The Secret Art of Coffering

November 20th, 2012 Comments Off on The Secret Art of Coffering

Coffer: noun, architecture: a decorative sunken panel in a ceiling, dome, soffit, or vault. (

Coffered ceiling: noun
1) an arrangement of coffers, typically in a grid, to form a decorative ceiling
2) a beautiful yet time consuming pain in the ass

Dad and I spent an entire week constructing the ceiling. We first skinned the entire ceiling in 3/8″ thick plywood to provide a solid base to build on. We then furred out for the beams to ensure there was enough of a reveal for the coffers. There was not enough space between the window casing and the ceiling to install a typical 6″ deep coffer so instead we decided to do a shallow coffered ceiling – about 1″ deep – this gave us enough height to install a two piece crown.
Once the beams were installed we fit drywall inside each of nine coffers. Next I trimmed each coffer with a custom cove moulding. The two piece crown moulding was installed last (you can see the first half on the wall already) and is the same that has been installed in the rest of the second floor.
Three coats of primer and two coats of Farrow and Ball Wimborne White finished off the ceiling. My neck still has a kink in it.20121120-071537.jpgThe secret to a good coffered ceiling is math, lots and lots of math.

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