How to Dress up a Wall With Fluted Columns

Carter Oosterhouse jazzes up a plain wall with elegant columns.


A set of columns frames a wall of artwork.

A set of columns frames a wall of artwork.

Related To:

Materials and Tools:

3/4" medium-density fiberboard (MDF) 6-1/2-inch wide column face
3/4" MDF 3-inch wide column sides
3/4" 6-3/8-inch wide cleat
4-inch wide fluted molding pieces
crown molding for top and bottom
1-1/2-inch brad nails
2-inch brads
1-1/2" countersink screws
safety goggles
measuring tape
nail gun
chop saw
jig saw


1. Determine how tall you want your columns to be. Cut your MDF face, sides and cleat to size.



2. Cut MDF face to 6-1/2" wide. Then the two side pieces 2-1/2" wide. Glue the edges of the MDF face to the side pieces, securing them with 1-1/2" brad nails.

3. Cut the fluted molding down to size so it covers the entire face. Measure the width of your crown molding and cut the same width from the end of the fluted molding. This is where your crown molding will be placed once the column is erected.

4. Add glue to the backside of the fluted molding, and place it flush with the bottom end of the MDF. Then attach with brad nails.



5. Take the face baseboard piece and place it over the bottom of the column. With a pencil, mark where to cut on the back of the board. Then, cutting from the back towards the front, make a 45-degree miter cut.

6. For the baseboard sides, cut a 45-degree angle on the ends connecting to the face piece, and then a flat cut on the other end so the back is flush with the back of the MDF side pieces (the side that will sit against the wall). Repeat for the opposite side. Assemble and attach with nails.

7. If you have a baseboard already in place on the wall where the column will go, you will need to use a jig saw to cut out an area that equals the full width of the column's baseboard.



8. Cut an MDF cleat to 6-3/8" and attach it with countersink screws where the columns will be placed. Make sure you are attaching the cleat to studs and not into drywall. Install the column over the cleat and attach with 2" brad nails from the side.



9. Cut the crown-molding piece the same way you did the baseboard. Then glue together and secure with brad nails. Once dry, install at the top of the column, over your MDF piece.

10. Use caulking to cover up all the nail holes and seams. Once dry, paint your columns to the desired color.

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