Posted by on Mar 30, 2015 in Built Ins, Interior

Adding columns to the entryways of two areas of this home had an enormous impact on the overall character, and it’s these kinds of projects that make us happy!

Doorway Columns

This home was built in 1992, on the tail end of the era where entryways were “enhanced” with an angular detail on both sides. See the before image below:

Columns Before Picture 1

Looks very 1980’s-1990’s, right? To bring this home’s style up several notches, we added faux columns on both sides of the entry … and after this project was complete, liked it so much that we added more to the front entry of the home as well. Here is the before of that area.

Front Entry Door Columns Before

We knew that the angled areas likely had some sort of support 2×4 under it, so we pulled the drywall off and removed the 2x4s. They were nailed in pretty good, so we had to use our sawsall to cut the 2x4s in half, and then pulled them out.

Removing angled 2x4
Removing angled 2x4 2

What we were not expecting was electrical wires. This room was an addition, and the only thing we can figure is that when they opened up the doorway area they ran the electrical up and then over. However, we aren’t sure why they felt the need to put them into these corners. Since our columns were going to come out from the walls about 2 inches on all sides, there was room to keep the wires where they were, but we did use electrical staples to staple them to the 2x4s so they were out of the way.

Doorway Electrical

We unfortunately did not take pictures of the next steps of actually building the boxes that were to be the columns … but here is a quick rundown:

We used MDF sheets and ripped them to the correct widths on our table saw. Each edge was ripped at a 45 degree angle. Each column consisted of 5 pieces. The front face, the two sides, and small 2 inch strips that would rest on either side of the wall.

After we had the parts all ripped down, we connected them to each other with wood glue and finish nails. We filled in all the holes and then painted them white.

The result was a U shaped box that had an opening just wide enough to slide over the wall.

To attach to the wall openings, we used screws to attach them on the top, middle and bottom where they would be covered up with trim moulding. You can see this in the photo below, where we hadn’t attached the trim to the top of the column yet.

Doorway Columns Attached

After we attached the columns in this way, we covered the top, middle and bottom with trim moulding.
For the bottom, we seamlessly integrated it into the existing baseboard.

Column Baseboard Area

The middle is a simple chair rail style trim moulding.

Middle Chair Rail Moulding

The top was a little more involved. We started out by adding a piece of MDF on the underside of the wall opening between the 2 columns, ripped to fit the exact width.

After this step, we created a “cap” for the top of the columns. We used our router to give this piece a nice edge, and then attached them at the top of each column. We finished this out with crown moulding.

Top Trim Work

To finish everything out, we added a piece of crown style moulding across the top of the two columns. Once everything was attached, we filled in all the holes and painted everything a smooth eggshell white. Both of the rooms also got a new coat of fresh paint and new furniture. The result is a beautiful cased opening with loads of character!

Final Den Doorway Columns

After we completed this project, we decided to add them to the front entry as well. The only difference in this install verses the other one was that we didn’t bring the columns all the way up to the ceiling. This is because there will be crown-style trim moulding added here. There are other projects to complete before we can get to this step, but we will update this post when that part is done!

Front Entry Columns
Front Entry Columns Detail
Front Entry Columns Final 2

Thanks so much for reading!!