Hall & Stairway Shadow Boxes

Project by Mark posted 01-08-2012 08:10 AM 12104 views 4 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

One of the things I think really makes a home look beautiful is trim work.

It’s all about personal taste, of course – but I find the classic looks (rosettes, fluted casings, shadow boxes) always seem to carry a certain elegance, and when you have kids running around the house you absolutely have to temper this with low-maintenance design considerations as well.

Attached are a few shots of some trim work I did a few months back – I wanted to dress-up the downstairs and stairway. This project took a few weeks, but realistically the time required was about 5-7 hours each weekend for about a month. I went with white shadow boxes all sealed with 3 coats of high-quality semi-gloss paint. The single color and high gloss finish assure ease of maintenance. There are additional construction photos and a detailed description of how I did this on my web site as well at the link just below, if this is something you may be considering…


Even though it was somewhat tedious to accomplish, this was a very gratifying project to conquer.

Some folks are true artists when it comes to decorative trim work. This is one of those areas where you’re truly limited only by imagination and creativity. Even the color schemes can be amazingly elaborate. As for me, I can be quite precise – but I don’t really think I’m in any way artistic. Yet every time I’ve had someone scuff this, I do find great satisfaction in getting out that white semi-gloss and touching it up in about 2 minutes. I love the way this has added to my home’s character, and I love the ease-of-maintenance!

-- Mark, Jersey Shore, http://www.all-about-the-house.com

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7 comments so far

View averagejoe's profile


20 posts in 3129 days

posted 01-09-2012 05:44 PM

This seems like really nice attention to detail. What are you using to adhere the trim? Glue? Finish nailer? How are you covering up the nail holes? Painters caulk doesn’t do the trick for me.

Thanks for sharing this.

-- AverageJoe

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41 posts in 3346 days

posted 01-09-2012 08:23 PM

Thanks, A-Joe -

And I completely agree – using plain-old caulking to fill holes in trim work is not the way to go.

+ I used wood filler on every hole, which I sanded (once dry) and then eventually painted.
+ For wall adhesion: I used a finish nailer to the studs – and reinforced with Phenoseal (on back) as well.

It’s really a great project in many regards: it’s not that expensive and it can make a huge impact to your home. I’ve done other areas of my home with casings, crown moldings (which are somewhat painful to me) and headers, but this was the only one I thought to photograph as I was going along.

Lots more detail and photos via the link from my original posting [above] too.

Thanks, again!

-- Mark, Jersey Shore, http://www.all-about-the-house.com

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41 posts in 4041 days

posted 01-20-2012 05:40 AM

Looks Great! I’ve done a lot of wainscoting around my house as well and always wanted to add something to the stairway. The pics of your stairway are just what I’ve been looking for. Hope you don’t mind if I copy your idea. :)

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41 posts in 3346 days

posted 01-20-2012 07:07 AM

Would I mind if ‘Chuck Norris’ copied my stairway design? What could be cooler?? :-)

I’m actually getting ready to start doing my dining room next – going to try to take it up a level. Crown moldings, full-wall moldings, maybe even a textured faux finish within select boxes. Have to work out the overall design first, of course. It may take me a few months to take it from soup-to-nuts, but I’m looking forward to it.

And I really do love using that nail gun.

Thanks, Brent – and good luck with your stairway!

-- Mark, Jersey Shore, http://www.all-about-the-house.com

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posted 12-02-2012 09:35 AM

I’ve done a lot of wainscoting around my house as well and always wanted to add something to the stairway. discount coupon codes

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Audrey Greenwood

4 posts in 2207 days

posted 10-13-2014 09:04 AM

I find that it’s actually really pretty and understated – which is just the way that it should be when it comes to soft embellishments to your walls. But I admire your patience to get it all done! In my house I’ve got way too many things lying around that need to be put into moving boxes if I were to attempt anything like this!

-- Audrey Greenwood: http://www.boomerangbox.com.au/

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2 posts in 2001 days

posted 02-03-2015 06:57 PM

I have two kids and to do such things requires maintenance .I wanted to do something like this But thinking of my two kids I am dropping the idea.

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