classical architectural details

It didn’t take us long to decide that this paint scheme will be worth all the work required.

[This is part of Our Kitchen Molding Makeover series.]

This weekend we played with some paint color schemes influenced by our current infatuation with rooms designed by the great Robert Adam.

Below  I primed all of the moldings — picture rail, pilasters, wainscoting and baseboard — sanded them perfectly smooth, caulked any remaining gaps and then cut-in the walls with the blue, Sherwin Williams, Cosmos paint.  We wanted to see (and show you) what the moldings would look like in this clean, simple and safe color scheme.

diy mdf wainscoting

The kitchen would look fine with all white moldings like this, but we more color complexity.

We want more color.  So here are some of the paint combinations we tried.

robert adam room

We didn’t need a second coat of test paint to know that this was close, but not quite what we wanted.

Above  We spent the last couple of weeks saturating our brains with any picture we could find of Adam’s work.  One of the color combinations we thought we liked we saw in an Osterley Park room where the baseboard flat-stock was painted medium green and the base cap molding stayed the primary molding white.  It’s a nice look, but ultimately didn’t resonate with us.

frieze painted dark blue

After putting two coats of this dark blue on the frieze, we were confident this was the perfect color.

It took us a while to understand that there seem to be no hard rules when it comes to Adam’s color combinations.  Freedom from any color constraints allowed us to combine colors how and where we wanted.

wainscoting on brick wall small kitchen

Above  We love this blue for the main portion of the wainscoting, the baseboard will remain white.  Historic precedent for this combination can be seen here in the Temple of Pan at Osterly Park.  We would also like the pilasters to be a slightly different white, but we’ll wait on that for now.

We’re also considering installing the picture rail molding around the rest of the kitchen so we can continue the dark blue frieze all the way around.  But for now we’ll paint what we have and then live with it for a little while before we make a final decision on the picture rail.