DIY Nailhead Cornice Board Makeover

DIY Nailhead Cornice Board Makeover.  I am really loving my new house.  Each step towards making it my own makes me love it that much more.

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Remember when the family room walls were hunter green?  It didn’t take long until we’d splashed Gray Owl on all the main walls of the house.  (I still have some rooms begging for paint — we’ll get there).

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It was hard for me to decide on the paint color because Gray Owl seemed to be pigment-free in comparison to the contrast already on the walls, but after searching online for Gray Painted Rooms, I felt real confident in my color choice.  With the walls a nice neutral gray, I decided to change up the window treatments in the room, but why reinvent the wheel!?!  The basic design fit the window perfectly.

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I took off the old fabric and traced it with chalk onto a white IKEA curtain that I wasn’t using.

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I was able to cover two cornice boards with the IKEA curtains.  The old cornice board was wrapped in foam that still seemed in great shape so I laid the fabric over the board and used my electric staple gun to secure the fabric to the board — I tucked and stapled a whole lot in the back to keep the front and sides pretty!

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When the board was completely covered with my basic white fabric from IKEA, I used a yard stick from the hardware store and marked on the fabric where I wanted to add my nail heads (I marked along the lower portion of the board, every 1.5 inches).

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Using my drill and a small drill bit, I made a thin opening for where I would use a mallet on each of my nail heads — using my pencil marks as my guide.  (The nail heads aren’t incredibly strong so they will bend when hammered into hard wood, a pre-drilled hole is the perfect solution).

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When I had added all the nail heads and hung the Cornice Boards up — I decided I didn’t like how big they were — felt like I was prepping my windows for a Brighton Home Ad!  Thankfully I had inserted each nail into a drilled hole, the large nail heads were easy to remove and the new Decotacks Upholstery Nails 3/4″ Nickel Finish were a breeze to finish the job with another hit of the mallet!

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In the family room, the fireplace hugs the interior side of both windows and on the exterior sides of the window — there is very little space for window panels.  I like the cornice board solution and by hanging them higher up on the wall allows these windows to let more sunlight to pour inside — something I’m totally craving as winter takes its sweet time to wrap up!

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One of the things that made me fall in love with this house was all the beautiful trim — I like that my simple DIY Nailhead Cornice Board keeps the molding as the focal point!  I love an easy, simple room update!!

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Check Out Old and New House Updates (here).


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  1. Marci L says:

    I just moved into a home with the same exact layout as yours! The windows are butted right up to the fireplace, and the walls are light gray. This is what I have been looking for. Thank you for posting this. Just beautiful! I can’t wait to get started on mine!

  2. It looks so fresh and pretty, Aimee. Amazing what paint can do, and the detail of those large nail heads makes those cornices!

  3. Wow what a difference! I love how bright the room is! I dig bright rooms! The cornice boards are lovely!

  4. Christina (duron) Hamm says:

    Do you do any space planning or help new homeowners pick paint?

    • Not at this time, maybe eventually! I’m flattered that you would ask! XO, Aimee

  5. Aimee – your home is gorgeous!! I am in LOVE with your trim!! And awesome idea to use the nailhead on this window treatment 🙂

  6. Just gorgeous !!!
    I want to make some cornices – now I may just nail head them too – thanks SO much for sharing! Definitely pinning 🙂
    Came by via The Shabby Nest

  7. Wow! A simple project that makes a huge difference. Love it! That nail and fabric go very well with all the molding. Classy! 🙂

  8. So pretty! Such a great update and it looks so stylish!

  9. Beautiful! Thanks for the tip about pre-drilling holes, I found the exact same thing when I was making my memo board, and it was a pain!

  10. Lydia Wagner says:

    Love Love Love!!!

  11. WOW…I’m in LOVE! They look gorgeous!!!!

  12. Love it!! We have grey owl in our house and I am really glad we went with that color! I love it! We have been working on our reno for the past year and a half…fireplace is almost done and then some more trim work to do! Does it ever end! But one thing I am happy with my paint color! Cheers!

  13. These look fabulous Aimee!! : )

  14. The cornice boards are fabulous. I love them. Hugs, Marty

  15. Love it and especially the nailhead detail.

  16. They look great Aimee, love the nailhead detail on them. The trim in your house is gorgeous!!

  17. I love your new cornices! Your fireplace mantel is beautiful with all the fluting and mouldings. I also like the new color of your walls. Can you share this paint color with us? Oh, and that greyhound statue, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE since we have an Italian greyhound for a daughter! Thanks for sharing!

  18. These look gorgeous! What a huge improvement from the hunter green/red combo. The Owl Gray and white is divine. I would love to try these in my house but my ceilings are not as tall. Lucky you!

  19. Diana says:

    Oh Aimee, this looks so good and the cornice idea is perfect. With all the surrounding trim, curtains may have been too much.

  20. Now that is definitely a project on my “to do” list. Love that!