How to build fake stone columns on a wood frame

Written by alex smith
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How to build fake stone columns on a wood frame
Stone columns can look charmingly rustic. (waeske/iStock/Getty Images)

Adding faux stone columns can give a rustic feel to a room, especially if the walls are painted to look like wood planks or stone blocks. The individual stones are carved out of insulation foam glued onto a wood frame. The foam is available in 1.2 by 2.4 m (4 by 8 foot) sheets from major hardware shops. One sheet of foam is enough to cover two or three columns, making this a very cost effective way of creating the look.

Things you need

  • Wood boards
  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Wood screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Measuring tape
  • Stud finder
  • 5 by 10 cm (2 by 4 inch) board
  • Paint
  • Paint brush
  • Foam insulation board
  • Rasp
  • Sandpaper
  • Newspaper
  • Sea sponge
  • Glue

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  1. 1

    Cut three boards for the front and sides of your column. They should all be as tall as the wall they will be mounted on. The width of the boards depends on the size column that you want to create.

  2. 2

    Screw the pieces together with wood screws. The screws should be long enough to go through the face of the front piece and 2.5 cm (1 inch) into the side pieces. Drilling pilot holes before screwing will reduce the risk of the wood splitting.

  3. 3

    Cut three blocks of 5 by 10 cm (2 by 4 inch) wood long enough to fit snugly across the inner area of the column.

  4. 4

    Use a stud finder to locate a wall stud where you want your column to go, then draw a line on the wall to mark it. Use a level to make sure the line is perfectly vertical.

  5. 5

    Screw the three blocks flat onto the wall, using the line as a guide. They should be centred on the line, one block near the ceiling, the next in the middle of the wall and the third near the floor.

  6. 6

    Put the wood column on the wall, sliding it over the blocks of wood. Screw through the sides of the column and into the blocks to secure the column to the wall. Paint the column a sandy grey colour to represent mortar.


  1. 1

    Cut several circular, oval and rounded shapes out of a sheet of pink or blue insulation foam. Leave some foam for custom shapes later.

  2. 2

    Use a rasp to form the foam pieces into rounded stone shapes.

  3. 3

    Sand the foam stones smooth. Begin with a coarse sandpaper, such as 60 to 100 grit, to remove rasp marks, then progress to finer grits to smooth and polish the stones.

  4. 4

    Lay the foam stones on a sheet of newspaper and paint them. Begin with a neutral base coat. Sponge on darker and lighter colours using a sea sponge. Keep the colour patterns irregular for more realism. Make some stones darker and some lighter to avoid a uniform appearance. Allow the paint to dry.

    How to build fake stone columns on a wood frame
    Stones found in columns are all different colours. (stone wall image by Irina Kodentseva from
  5. 5

    Glue the foam stones to the column using a strong adhesive such as Liquid Nails or Gorilla Glue. Leave some space between the stones to let the mortar show through. Assembling the stones will be like putting a jigsaw puzzle together. You may need to create custom stones to fit tricky areas out of the foam you left aside.

  6. 6

    Allow the glue to dry. The drying time will depend on your selected glue.

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