Introduction: How To: Trim a TV Niche

This is a photo of the finished project! Read on to learn how to trim a TV (or bookcase, or any other kind) of niche.

Step 1: Tools & Materials

Tools & Materials needed to complete the project:

  • Pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Foam brush
  • Paint
  • Nails
  • Level
  • Square
  • Miter box and Saw
  • Hammer
  • Nail Set
  • Window Trim
  • Wooden Rosettes

Step 2: Rough Measurments

These measurements do not have to be accurate. It is only to get a rough idea regarding the amount of material you need to purchase. Remember-- it is always better to purchase more than you need, in order to account for measuring errors and/or squaring the ends. Never assume the trim is cut to a perfect 90 degrees from the home center. (Hint: A rule of thumb is to add 10% to the total board length!)

Step 3: Trim

In my case, the fireplace is already trimmed and has rosettes to frame the fireplace. I chose to follow the same concept for the upper TV niche. You could choose many different options for materials and corner selections. I elected to prime and paint the trim and rosettes before cutting and attaching. If this is the case for you, be sure to paint the ends after cutting to final length.

Step 4: Measure One Side to Trim

Measure one of the vertical sides. This will determine how long to make the opposite side. Although not all openings are square, you can split the difference to compensate for the irregularities. Using the level, check the side of the book shelf and determine the placement of the first trim side.

Seeing as how it is most likely that the other side is the same as the first, these should be very close to the same length, unless you have a very irregular opening. Using the square and pencil mark the length on the trim piece. Cut the trim using the miter box and hand saw; this will help insure a 90 degree cut of the trim. (hint: when marking, place the pencil on the mark and move the square to the pencil. This will make for a more accurate measurement.)

Step 5: Dry Fit Sides and Top Header Trim

Using nails, attach the trim to the wall. At this time do not drive the nails all the way in. This step is used to set up the length of the header trim. Place the rosettes on the top of the side pieces to determine header length. Once the trim is cut to length, place the header between the rosettes to determine their final placement.

Step 6: Attach Trim and Rosettes

After determining that all of the pieces are of correct length and placement, it's time to put it all together. Using nails and/or glue, attach the trim and rosettes to the wall. In order to conceal the heads of the nails, use a nail set and hammer the nail head below the surface to be later filled with caulk or wax pencil. (You can even paint over the caulk at a later point in time.)

Step 7: Finish Project

Using latex caulk (or wax pencil if using stained wood), fill in any voids or nicks made on the trim during installation. Be sure to caulk or fill where the trim meets the rosettes. I touched up the caulked areas with the paint.

Enjoy your new finished trimmed TV niche and/or book shelves!