I have decided to open the wall between the kitchen and upstairs family room. This opens the area and adds much needed natural light. The counter and frame will be natural oak with a cherry oak stain to match the kitchen cabinets. I am using pole wrap around the column, which will also have the cherry stain. I am considering using flexible wood for the trim, but have not heard much about this product. Is this a good option? Will it work the same?
Adam ~ Spring Hill, Florida
Hi Adam, It sounds like your project is going to be very attractive when finished; I am a big fan of stained natural wood. I'm not sure what you're referring to when you say you're using pole wrap around the column, but flexible wood trim doesn't take very well to stain and I don't think it's going to match the rest of your beautiful wood very well.
I assume the kitchen columns are there to support a header across the load bearing wall you opened up and they are going to become a part of your countertop across the opening. You don't mention if the kitchen columns are metal or you built something out of wood framing materials, but either way I suggest covering them with oak paneling to match your kitchen cabinets. If your columns are metal, you can simply box them in with framing material, and if they're wood, they should be already set for paneling.
I did a very similar project several years ago and I purchased several sheets of wood paneling that matched the kitchen cabinets from a kitchen cabinet company to cover my columns. Most cabinet companies have paneling to match their cabinets and it's usually 1/4 inch thick which makes it perfect for wrapping a column. My columns were at either end of a kitchen island and when they were finished they appeared to be built into the cabinets.
If your cabinets are custom and were built in your home out of natural oak, you should be able to purchase natural oak paneling from a local cabinet or millwork shop; I imagine there should be some around Spring Hill, Florida or you might have to try around one of the larger cities nearby. The natural oak paneling should take your cherry oak stain about the same as the oak in your cabinets and countertop. Keep in mind when you're purchasing your paneling that there are different varieties of oak.
You should also be able to purchase oak trim for your kitchen columns from a kitchen cabinet company or local millwork shop. Corner trim is available to trim out the column corners and small crown or ogee should be be available for where the columns penetrate your ceiling material.
I have used flexible wood trim quite a bit in the past and it has always worked great if I was painting the object I was trimming, but the few times I tried to use stain on it the finished project didn't look very good. There may be flexible wood trim that's made to take stain, but I've never been able to find any.