How to build a wall niche

Jason
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How to build a wall niche

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Project Overview

Don't let an empty wall space ruin a room. A wall niche is easy to install and is a great way to display just about anything.

Continue to step-by-step instructions
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Keep your plaster cut outs

If you need to cut a large hole in your ceiling to install a fan or a light, always keep the plaster. You can leave it up in the roof cavity next to the hole. That way, you’ll always have the perfect replacement piece if you need to fill the hole back in.

Step by Step Instructions

1 Find the stud openings in the wall
2 Cut to locate the stud
3 Measure the height and width of the niche
4 Cut out the plaster
5 Install the niche
6 Apply the multi-purpose joint compound
7 Apply the second coat of the joint compound
8 Scrape and sand back the compound
9 Paint around the niche
10 Time to style
  • Step 1. Find the stud openings in the wall

    Use the stud finder to locate either side of the stud in the wall.  Find and mark the centre of the stud.

  • Step 2. Cut to locate the stud

    Use the plaster saw to cut the plaster from the left hand side of where the stud is. This will confirm that you’ve found the stud. Use small cuts for this. Always be careful when sawing into plaster because you can’t see what’s behind the board, there could be electricity cables or plumbing. If you are unsure, turn off the electricity and water.

  • Step 3. Measure the height and width of the niche

    Measure the height and width of the niche. Then, using a pencil, transfer the measurements of your niche onto the plaster wall. Use the spirit level to make sure your marks are straight and level.

  • Step 4. Cut out the plaster

    Put on the safety glasses and dust mask. Use the plaster saw to cut out the space for the niche. Once again use small cuts and be careful of cutting any electricity cables or plumbing behind the plaster. Remove the plaster and any debris.

  • Step 5. Install the niche

    Place the niche into the hole in the wall. Make sure it’s level. Use the cordless drill and 32mm screws to secure the niche to the timber in the wall. The screws will hold the niche in place until it’s plastered in.

  • Step 6. Apply the multi-purpose joint compound

    The niche will need at least two coats of the joint compound. Mix the compound thoroughly in the tub before using it. Apply it around the perforated edge of the niche using the 100mm trowel. Let it dry and use the scraper to knock off any rough edges.

  • Step 7. Apply the second coat of the joint compound

    Once again, stir the compound thoroughly before using it. This time use the 200mm trowel to apply the compound. Cover the first coat with the compound and apply it wider than the first coat. This will give a feathered edge. Let it dry.

  • Step 8. Scrape and sand back the compound

    Put on your dust mask and safety glasses. Use the 80 grit sandpaper to sand the compound back so you have a flat, smooth surface. Use the scraper to knock off any rough edges, lumps and imperfections. Wipe away any dust.

  • Step 9. Paint around the niche

    Stir the paint well before you use it. Cut around the edges of the niche with a paint brush then use the roller to paint the larger wall areas. Let the first coat dry, then lightly sand it back with 120 grit sandpaper. Wipe away any dust. Apply the second coat and let it dry.

  • Step 10. Time to style

    Now your niche is done it’s time to put some of your favourite items on display.

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • 200mm trowel
  • 100mm trowel
  • Cordless drill
  • 2mm Phillips head drill bit
  • Drop sheet
  • Earmuffs or earplugs
  • Measuring tape
  • Multi-purpose joint compound
  • Pencil
  • Plaster saw
  • Pre-fabricated plaster niche
  • Safety glasses with side shields
  • Sanding block
  • Spirit level
  • Stud finder

Materials

  • 80 grit plasterboard sandpaper
  • 32mm plasterboard screws

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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