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Do It Yourself or Not: Add wooden brackets as decor

Gene and Katie Hamilton, Tribune Content Agency on

To add personality to a plain vanilla room consider installing two corbels, or wooden brackets to frame a doorway or opening to adds interest and appeal. In an older home the bracket may be ornate as part of an architectural feature of the room, and usually painted or finished like the woodwork. They’re often sold as architectural salvage. New brackets can go from straight and streamline to ornamental, made of wood and polymer, a plastic material, and sold online and in lumber yards.

Adding these brackets to an alcove or passageway is a small detail that adds charm and interest to an otherwise ordinary space. It’s an ideal DIY fix-up for a first-timer because it’s easy to do. First, choose brackets that complement your decorating scheme and coordinate with any existing molding in the room. Then paint or stain the brackets; when finished fasten the brackets to the wall with construction adhesive.

A handyman will charge $182, including labor and material, to finish and install two corbel brackets each measuring 2 1/2 inches wide by 6 inches high and 4 inches deep to frame an opening between two rooms. You can buy the unfinished brackets, finish, finishing nails and construction adhesive for $130. By doing it yourself, you’ll save 29%. You’ll also need 120-grit sandpaper, a measuring tape, carpenter’s level, hammer, nail set and caulk gun (to apply the adhesive). The same size brackets make ideal wall supports for shelves.

Before installing the brackets, test fit their location to make sure you know exactly where you want them. If they’re lightweight, you can use double-stick tape to hold them in place while you step back and take a look.

Some decorative ways to use larger and wider corbels is as supports for a fireplace mantel or console table.


Pro Cost:$182 — DIY Cost: $130
Pro time: 1.9 — DIY Time: 2.1
DIY Savings: $52 — Percent Saved: 29%


To find more DIY and contractor project costs and to post comments and questions, visit www.diyornot.com.

©2021 Gene and Katie Hamilton. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




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