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Friday, April 27, 2012

Speaking of Irises and Doorways--

Before there was Gallery Glass, what was a person to do with a wide open door and sidelights like this? You may be thinking--who would pick such an arrangement? Let me assure you that there are many such homes in my neighborhood with the same half doorlight--or worse--a full view doorlight. I have often thought that it is the result of a builder's sense of humor--the same builder who puts the biggest window in the house--right over the tub--where you would want the MOST privacy! Or maybe a builder who has a brother-in-law, who sells window treatments. Because the first thing you have to do is cover those lovely windows with some kind of covering. Otherwise your neighbors can write out of log of what the family wears to bed and watches on TV. My point is--what are you going to do--if NOT Gallery Glass? The alternatives are not pretty--mini binds, fluted curtains or some fancy paper shades. A more expensive alternative is probably plantation shutters, but then you could have added a finished basement or bought a new car with the money.

So let's talk about how you go about this project. First, this scenario is probably going to require the vertical application technique. The door and sidelights can't be painted horizontally because they are already in place. However, they have wood molding around the glass, so inserts would be possible. But, as much vibration as doors and sidelights get from the constant slamming of the door by the kids--I wouldn't use them. I would recommend doing the design directly on the window--for stability and wearability. So the first thing you need to do is coordinate the patterns of the door and windows. Notice that the design in the corners of the sidelights visually "frames" the design in the door. And the S curve is actually adapted from an element in the lower section of the doorlight. Otherwise the sidelights are really simple--so as not to compete with the simple and elegant door design. Once the pattern is complete, you need to cut off all borders and tape it to the outside of the window before you start the Redi-Lead process. After spot soldering the conntecting points of the leading with Liquid leading, you are ready to paint. Few people realize that you can apply the paint on a vertical surface. You start at the top of each section and work down. It doesn't run unless you apply too much. Notice how well the texture of the Crystal Clear obscures the image of the furniture and even the dark doorway that is visible in the top picture. The color scheme is very sinple--only Etching Medium and Crystal Clear. If you wanted to add another texture, you might consider the Clear Shimmer. I love the way it looks from the outside when the light hits it.

Of course, once you have an elegant door, you'll realize that it's time to refurbish the entry hall. First we painted the walls a wonderful Sunflower color. Then the column shapes were masked-off and painted white and the column tops and the grooves were stenciled in Gold Leaf. Floral Iris prints were decoupaged on door panels. The accessories were crafted to match the decor. The rug was created with quilter's tape and coordinating paint on the back side of a linoleum scrap, cut to the desired size. The re-purposed umbrella stand was painted and antiqued and the same flower elements that were used on the door--were decoupaged on the front. It's a sensational finish to a door and entry hall makeover. And the cost was minimal because the Gallery Glass only costs about $3/foot. People will think you spent a whole lot more.
Here's a Big Tip: If you want to make a big impression, you can duplicate the leaded outlines made by the Redi-lead on the inside of the doorlight and sidelights --on the OUTSIDE of the house. We don't recommend paint for the outside, but the Redi-Lead is weather-proof and will be fine outdoors without paint to hold it on. This makes the outlines of the Gallery Glass treatment look like H channel leading, which will fool almost everyone into thinking that you have installed REAL stained glass. What's the harm? If they don't ask, don't tell them. It can be our secret!

Gallery Glass Supplies: 16081 Crystal Clear, 16044 Etching Medium, Redi-Lead or Liquid Leading.


  1. This is fantastic!!! I have one question, what kind of pattern (circles, jabs etc) did you use to get the clear glass pattern. Also, I would like it to be quite opaque, would you recommend just doing it thick, or what about doing two coats? (if it wasn't opaque enough the first go around) I suppose I could buy the frost one, but I do like how the clear lets in so much light. I have taken saran wrap and made a great pattern before with the clear gallery glass. thank you for this blog and your help!

    1. Selina - regarding your question about heavier opaque techniques: I cheat to save money and have better control over the level of opaqueness. I use the LARGE bottle of clear first. After it is dried, I rub the frosted "color" from a SMALL bottle with a soft dense sponge (like the ones you buy to wash your car) You can cut it into tiny pointed pieces to get into those small spaces. It does a great job, and you can easily add a second layer over the first without telltale marks. It saves a lot of money too. I have frosted four full door and window projects with two coats and still have just a little less than half a small bottle of frosted left.

      Just a warning though - once you start an area you can't stop or you WILL get noticeable separation overlap marks. And don't attempt it on a hot day when it will dry faster.

  2. Thank you for the comment. I always apply the clear in an overall bumpy pattern with a minimum of agitation or "working it". The more you streak through it, the flatter the texture will become. I start at the corner and go back and forth squeezing and spreading until it is covered, but I don't go back through it with the comb or the applcator tip. This will give you the maxinmum texture. As for opacity, the Etching Medium gives the most privacy, but it must be applied VERY sparingly with a brush--dabbed on in a stippling motion with no wet paint remaining around the strokes--spread it evenly to resemble etched glass. I think you could use the Etching over CURED bumpy Crystal Clear, but I don't think I have ever done it. I prefer the Clear to be tranparent and bumpy and the Etching Medium to be smooth and even--just my personal preference. You can always experiment to get the look you want by playing with it on the surface you are going to paint. Let it dry--evaluate it, then peel it off and do the preferred technique over the entire project in the designated areas. Good luck, let me know if you need clarification.

  3. I just found this very informative blog and I'm so happy I did. Thank you so much for all the great information and if you ever run upon a fleur de lis pattern and how you would suggest doing one please post it. That is my favorite decorating element. It might have something to do with being from Louisiana and adoring our Saints football team Ü Thank you soooo much for sharing so much. I can't wait to go buy my paints and get started.

  4. Diane, thank you for the compliments. I love this blog. It is like one of my children. I'm glad you asked for the fleur de lis pattern. It was so intriguing that I did a new post on the French Bathroom window that we created for a fellow Plaid employee. I hope you enjoy it. You can also just do the fleur de lis on a recycled picture frame. That would be a great beginner project. Let us know how you're doing as you discover Gallery Glass.