Instant Architecture

Today’s post is inspired by the late, great domino magazine.  This coming March will be their last issue EVER!  What saddens me even more is that they will be shutting down their site soon as well.  So, to keep the spirit of Domino alive, I’ve been archiving a few of their DIY projects, decorating tips, and recipes for your reading pleasure. 

This past weekend Crisa, Alex, and I painted the down stairs of our little town-home.  We did similar colors to the original ones, with cooler tones to highlight our dark furniture better (pictures soon to come).  There is ONE wall though, that has a beautiful piece of vintage furniture on it that we just couldn’t decide what to do with.  We all love the piece, but we weren’t really sure what to do with the surrounding wall or decor. 

While scavenging the Domnio site I found a DIY project for “colonial style” molding and fell in love.  I showed it to Crisa and we’re definitely on the same page with it!

Here’s a step-by step(ish) of how to do it and a before and after picture.

Get inspired!


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

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.




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3 Responses to “Instant Architecture”

  1. Jessica Laitinen Says:

    Love it. I wish I had a house to do this to! I want to see how it turns out :)

  2. Jessica Isaac Says:

    Awesome. I was going to say “love it”, but someone else named Jessica beat me to it :)
    Are you guys going to do this? I want to see!

  3. natlpz Says:

    I’m hoping so! Just have to price everything out. We’re doing a totally “re-skin” of the interior. We’ve already painted and moved furniture. But not a whole lot has changed so I haven’t posted anything yet. We’re scraping the popcorn, putting in bamboo flooring and hopefully, doing this!

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