Step 4: Prep the Area

man prepping foyer for wall niche installation
Photo: Laura Moss
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Whether your wall is drywall or plaster—or, like ours, drywall installed over damaged plaster—hang plastic sheeting around the area to minimize dust while cutting. You can use painter's tape or a pole system, such as ZipWall, whose telescoping poles hold up the plastic to enclose an area. Then cut a window around the niche and tape down the edges of your work window.
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    Tools List

    • utility scissors
      Utility scissors
    • studfinder
      Stud finder
    • straightedge guide
      Straightedge, to mark cut lines between the lath pieces
    • utility knife
      Utility knife, to score the drywall
    • flat prybar
      Small pry bar
    • reciprocating saw
      Reciprocating saw, to cut any lath and plaster and to remove any obtrusive studs
    • circular saw
      Circular saw, to cut the 2x4 blocking
    • drill
      Drill/driver, fitted with a 1⁄8-inch drill bit
    • caulk gun
      Caulk gun
    • paintbrush
      Paintbrush

    Shopping List

    1. Niche
    Choose a dense polyurethane niche in a design that mimics surrounding moldings.

    2. Cardboard
    to create a template.

    3. Pole system
    (or painter's tape) to hold the plastic sheeting in place.4. Plastic sheeting

    5. Painter's tape
    to secure plastic around work window.

    6. Adhesive caulk

    7. Paint