How make an arch wall niche

Written by virginia franco
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Arch wall niches have been around for ages. Historically speaking, wall niches have been integrated into architecture since Greek and Roman times. Look around today and you can find niches in churches and even grand old homes. Wall niches are a wonderful way to display photographs, pieces of art, or any accessory you feel like showing off. If you are handy with a saw and comfortable with hanging drywall, adding an arch wall niche to your home is a relatively straight forward DIY project.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • 2-by-4 foot wood boards
  • Two pieces of scrap wood approx 1 by 10 inch in size
  • Electric screwdriver
  • Pencil
  • Mitre saw
  • Wood screws
  • Drywall screws
  • 3/8-inch drywall slab
  • Drywall mud
  • Drywall tape
  • Spray bottle filled with water
  • Drywall saw
  • Level
  • Shims
  • Painter's caulk
  • Stud finder
  • Sand paper
  • Primer
  • Paint

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  1. 1

    Use your mitre saw to cut two 52-inch long pieces and two 20 inch-long pieces of wood from your 2-by-4 inch boards.

  2. 2

    Form a rectangle by attaching the 20-inch boards at the top and bottom, and the 52-inch boards at the side with wood screws.

  3. 3

    Form the arch by nailing two pieces of scrap wood into a "V" shape, and affixing the point of the "V" to the top of your frame directly in the centre. Nail the scrap wood to the frame on all three sides.

  4. 4

    Sketch with pencil the outline of your arched niche directly onto the wall. The length and width of your wall measurements will need to be the same size as those on the wood frame. Use a stud finder to make sure your arched wall niche will be nestled beween two wall studs. Use your level to make sure all sides are straight.

  5. 5

    Use a drywall saw and cut along the lines drawn on the wall.

  6. 6

    Place the wood frame inside the hole, placing shims underneath your frame to help make it level. Use your screwdriver and wood screws to affix the frame to the wall studs on either side.

  7. 7

    Cut drywall pieces to match the size of the sides, top and bottom of your arch wall niche. Use drywall screws to secure the drywall to the frame.

  8. 8

    Cover the drywall seams with drywall tape and spread drywall mud over the taped area.

  9. 9

    Spray the top of your arch with water until you see the drywall appear soft enough to bend. Use your hand to gently mould the drywall into the angle created with your V-shaped scrap wood at the top of the frame. Wait until the moulded drywall is dry before going to the next step.

  10. 10

    Apply painter's caulk to fill in the corners above the V-shaped scrap wood at the top of the frame. Wait for the mud and caulk to dry before proceeding to the next step.

  11. 11

    Sand lightly over the drywall until the surface is smooth to the touch. Paint a coat of primer followed by two coats of paint.

Tips and warnings

  • Once your arch wall niche is complete, you can show off what's inside by adding a small recessed light, or by placing a decorative shelf at the base of the entrance. Either step, or both, will help draw the eye even further to what is displayed inside the niche.
  • When moulding the drywall to form the arch at the top of your woodframe, it is important not to push too hard. Drywall is fragile, and rough handling can cause the drywall to break.

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