Sunday, March 9, 2014

Use Columns With A Vaulted Ceiling

Columns are a structural element. They hold up the ceiling and the roof. You can also use them to hold plants and statues. Columns come in an unlimited number of sizes and designs, although one element that is always the same is the cap. The top of the cap is always flat to allow things to rest on it evenly. Theoretically, a room with a vaulted ceiling would have no use for a column. With a few extra steps you can easily install a column in a room with a vaulted ceiling.


1. Place the column in the area where you want to install it. Secure the base to the floor surface according to the manufacturer's instructions.

2. Measure and cut a piece of string the distance from the ceiling to the top of the column cap. This measurement does not need to be exact, but the string should be a few inches longer than the exact distance.

3. Attach the string to a sewing needle, by tying a knot at the eye of the needle. Insert the other end of the string into another sewing needle. Do not tie a knot in this end.

4. Hold the needle that does not have the knot in it, against the ceiling. Allow the other needle to hang freely. Move the sewing needle in your hand until the needle on the bottom touches the column cap. Pull the string until the sewing needle on the bottom stands up straight and the tip barely touches the cap. The string and needles should be straight. The bottom needle should be an inch away from the edge of one corner of the cap. Mark the location of both the needle tips with a marker. Repeat with the other three corners.

5. Measure and cut a 1-by-2-inch board three inches longer than the distance between the column cap and the ceiling.

6. Press the board against the side of the column and the ceiling.

7. Place an angle finder against the ceiling and the 1-by-2-inch board. Position the angle finder to fit the space between the two. Remove the board and the angle finder. Do not move the position of the angle finder. This is the angle the board needs to be cut to fit in the space above the column. Cut the end of the 1-by-2-inch board to the angle determined on the angle finder.

8. Repeat step 5 through 7 three more times to create a filler for each corner of the column.

9. Position all four 1-by-2 boards into place above the column. They will be tight and have to be hammered into place with a rubber mallet. Each one should fit vertically above each corner of the column cap, and sit one inch away from each corner.

10. Drill a screw through the side of the board and into the ceiling. Angle the screw so it goes through one side of the board and out the top, into the ceiling. Drill at a slow speed so you do not drill through the board. The tip of the screw should not be seen. Repeat with the bottom of the board, and the top of the cap.

11. Measure and cut drywall to fit over the four sides. Cut the drywall with a utility knife. Find the angles needed in the drywall by placing the angle finder against the 1-by-2 boards. Draw the line onto the drywall before cutting. Screw the drywall into place by placing each of the screws in the 1-by-2 boards. Any cuts that are wrong or not exact can be covered with drywall tape and joint compound.

12. Cover all seams with drywall tape. Apply joint compound to the tape, and smooth with a putty knife. Allow the joint compound to dry overnight.

13. Sand the joint compound smooth with 120-grit sandpaper.

14. Paint the drywall.

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