Archive for the ‘Exterior Projects’


Front Door Grill

   Posted by: Lilianne in Exterior Projects, Small Projects

Since we built the house, the front door had been plain. I picked the plain door because I knew I wanted wrought iron grill and I wanted to do my own design. I also knew that many times going local is not more but often less expensive than ordering ready made from some place else.

Here is the door before:

Although I had an idea and drawing what I was thinking of achieving, the true designing happened at the shop on the table, playing with available pieces:

Originally I had not even dreamed of using glass accents. But as the supplier had Murano glass inserts available, I am a huge fan of Murano glass and they had the blue that ties into the fountain and the pool, I could have not been happier to incorporate the glass in my design.

I was lucky to find such great grafts people who were very patient and understanding in my guest for perfect door grills. In the end, I think the results are outstanding.


Acid stained concrete

   Posted by: Lilianne in Exterior Projects

Acid stained concrete is beautiful, long lasting and limitless in it’s design potential. It is a very easy do-it-yourself project as well. Below I will walk you through the steps :)

It all starts with piece of concrete – this can be inside or outside area and some ideas how you want it to look like. Here are the ideas I played with for the project I am showing here (Rose Garden Center Medallion)  –

Since the medallion was on new concrete, I had very little prep work I needed to do. I only had to wait for the concrete to cure for 30 days before staining. If you are working with the old concrete, you need to clean it, as the stain will not cover any blemishes. You should not use any harsh chemical for cleaning, as this will affect how the stain will take. Best is to mechanically scratch off any stains.

Once the concrete is prepped, next is to transfer your design. I just use regular pencil to draw the design and then my DH uses 4″ grinder to follow the lines and cut little grooves, so that the different color stains will not bleed into each other. Here is my medallion after the design has been etched into the concrete:

plain medallion

Now you are ready to stain. I have used for most of my projects products and have been very happy with them. Be careful, some producst that are called stains are not really stains but paint. So before you use it, make sure it says acid stain and it looks clear not milky, like paint. I have always used the cheap foam brushed from Home Depot to apply the stain. If you are working on an outside project, and it is hot, wet the concrete before aplying stain, as otherwise the stain will try too quickly and will not have enought time to penetrate. To cover larger areas with stain, you can use paint rollers or sprays as well. Here is the medallion after the stain has been applied:

stained medallion

You can aplly the stain for couple of coats, if you want deeper color or more uniformed look. Once the stain has tried for 24 hours, the next step is to neurtralize the stain. For this you mix some water with baking soda and was the concrete with that mixture. Finally rinse with clean water. Finally cover the concrete with the sealant. I used regular paint roll to apply the sealer. Sealer will protect your project and bring out the brilliant colors of your design. Here it is all done:

finished medallion

and here is the whole rose garden complete. Notice that the steps, table top and benches are acid stained as well. This kind of treatment helps to brings different design elements together and create a uniformed look.

rose garden


Rose Garden Table

   Posted by: Lilianne in Exterior Projects, Small Projects

Sometimes small touches make large impact. We had hard time finding a concrete table that we liked and would fit to my DH Rose Garden, so we ended up making our own. We found the base at the same stone yard we got the balustrades.

For the top, my DH made a plywood mold to make the concrete tabletop. Once the top was in place, I used the garbage can lid to draw the pattern before I stained it with concrete acid stains.

Thanks to using the same stains I used the for circle in the rose garden, the finished project blended right in.