At the moment, I don't have the money to do all of the things I want to do. So today I tackled the one thing I can afford and with this being a long weekend, I have the time too. I started painting the soffits in an argyle pattern. By argyle, I mean lots and lots of 2x6 inch diamonds in a slightly offset pattern in three different colors - turquoise, orange, and yellow.
I'm not really sure how a sane person would go about doing this but I decided to go with probably the most labor intensive method possible - hand painting it. And I didn't use stencils either. Oh no, I marked out ever little diamond, taped the pattern and then painted it. It only took about 6 hours. Or rather, I should say, it only took 6 hours to get to the point where I could paint 2 of the 3 colors. As of this moment, I've painted 2 colors on one of the soffits. I haven't even begun the other side of the kitchen. It's a good thing I really like OCD projects.
Initially, I thought I could mark out every 2 inches on the soffit and then just connect the dots to make diamonds. I quickly learned that I'd been a bit naive about that. As it turns out, I had to mark every inch and then draw lines the length of the soffit every 3 inches. I needed the 2 inch marks for the tips of the diamonds and the 1 inch marks for the outside corners. I probably didn't need to draw out every diamond but once I started taping, I realized how easy it is to get lost in the grid, so I went back and drew every diagonal to make the diamond. Making the diamonds was about 95% of the project. It was a royal pain, literally since I spent hours with my arms over my head holding a level or a ruler and drawing lines. It was also very messy. I was barely into the project when I realized I was in for the long haul because my grubby fingers were smearing pencil marks all over the soffit. It was a horrid mess from the moment I started drawing lines. But I soldiered on figuring most of it would be covered by paint. Here's what things looked like when I started taping:
Taping was really not that bad, it went fairly quickly once I'd made all the marks. But . . .I made a few mistakes with taping. 1) I should have wiped down the soffit before beginning since there is probably a light film of grease and/or dust on them; 2) I should have bought 2 inch wide tape; and 3) I should have been super duper careful about pressing the edges of the tape down firmly. Before I give you the bad news, here's what the soffit looked like all taped up:
I could tell that not all of the diamonds were perfect but I doubted that it would matter that much in the end. I also knew that I could touch things up later if necessary. Oh and the one thing that was not my fault was that the soffit isn't completely square. The right side bows out a little.
OK, so I started painting with the turquoise color (Royal Paint color "Balmoral"). It didn't take long for me to realize there was a problem with the tape - it wasn't sticking very well. Once it got a coat or two of paint on it, it would start pulling up. Whether or not this was my fault (for the reasons listed above) or the tape's, there was trouble in paradise. But not knowing what else to do, I started in with the orange color (Royal Paint color "Tangerine Dream"). Here's what it looked like with the tape still up:
I gave it a good 3 hours before I pulled the tape off. The results are extremely mixed. Some of the diamonds are perfect but a lot of them have bleeding issues. I'm hoping some of these issues will be fixed when I add the third color but I know I'll still have some touching up to do. More time spent on the ladder - ugh. Anyway, here's where the project stands:
The yellow will go between the orange and turquoise diamonds. The top, bottom, and center rows will remain the current wall color, although I'll probably have to repaint those areas too because of the pencil smudges. Even though it's not perfect, I do feel good about two things - the colors look great and the end result is going to be amazing. Even in its unfinished condition, the new soffit gives the kitchen a whole new feel. It seems a little more formal and pulled together than before.