Friday, March 30, 2012

What to Do With Kitchen Soffits

I've posted about this before on this blog and on my home staging blog - but since this project has been featured on some other blogs and the topic is very popular, I thought it would be a great idea to post it once more with some additional information on how I created the look.

This is a sort of "before" pic, but this was after we added the crown molding

Soffits (or bulkheads) above kitchen cabinetry makes a home feel dated. And if you paint the soffit a contrasting color it only makes your cabinetry seem smaller and it makes the height of the kitchen less tall looking.

If your cabinets are in good shape, you should add crown molding to the ceiling above the cabinets and add some trim molding to the bottom of the soffit. 

Me...putting the first woodgraining layer on

Since these cabinets were in great shape, we decided to go with an oak woodgraining for the soffits and moldings. The "trick" to getting the oak woodgrain (or any faux wood) right is to try to match the underlying color of the cabinets.  Oak has a glow to it so I first used a medium tone yellow base paint (1 part Woody Yellow and 1 part Neutral White basecoat from Faux Effects) and then I did a pale gold metallic paint over that (a pale wheat color from Faux Effects Metal Glow line). You could also just do a gold glaze over the basecoat - just enough to give it a glow.

After - doesn't this look better, more updated and...tall!

Then I made up a glaze for the woodgraining layer.  I used Chestnut Brown and Earth Brown Glaze and went over (in sections) the soffit and moldings.  I created the woodgrain by removing the glaze with a wipe out tool.  I used torn pieces of corrugated cardboard.  Then when it was dry, I took a paintbrush and darkened the grain to match what I was seeing in the cabinetry.  I also used a graining comb for the smaller areas and around the wood grained areas (you can buy this at Home Dept I believe - or at Michael's).

Then I overgrained the entire surface with the same graining material as the first layer.  I had to adjust the color here and there because the color of the oak cabinets differed in various sections.  Some I had to make a bit darker...some cooler.  Then after everything was dry - I did a faux marquetry design on the soffit...the fun part of the job!

You could use any border stencil for this.  I used Renaissance Scroll from Jeff Raum stencils. I used some mahogany, ebony and cherry Stain and Seal from Faux Effects for this technique. However, you could also look at Royal Design Studio's line of stencils.  The owner, Melanie, has many that I love - the Showcase Scroll is one of my favorites.  If you'd like to try a carved wood look, try the Palermo Scroll or Endless Acanthus Scroll.

It takes time and a lot of practice to do woodgraining, but it's worth it to take the time to learn.  It has come in so handy so many times for me.  If you don't have the time (or patience) and you'd like to re-do your cabinets that have soffits - you can paint them a white or off white and antique them and it will give you that updated look.  As long as you add the crown molding, your cabinetry will seem taller.

Hope you enjoyed this!

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dee dee said...

What a wonderful updated change!
dee dee

mcvick said...

wow! i'd never know that was painted, looks fabulous!

Ivy and Elephants said...

Now that's what I call an update! It looks amazing, you've got skills! Thank you so much for sharing this with us, it's a fabulous idea. We are your new followers!

Debra said...

It looks great! I love the stencil. At first I though it was engraved in the wood. Your hard work sure paid off...

Kristin @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia said...

What a wonderful transformation, love the height added. Thanks so much for linking up.

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