With a few simple tools, some construction materials and a free afternoon, ugly basement poles can be hidden with attractive box columns. The job can be accomplished with a tape measure, a stud finder, a hammer, a drill, a table saw and a miter saw.
Construct the box
Using the table saw, cut four pieces of oak plywood to the desired column width. Cut each piece of plywood to match the height between the floor and ceiling. Attach three of the four pieces of plywood together using wood glue and finishing nails to create a three-sided box. Add two scrap wood pieces to the inside top of the box, on opposite sides. Add two additional pieces to the bottom of the box, also on opposite sides. These wood pieces can be one inch in width, with the length being two-thirds the width of the box.
Fasten the box into place
With the stud finder, find the ceiling joists around the pole. Stand the box in place around the post, with the scrap wood pieces aligning under the joists. Fasten the box into place by nailing through the scrap wood pieces into the ceiling joists. Fasten the scrap wood pieces to the floor at the bottom of the box. If the floor is concrete, use an electric drill and masonry screws to fasten the box. Set the fourth piece of oak plywood into place and glue and nail it fast to finish the box column.
Add trim and molding
Cut the crown and base molding to length, matching the width of the column. Miter the ends of the molding at 45 degrees using the miter saw. Glue the molding and nail it into place, securing it to the column. Outside corner molding can also be added to give the column a clean, finished appearance. Once all trim work is in place, fill the nail holes with wood putty and sand and stain or paint the column.