Like a wall liberated from its structural duties, a folding screen can be called on at a moment's notice to serve any number of purposes. It divides space, bars passage, creates privacy, or hides disappointing views. It can also be folded up and set aside when it's no longer needed. The easiest way to make one is to let the lumberyard do most of the work. The screen at left is constructed of five 1-by-12-inch stock pine boards. Have the boards cut to any length you please; these are 42 inches tall. Then sand, prime, and lightly sand the wood again. You can paint the panels different colors, as we did here with paints from Martha Stewart's Araucana collection. The colors include Araucana Turquoise, Oceana, Araucana Sage, and Araucana Blue. Or give the screen a unified appearance with a single color. Semi-gloss or eggshell finishes will be the most durable and will give the finished creation a softly polished glow. Use 3/4-inch double-action hinges (brass or brass-plated), which fold in both directions to make the screen more flexible. Screw them into the boards 12 inches from either end. Rubber-ball "feet" tacked into the bottom edge of each board will protect floors from scratches; place them 1 inch in from the corners.
Martha Stewart Living, November 1996