Step 8: Install the Face Frame.

attaching the face frame of a columned room divider
Photo: Ryan Benyi
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We ripped 1½-inch strips from leftover ¾-inch MDF, but you could also use 1x2 trim. Either way, measure and cut the front and back stiles to length. If necessary, scribe and trim the wall-side stiles to follow the wall's contour. For the outside stiles, use a scrap of ¾-inch MDF to stand in for the abutting stile to be installed in the next step, as shown. Glue and nail the stiles in place; they should end up flush with the inside edges of the shelves on the front.
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    Tools List

    • 100-foot tape measure
      Tape measure
    • straightedge guide
      Straightedge
    • bar clamp
      Clamps
    • circular saw
      Circular saw
    • caulk gun
      Caulk gun
    • drill
      Drill/driver
    • Countersink bit
      Countersink bit
    • four-foot level
      4-foot level
    • pneumatic brad nailer
      Pneumatic brad nailer and air compressor
    • combination square
      Combination square
    • miter saw
      Miter saw

    Shopping List

    ¾-inch medium-density fiberboard (MDF)
    Get three 4-by-8-foot sheets for an 8½-foot ceiling.

    2x8 lumber to build the base

    Shims

    Solid crown molding to trim the capital and the cabinet top

    Baseboard molding

    ½-inch and ¾-inch quarter-round molding
    for the base cap and shoe molding

    1½-inch MDF screws to assemble the boxes

    2½-inch deck screws to install the base and the blocking

    1¼-inch brad nails

    Construction adhesive

    Wood filler and paintable caulk

    Primer and paint