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.

Here I started pretty much with a blank canvas. The desire was to come up with something simple but at the same time create a feeling of a medieval castle. Little bit of paint and some additional touches achieved this nicely.

Here is the room before:

I decided to use the original painted walls as backdrop and add squares in slightly different hue. I used large squares – 2′X2′ for making this project easier and faster to implement, but also to make the room seem larger than it is.  After the room was painted, I made a mock-up with the bedding and window treatments I was going to use, to see if all these elements would work together.

Tip – notice how the squares flow inside the corners. First of it looks better this way but also this allows to adjust the sizes of the squares to pleasing proportions, as your room width most likely does not divide exactly to your room height.

and here is the room done:

If you have any specific questions about this project that has not been answered yet, I am happy to provide the information.


More acid stained conrete projects…

   Posted by: Lilianne   in Gallery

Here are some more of my acid stain projects – some with before and after shots, to show the impact a little elbow grease can give…

One of my first and to this day the largest project was the pool area. Here is the before shot:

and after…

close-up for more detail…

Much smaller projects can give you a big inpacts. Here is the front entrance before:

and after…

Another fun project was the fountain surround. Here is the before shot:

and after…

and from above…

Finally, you do not have to spend lots of time and effort to enjoy acid staining concrete. Here is an inexpensive concrete bentch from Lowes that I stained for this little tropical heaven…

I hope these projects here get your creative juices flowing and you will be starting your own project soon. As always, I love to hear from you and even more, love to see your projects.


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)  – http://designsbylilianne.banyantree.us/MedallionDesign.pdf

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 http://www.decosup.com/ 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


Another ceiling…

   Posted by: Lilianne   in Interior Projects

As I mentioned before, I love decorated ceilings. I am glad that there is a trend now to use this additional canvas to add interest and debth to the room. For this project, my inspiration came from a book “Dream Palaces” by Marc Walter and Jérôme Coignard. I was drawn to two different ceilings.

This one:

and this one:

The darker ceiling won out, as the walls of the room were already painted dark blue and I thought it will look better to keep the color schema simple. Here is the ceiling before, boring:

Once I had decided on the color, I did something little different. I had learned about full spectrum paints and wanted to try out this concept. As I already had the blue in the room, the stencils on the walls and there was no reason to paint the whole room again, I contacted Ellen Kennon, a very gracious lady and great full spectrum paint provider, to color match my blue and make me a custom full spectrum paint for my ceiling. You can learn more about her and her paints here: http://www.ellenkennon.com/. I can tell you that the use of full spectrum paint was a success. Depending on the light, the color changes ever so slightly, giving it more life than regular paint.

After the background was painted, I created templates for my design out of file folders. Then I just used regular tape to tape them up on the ceiling to see how it looks:

Once I was happy with the position, I traced the design with pencil on the ceiling and then used gold paint and a little artist’s brush to fill in the design:

When one section was dry, I repeated the steps for the next section. The reason I did the design in sections was my laziness and frugality – I did not want make too many templates, I just wanted to reuse them. The step of taping the templates on the ceiling was one of the most critical ones, it allowed me to get down and see how it would look like and make sure it was pleasing looking before I had made any marks on the ceiling.

Here is the completed design:

Originally I had planned to add stars to the sun as well, but once the sun was done, the ceiling looked complete to me, so I left it like that. Also, I had stars already in the great room, all rooms did not need stars. I figured, I could always add the stars later, if I felt it necessery.