Some specialty catalogs sell 6 inch square copper panels with self-adhesive backing for a decorative look in the kitchen. I have a stove where I put the panels on the back of it and on the adjacent wall. The corner area has small gaps and an uneven appearance. I wanted to put a copper or aluminum corner piece over the panels to hide the gaps, much like you put moulding around the wall to hide the gaps in the floor boards, but it seems no one sells anything like that. I was told it was a big item back in the 60's & 70's, but it is not available today. What do you suggest?
Jim R. ~ Charleston, West Virginia
Hi Jim, I have a few suggestions for that might work for the gaps in your copper panels. One possibility is to try some of the old house forums on the Internet where people interested in old house restorations and old house parts discuss their interests. I believe OldHouseWeb.com has a few forums that people are pretty active in. You may be able to describe the copper panels you installed and the parts you need to complete the project and someone will pipe in and give you some ideas on where you might find the moldings.
Another suggestion is to try some of the restoration parts companies such as Van Dykes Restorers or Restoration Hardware. Companies like these are pretty amazing and while they might not have the exact parts you're looking for to cover your gaps; they may have something that will work as a good substitute.
You could also try a machine shop; I would think there should be quite a few around a city as large as Charleston, West Virginia. I have used machine shops in the past to have custom metal pieces made up and they are like working with a custom wood mill-work shop except they work with metal. If you draw a picture of what the molding should look like, I would think they would be able to make it. I might have them make one piece first and take it home to try it before giving them the go ahead for the entire job. One nice thing about copper is it ages quickly so it shouldn't take long for new copper trim to look like old copper trim.
Another thought would be to use some painted wood trim just like the trim you mention they use to cover the gaps around baseboard. I don't know that I'd use that same trim which is called shoe mold or quarter round, but there are many other wood trims to choose from including some that are made specifically for corners. Something like that painted a color to complement the colors in your kitchen might look very nice as a permanent solution or a temporary fix until you find the moldings that match your copper panels.