Archive

  • Sanna Wieslander

We moved to our house in Skövde about 1.5 years ago now. We have repainted almost every room and now it's really starting to feel like home. But we still had one room left that we didn't like at all. The bathroom!


The whole house now goes in the color scale gray and beige with elements of different natural materials. Except from the toilet where there still was a tile floor with a Moroccan (-isch) pattern in the colors red, gray and black. I got really stressed and annoyed every time I spent time in there.


This is what the bathroom looked like before:





We've been thinking for a long time about laying some form of concrete floor (or concrete-like tiles) on that toilet. But for me, it felt like a very big project to renovate a bathroom. There's so much to think about with waterproofing, underfloor heating ect. So we ended up doing nothing at all instead. But then (one year later) we found something called VITRUVIUS microcement at www.designbycement.com. Instead of tearing out the whole floor, you put this on top. And it only builds 2 mm!


All said and done, we ordered a sample kit (it's for free), chose the color we wanted, calculated how much was needed and then just ordered it all home and got started. It took about 4 days for us happy amateurs (and a 2 year old) to finish the floor. And we were sooo happy with the result! When the floor was ready, we also took the opportunity to treat ourselves with a new industrial shower wall that we fell in love with.


This is how it turned out afterwards:





Didn't it turn out nice? Now it feels calm and nice and finally the bathroom fits the rest of the house. It feels extra fun that we could actually do this ourselves without the help of "real" craftsmen. So now I felt that I just have to tip about this if there are more of you out there who share the same thoughts.


The company is called DESIGN BY CEMENT and the product we used is called VITRUVIUS microcement. This product can also be applied to walls, countertops, etc. and is also available in two other shades of gray. If you are curious and want to know more, I recommend having a look at their website: www.designbycement.com


Right now you also get a 10% discount on all their products until August 1, 2021 if you use the discount code: SW10. You are very welcome! ;)


Here are some pictures and step by step from our renovation:


This is what the floor looked like before.


We started by removing the toilet. Filled all joints with wet room putty and finished by sanding a little lightly to remove the checkerboard pattern and get the base smooth and fine.


Bye bye tiles!


Then we applied a primer all over the floor.The surface now feels almost like sandpaper.Let dry thoroughly.


Then it was time to apply the microcement mixture. We used a wide putty shovel and smaller putty shovels for small angles around the well and corners. We mixed and put out 1 kg at a time as the cement mixture dries quite quickly and becomes difficult to work with once it starts to solidify. It's good to be two who help each other.


I got a nice sweater too! Under the cabinets, I tried to lay out along the edges first. I don't know if a "real" craftsman does like that but it felt easier and turned out well!


Here, the entire floor is covered and are about to dry properly. Since the floor already had the right waterproofing layer and angles since before, we didn't have to think about that when the material only builds 2 mm (the grid pattern seen here disappears when the microcement has hardened properly).


When it has dried properly, polish the surface with a sander. Then you apply several layers of sealer that makes the floor breathable but water-repellent. Then apply a little silicone along the edges. And voila! Done!


What we noticed was that in the places where I "dotted" and didn't make large and soft movements with the wide putty shovel (as you should), the pattern became "livelier and denser" in the concrete. This is not visible until the surface is polished up with a sander. So for those who are good and used to this technique, you can get really smooth pattern if you want it. We got a little more life and movement in our floor. But I think it turned out great too! Regardless, you can influence how "lively" pattern you'd like depending on whether you make large or small movements with the putty spade when the microcement is laid out.


This is what it looked like before:


And this is how it turned out afterwards:

I'm so happy with this bathroom renovation! And it wasn't particularly difficult either! If you have the same thoughts and think this sounds like an exciting alternative, I really recommend going to www.designbycement.se and have a look! (and don't forget the discount code if you're ordering!)


Now I'm home again after two weeks of internship in the capital itself at the awesome decoration painters Veronica and Alexander (www.dekorationsmalarna.se). It's been amaing! Yesterday when I went home I really sat with a huge smile on my face all the way back to Skövde.


I went up to Stockholm two weeks ago and landed with my luggage at my dear friend Amanda (who's also a great jewelry designer who runs the company www.bymindoris.com ). We shared studio together in Gothenburg and she moved there only a few months ago. So I was very happy to get so much quality time together with her again. Then it was time for work! I took the subway to visit Veronica and Alex's cozy workshop in Midsommarkransen. They've been so kind to me from the first day and they have taught me a lot of new things and shown how they work. So exciting, fun and educational!


This dream team works as decorative painters and are mainly engaged in marbling staircases and decorative painting doors. When I was there, we hung out in their workshop where we practiced painting different marbles and woods but I also got to accompany them on several different assignments in stairwells around the city. From simple glazing on exterior doors to more luxurious mahogany imitations on double doors on beautiful Östermalm. It's really amazing how they can make magic with just a little paint and some brushes!


And not only that! I even got to hang out with them at Hantverkargalan (a huge craft gala in Sweden)! Usually this is a big gala with dinner, performances and glitter, but due to the pandemic, it was run via zoom where all nominees were attending through video link. So I went home to Veronica where we blew balloons and had dinner with a live broadcast via TV and computer. And you know what? THEY WON! I'm so happy for them and it was so well deserved! So now I can honestly say that I got to have my internship with Sweden's best decorative painter! How cool is that? ;)


Here are some pictures from the past weeks.


We practice marbling in their creative workshop.


And wood.


We traveled arround in the city and painted new security doors so they would look like wood.


Study visit to Stockholm National Museum (there's very fine marble there, both real and painted).


We paint doors in beautiful staircases on Östermalm. Here, everything on the walls is previously decorative painted (marbled).


Everyone should have ceiling paintings like this in their stairwell or what do you say? (I don't know who made this one unfortunately.)


A double security door who's about to get a new mahogany look by Veronica and Alex. I also got to paint some parts!


Alex and Veronica in action!


I got to paint the right mirror!


The finished result! Doesn't it look real?


I cut together a small video of the process when we (read them) painted the door. (Click on the video to make it bigger)


And here we have two happy winners of the 2020 AND 2021 crafts gala! Thank you so much Veronica and Alex for taking care of me these two weeks! It has been soooo much fun! Especially when we got to end it in a way like this! I really hope to see you guys again soon!<3




Now we have done our last time in the classroom and it is time for us to go out on our internships. This semester we have studied the courses gilding, casting and spray painting. Time has really flown away! It feels so weird to pack your stuff (read billions of things) and not see each other again until the fall. I just got started?


We have learned everything from laying imitation gold and 24k gold, glass gilding, building frames, making our own molds, testing lots of different casting materials and more modern techniques such as spray painting. It has been so much fun and I have learned so many new techniques! I really liked gilding. Especially on glass! It's a bit like painting but with gold leaf and various metals on glass. And molding. So much fun you can do with molding. I don't know what happened, but I've had some kind of banana theme at my bench. Our first task in molding was to make our own form of any object we'd like. The first thing I saw was my banana laying on the bench (that I would have for the 14 o'clock coffee break) and then I thought I could make a form of that one. Just for fun. Once I've made the molding form for the banana I poured in plaster and got a really good plaster banana! Over time, I had suddenly made 10 bananas that I both gilded and decorative painted. They became super fun! Bananas make me happy for some reason (more pictures of all bananas will be coming soon). You could say I went totally bananas.


Here are some pictures from our last semester.


Half a mold of my banana.


A gilded banana! (24k gold)


The beginning of a banana painting.


Finished banana with painted marble.


We learned how to build frames and lay different imitation leafs. Here are two tests with brass and oxidized brass.


Close-up of another frame I made. Here with oxidized copper. (How beautiful isn't oxidized copper?)


Experiment with oxidized brass and copper on plaster eggs.


A first sketch of a project in shadow technique.


Finished result painted with pigment and oil.


We learned how to spray paint with spray gun. Here I freshened up an old child chair.


This is what it looked like before. Worn and old.


This is how it turned out afterwards. With the help of a little sandpaper, primer and a swing in the spray box. All old brush strokes and worn edges are gone and now it has a really durable and shiny surface. As new!


Glass gilding. Here, a foundation is laid with white gold on glass (when it's finished, it will look like mirror glass).


Drew a little blackbird on the back with a scalpel.


And on this glass I scraped out a pattern in 24k gold.


My little workbench with various eggs, bananas, frames, moldings and stained glass.

Homemade frame with golden eggs and stained glass in white gold and gold.


I will really miss spendning time at that bench! But all the fun doesn't end here!


Next week I will go to Stockholm and do my first internship with the decorative painters Alexander and Veronica (www.dekorationsmalarna.se). They are crazy talented at decorative painting! I'm so incredibly thrilled about joining them at their work for a couple of weeks! Feel free to follow me on instagram where I will share some glimpses from my practice there and all the cool stuff that they make. Hope to see you there! :)