corbel entablature molding diy

Posts in This Series

  1. How to Make DOOR TRIM-115 Corbel Entablature Part 1
  2. How to Make DOOR TRIM-115 Corbel Entablature Part 2

Entablatures of this style, a hooded entablature (with both a soffit and fascia) that is supported by corbels, is a mainstay of classical architectural detail.

And since this project is so simple, it’s a great basic lesson on how to build one.  The tips I give here you can apply to many other architectural details for your home.

Now let’s make the entablature hood and wrap it with crown molding.

Cut the Fascia Material

You want to make all of your fascia pieces from one piece of 1/2″ thick mdf board that’s cut to the width you need.

Then cut a dado into the back.  This is the slot for the soffit.

If you don’t know how to cut a dado, Tom Hintz has a nice step by step article here: How to Cut Dados.

how to install door moldings

Make the Left and Right Sides

Cut a length long enough to make both fascia sides.

how to install door moldings

Marking the Miter

Install your fascia on the soffit and mark the location of the outside miter.

Don’s use a big carpentry pencil for this kind of work, always use a #5 mechanical pencil.

how to install door moldings

This image shows me marking the right, front fascia miter location.

Now you have a precise location to cut your miter.

how to install door moldings

how to miter moldings

Test Fits

Always test the fit before gluing and nailing any set of moldings together.  You’d be surprised how many times some small problem can crop up that will require you make small adjustments.

how to install crown molding over door

how to install moldings and corbel

Micro Pinner

A micro pinner is the perfect thing for assembling molding details like this.  If you don’t already have one, then stop what you’re doing and go find one.  Tool stores rarely have them in stock, so you might as well buy one online.

how to install moldings

Using my Accuset, 23 gauge micro pinner.

Below  For reasons I mentioned in Part 1, I built this box against the wall instead of on a work bench, and because I did this out of sequence I forgot to sand the exposed end cut of the mdf board.

It’s much easier if you sand the end cut before you cut your dado in your initial long piece.

how to install corbels

It would be better to sand the exposed end cut before installing.

Above  Note how little the fascia drops below the soffit.  It’s important to not make that little reveal much lower than that.  You want to keep the design delicate, elegant and not bulky.

how to install corbels on doorway or archway

The assembled soffit and fascia is called the entablature hood.

Now that you know how to make the hood portion of this kind of entablature, you can make all kinds of elaborate door and window surrounds, valance boxes, column and pilaster capitals.

Wrap the Crown Molding

The last step is to wrap the crown molding around the hood.

Make one of the corners like I did in the picture below.

how to install crown molding over door

Now I can take this partial crown molding assembly and hold it in position on the hood, mark exactly where the second miter cut should start, and then finish up the assembly.

easy crown molding over door

Hold this up to the miter box so you can mark exactly where the left, outside miter will be.

After making the left outside corner, you can install the crown molding on the hood over the door.

Prepping and painting your new corbel entablature is just as important as building it the right way, so don’t rush those steps.  If you’re not sure how, I have a step by step tutorial on how to prep and paint molding here: How to Paint Moldings.

crown molding and corbels over door

See how easy that was?  Now go make yourself a corbel entablature or two and them come back here to The Joy of Moldings and tell me all about it!

[Return to How to Make a Corbel Entablature Part 1 or see all of my DIY Molding Projects here.]