I decided weeks ago to forgo the idea of finding a way to cover up and disguise the TV, but I still didn’t like the idea of a TV just hanging on that wall. I do plan to decorate around it, but I still wanted to address the TV itself. So I’ve been looking for ideas, and I came across this amazing custom frame for a wall mounted TV…
I love the idea of framing a wall-mounted flatscreen television. I searched for a tutorial online, and didn’t really find anything that I wanted to replicate. My favorite one was this one, but it uses crown moulding as the decorative face of the frame. And I’m fairly certain crown moulding was used for the one pictured above as well. Y’all know I have a strict “avoid crown moulding at all costs if and when possible” rule. (Yes, I have a Kreg Crown Pro jig, and yes I can cut crown if I need to, but I still have an aversion to it and avoid it if possible. )
One of my biggest issues with using crown moulding (besides the hassle of cutting it) is that if you want to make a wide frame, the outside edge of your frame is going to be very thick. The frame in the tutorial linked above is 8.5 inches thick on the outside edges. I think that’s fine, and even looks very nice, in a large, open room. But my breakfast room is kind of small, so a frame protruding from the wall 8.5 inches seemed extreme for my particular case.
I knew there had to be a way to get a similar look without the hassle of using crown moulding, and sure enough, there is!
The key is that for the face of the frame, you need to use any type of moulding that is naturally thinner on one edge and builds up so that the other edge is much thicker. Mouldings that will work for this are some of the really decorative (i.e., not basic) door and window casings, as well as the nicer chair rail mouldings.
The one I found that I liked the most was a door casing that actually came in a kit with three pieces of casing and two rosettes. (This is the one I used.) And because the package was missing a rosette, I got it at 20% off. So the moulding for the face of my frame came in at around $16.
So here’s how I built my frame…
I started by measuring my TV, which was already mounted on the wall. I measured the height, width, and the distance from the wall to the front of the TV. I have a 42-inch TV which measures 22 1/4″ high, 37 3/4″ wide, and projects 4 inches from the wall.
So using 1 x 4 MDF boards, I made a box that fit around the TV with 3/4″ space around all four sides of the TV. So the inside measurements of my finished box were 23.75″ x 39.25″.
I put that together using wood glue and 1.25″ 16-gauge nails in my nail gun.
So why did I decide on 3/4″ of “breathing room” around the inside edge of the frame? I have no idea. It just seemed like a reasonable amount of room. 😀 I figured if my big refrigerator only requires 1″ of space at the back and the top, and 1/8″ on the sides for proper circulation (as per the owners manual), then my TV should be fine with 3/4″ on all four sides. Of course, you can add any amount of space you feel comfortable with to allow for circulation and air flow to the back of your TV.
Next I cut the decorative casing moulding to make a frame, mitered on the corners, so that the inside edge lined up with the inside edge of the box above.
I put this together with wood glue and 1.25″ 16-gauge nails, with two nails going each direction on the corners.
And then I placed the frame on top of the box and secured it with wood glue and 1.25″ finishing nails.
At this point, it looked like this with the outside edges of the frame cantilevered over the edge of the box.
To finish the outside edge, I cut more MDF boards, mitered on the corners, and glued and nailed them around the edges. I intentionally attached these so that they would protrude about 1/4″ past the face of the decorative moulding so that it looks like that edge of the MDF board is actually part of the decorative moulding, and adds to the width of the frame. I used 1 x 6 boards (which are actually 5.5″ wide) for this part, and before I attached them, I ripped them down to about 5″ wide.
I did that on all four sides, so the finished thickness of my frame on the outside edges is 5 inches.
The frame at this point was very sturdy, but it will be installed so that the top board is holding the entire weight of the frame. (More on that tomorrow.) So I wanted to give it a bit more reinforcement by adding two spacers, cut from leftover hardwood flooring boards, and glued and nailed into the inside and outside boxes of the frame.
And as a last step, I wanted to do something to hide this area where the frame meets the inside box. Evidently my cuts weren’t exactly perfect (they never are 😀 ) and the frame and box didn’t line up perfectly in some areas, so it had an unfinished and sloppy look that I wasn’t satisfied with.
So I used some very small cabinet moulding to disguise that area.
With the basic build finished, I filled all of the nail holes with wood filler and then sanded them smooth. So far, here’s how the frame looks from the back…
And here’s how the front looks…
I still have quite a bit of caulking to do so that all of these separate pieces (i.e., the outside frame, the decorative casing, and the small cabinet moulding) will look like one continuous piece of moulding…
And then, of course, I need to paint the whole thing and get it installed. I’m hoping I can finish this up today
I’m still not sure what color I want to paint it. I had considered green, but when I brought the frame in yesterday and propped it up on the buffet, I realized that I the white looks really pretty in the room. So I might test out both before making a final decision.
By the way, I’ve revised my goals for the month. You can read details on the “update” at the end of Monday’s post. The nutshell version is that my priority this month needs to be cleaning out my garage and storage room so that work can begin on my studio. Adding the pantry into the mix this month just feels stressful, and not in a good way. So this month, I’ll concentrate on my garage and storage area, while also hopefully finishing up my breakfast room and kitchen completely. I also want to have my plans in place for the pantry so that I can jump in with both feet on that project on June 1st.
The TV frame is now finished and installed in my breakfast room! Click here to see the finished project…