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DIY Tips on Building Window Cornices

DIY Tips on Building Window Cornices

A window cornice can add elegance to any room. You can hang Roman shades, roller shades, or any type of draperies you wish beneath the cornice. The look will be more refined and finished.

You will need a miter saw, an air powered brad nailer, a cordless drill, a tape measure, a screw gun, a file, a pair of safety glasses, and a paintbrush to do this job. You will need wood screws that are 2 and ½ inches, some wood filler or wood putty, some paint or stain to finish the wood, some wood glue, and a couple of sheets of fine sand paper.

You will need to measure your windows with the window treatment of choice installed. You need to measure the outside width and depth of the curtain rods that you will be using the cornice to cover up. In order to make sure that your cornice fits perfectly add one inch to the measurements you get. Then if you change window treatments later your cornice will still cover them.

A cornice is basically a three sided box with a lid. No matter how fancy you want this décor element to be you must start by building a three sided box with a lid. You will want to miter the corners of your box pieces first and then assemble them so that they fit together perfectly. You want to attach them using wood glue and brads or finish nails. Once the entire box is assembled, and the glue has had time to dry you will be ready to add the trim, or finishing touches to your cornice.

The trim is what makes your cornice fancy, or simple. You choose the crown molding that you like and this molding will be applied to the exterior of the box to create a unique and eye-catching piece over your windows. You can buy one piece of molding or you can layer several pieces of molding to create any look that you desire.

You will need to miter the ends of the trim to match the miters on the existing box and glue the trim to the outside of the box. Then you will be ready to tack the trim in place with brads. Once you have it nailed together you will countersink the nails using a nail set and then place paintable putty over the heads of the nails. Allow the putty to dry and sand it smooth before you paint, or stain your cornice.

When the window cornice has been painted you will install it over the window of choice. You need to make sure that the cornice is positioned with equal amounts sticking out past each side edge of the window trim. This will provide you with a more uniform appearance. You also want to put a level on your cornice and make certain that you hang this item completely level. A crooked cornice is distracting.

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