Create a Geometric Focal Wall With Trim

A bold paint color and simple molding turn a bare wall into a stunning, graphic focal point.
Purple Wall with White Wainscoting

Purple Wall with White Wainscoting

White wainscoting adds dimension and texture to the purple walls in this contemporary living room, further brightened up by orange accents that give the room a playful feel.

Materials Needed:

  • graph paper
  • pencil
  • 1X2 primed MDF trim
  • semi-gloss paint
  • spackle
  • spackle knife
  • caulk
  • caulk gun
  • circular saw
  • hammer
  • nail punch
  • nail gun
  • nails
  • finishing nails
  • painter's tape
  • liquid bonding adhesive

Measure Wall

Use tape measure to determine the proper height and width of wall.

Measure Wall

Measure Wall

Use tape measure to determine the proper height and width of wall.

Jot Down Dimensions

Write your wall dimensions down on the graph paper.

Jot Down Dimensions

Jot Down Dimensions

Write your wall dimensions down on the graph paper before you begin your project.

Create Design

Referring to the dimensions, create an original design on graph paper using pencil. Note: This will vary depending on the size of your wall. In the video how-to, the five vertical pieces of trim are 21 inches apart, with the horizontal pieces starting either 10 inches or 21 inches from the ceiling.

Create Your Design

Create Your Design

Referring to the dimensions, create an original design on graph paper using pencil. Note: This will vary depending on the size of your wall. In the video how-to, the five vertical pieces of trim are 21 inches apart with the horizontal pieces starting either 10 inches or 21 inches from the ceiling.

Find and Mark Center Point of Wall

Using tape measure, pencil and a piece of painter’s tape, mark center point of wall along top and bottom. These marks will be your guide for installing the first two pieces of trim, each evenly spaced to the left and the right of the center mark.

Find and Mark Center Point of Wall

Find and Mark Center Point of Wall

Using tape measure, pencil and a piece of painter’s tape, mark center point of wall along top and bottom. These marks will be your guide for installing the first two pieces of trim, each evenly spaced to the left and the right of the center mark.

Cut Two Center Pieces of Vertical Trim

Referring to measurements on graph paper, cut two pieces of vertical trim with circular saw.

Cut Two Center Pieces of Vertical Trim

Cut Two Center Pieces of Vertical Trim

Referring to measurements on graph paper, cut two pieces of vertical trim with circular saw.

Position Two Center Pieces of Vertical Trim

Referring to pencil marks on painter’s tape, place first two pieces of vertical trim in their proper positions.

Position Center Pieces of Vertical Trim

Position Center Pieces of Vertical Trim

Referring to pencil marks on painter’s tape, place first two pieces of vertical trim in their proper positions.

Attach Two Center Pieces of Vertical Trim

With each of the two center pieces of vertical trim in their proper position, add a bead of liquid bonding adhesive to the back, press into place, then securely fasten with finishing nails.

Tip: To sink finishing nails, tap each nail with nail punch until each nail sits slightly below the surface of the trim.

Install Remaining Pieces of Vertical Trim

Repeat these steps for all pieces of vertical trim.

Install Remaining Pieces of Vertical Trim

Install Remaining Pieces of Vertical Trim

Repeat these steps for all pieces of vertical trim.

Cut Horizontal Trim Pieces

Referring to measurements on graph paper, measure, mark, then cut each piece of horizontal trim with circular saw.

Cut Horizontal Trim Pieces

Cut Horizontal Trim Pieces

Referring to measurements on graph paper, measure, mark, then cut each piece of horizontal trim with circular saw.

Install Horizontal Trim Pieces

Referring to dimensions on graph paper, place each horizontal piece of trim in proper position, then secure into place with hammer and finishing nails.

Install Horizontal Trim Pieces

Install Horizontal Trim Pieces

Referring to dimensions on graph paper, place each horizontal piece of trim in proper position, then secure into place with hammer and finishing nails.

Spackle, Sand, Caulk and Paint

Once all vertical and horizontal pieces of trim are installed, add spackle to holes, smooth out with spackle knife, caulk edges, then paint with paint brush.

Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Make a Multi-Faceted Wall Mirror

Add reflection in a modern, artistic way to walls with squares of basic mirror, plywood and trim.

How to Build a Herringbone Privacy Screen

Use basic home improvement store materials to add designer-grade privacy and graphic impact to an outdoor space.

Candice's Design Tips: Homes of the Brave

In episode five, the Design Stars make over living areas for two deserving military families. See what Candice says they did right, did wrong and how she could have done it better.

Vern's Design Tips: Homes of the Brave

In episode five, the Design Stars make over living areas for two deserving military families. See what Vern says they did right, did wrong and how she could have done it better.

How to Paint a Chevron-Patterned Dresser

Give a basic chest of drawers designer flair with a painted chevron pattern.

Genevieve's Design Tips: Homes of the Brave

In episode five, the Design Stars make over living areas for two deserving military families. See what Genevieve says they did right, did wrong and how she could have done it better.

Vern's Design Tips: Design a Hollywood Home

In episode one, the Design Stars made over their gorgeous Hollywood home. See what Vern says they did right, did wrong and how he could have done it better.

Genevieve's Design Tips: The White Room Challenge

In episode three, the Design Stars show off their talent in the white room challenge. See what Genevieve says they did right, did wrong and how she could have done it better.

Genevieve's Design Tips: The Final Challenge

Antonio and Dan go head-to-head in the biggest Design Star challenge yet: making over a deserving family's entire home. See what Genevieve says they did right, did wrong and how she could have done it better.

Vern's Design Tips: The White Room Challenge

In episode three, the Design Stars show off their talent in the white room challenge. See what Vern says they did right, did wrong and how she could have done it better.

On TV

Fixer Upper

1pm | 12c

Fixer Upper

2pm | 1c

Fixer Upper

3pm | 2c

Fixer Upper

4pm | 3c

Fixer Upper

5pm | 4c

Fixer Upper

6pm | 5c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Fixer Upper

8pm | 7c

Fixer Upper

9pm | 8c

Mountain Life

11pm | 10c

Mountain Life

11:30pm | 10:30c

Fixer Upper

12am | 11c

Mountain Life

2:30am | 1:30c

Fixer Upper

3am | 2c
What's Hot
What's Hot

Flip or Flop

All New: Thursday, May 31 at 9|8c

NEW: Live TV

Don’t miss your favorite shows. Live stream HGTV now.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.

Luxury Home Giveaways

HGTV Smart Home

A lowcountry style home in Palmetto Bluff in SC

HGTV Urban Oasis

A cozy Craftsman-style home in Knoxville, Tennessee

HGTV Dream Home

A gorgeous remodel in Gig Harbor, Washington