Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Faux Carving (Method 2!) - Embellished Lower Kitchen Cabinets

This is the fourth in a series of blogs describing a kitchen project.  The first blog started in March (click the archive link at the side to go back). Two blogs ago, I shared a method of simulating carving using nail jewels, wood scraps and hand fan blades (for link click here). In this blog I will share my favorite technique for faux-finishing – using embossed gold foil shapes to simulate carving.

Before I get to the cabinet doors, I want to make mention of another (similar) embellishment technique – metal stampings (like jewelry findings).  The fluted posts shown with the lower cabinets are actually laser cut wood.  They were provided with the kitchen kits. Here is what they looked like before adding the jewelry finding and faux finish:

Brass finding for embellishment

I cut the metal finding apart then glued the pieces on then faux finished them in antique pine as was done for the upper cabinets in the previous blog.  You can find these by searching Ebay for "victorian brass stamping".  See the photo below for "after" faux finish.  This idea was inspired by Sandra Manring's kitchen (see her full kitchen photo in this blog post)

Now for the foil paper embellishment technique.  The lower cabinets are non-functional.  The project kit included a backing board which I painted a pale green (photo above).  The wooden trim pieces and finished doors were glued to the backing board.  The entire board was not glued in but I made it to fit tightly so it could be removed to hide the wiring (a later blog).

The laser cut doors and drawers had an etched center frame.  I removed a tiny sliver – a couple of layers of paper – from the inner frame to give it a little depth.

After removing the layers just in the etched crack, I burnished it with the edge of a cardboard – so it would be a little smoother when painted.

This is my favorite embellishment hint – foil applique’s!  The gold foil shapes are called “Dresden foil”.  I cut them apart and used small pieces to fit into the inner rectangle of the doors.  The very narrow foil trim strips (bottom of photo below) I mitered and used around the center rectangle.  On the narrow ‘drawers’ I just used the narrow trim.

Supplies Used:
Gold foil appliques - "Dresden Foil" (Ebay, Etsy)
Gesso base coat - white
Light base coat acrylic paint (Americana Hauser Green mixed with white)
Darker color for glaze (Americana Hauser Green)
Plaid/Folk Art (brand) Extender - allows mixing paints without drying out quickly
Small paintbrush, preferably the width of the door frames

After gluing on the foil, the next steps are shown in photo below, but to summarize:
  • Base coat over the foil and cardboard with Gesso
  • Base coat over the Gesso with light green (same color used for the base that the doors will be glued to)
  • Glaze with a darker green mixed with “Extender” letting it puddle in the carved areas and wiping off the higher areas with a paper towel.
Let dry – extender takes a while and stays tacky for a while.

Finished cupboard doors.

Across the bottom of the cabinet base I put a narrow strip for a “toe kick” painted the same light green base coat.

Below is a photo of the finished doors with the wood trim pieces mentioned before. The area below the sink would later be covered with a skirt.  Green may not be everyone’s cup of tea for a kitchen but I happen to love the green/lavender combination!

Next month  I will cover some of the lighting I used in this project.  You can't see it in the photo but the entire lower front cabinet section is a removable panel (one piece).  Behind this panel I hid the wiring and 9 volt battery for the lights.  See you next month!