.

Note: It’s all about proportions. Once you know your dimensions, order precut mitered pieces (ends cut at 45° angles) of molding (two vertical, two horizontal) for each panel.

2. install one side of panel

If painting first, prime walls and follow with at least two coats of paint. Apply primer and one coat of paint to molding pieces, leaving mitered ends bare. The first piece to go up should be the vertical one closest to the room’s corner. Use a level to establish a straight line at your chosen distance. Dab construction adhesive along the center of the molding and press it to the wall, using your line as an outside mark. Hammer 1½” brads (aka finishing nails) partway through the molding’s thickest point, then countersink them.

3. secure the other sides

replace panel

Repeat the above process for the panel’s bottom edge. Make sure you keep mitered ends tightly abutted. Then adhere the last two pieces simultaneously (requires a helping hand). If the rectangle looks straight, tack the other molding pieces in place with brads. Countersink nails and fill divots with vinyl spackling compound. Continue with remaining panels.

4. apply a finishing coat of paint

When panels are secure, seal boxes’ inner and outer edges with light-duty painter’s tape. Lightly sand molding to remove globs of spackling compound. With a 1″ brush, sparingly apply a final coat of paint to the molding.

Check out more Domino How To’s Here…

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