before & after: floor redesign + a light filled bedroom

I’ve never taken on the task of refinishing walls or floors before, but I’d like to think that if given the opportunity, I might follow Lucianna’s lead and attempt some kind of cool design. According to Lucianna, this old floor would not handle another sanding, so instead she decided to create a weathered diamond design using painter’s tape and a lot of patience. The results look great, especially with the newly lightened gray walls. Great transformation, Lucianna! — Kate

Time: A weekend

Cost: $6.95

Basic Steps: The old pine floor is painted with a flat interior white latex paint. Once dry, the pattern is taped and painted gray and black, alternating the diamonds. The paint is brushed on very haphazardly to keep the result looking rustic and worn. I then added two coats of poly to finish. — Lucianna

Have a Before & After you’d like to share? Shoot me an email with your images right here! (Low res, under 500k per image, please.)

CLICK HERE to see Marlise’s amazing light & airy bedroom makeover after the jump!

I love dark, dramatic rooms as much as the next person, but sometimes a space needs to be lightened and brightened, and there’s no better way to do that than with a heavy dose of white paint. Marlise and her husband Benjamin redesigned their entire home over the course of a month, and during that time they focused most of their attention on this gorgeous master bedroom. There are so many great design details that cozy up the space — the simple bulbs suspended over the bed, the salvaged type trays, the vintage steamer trunk — I love it all! Great work, Marlise and Benjamin!

Time: A week

Cost: $1100

Basic Steps: The transformation really started with the hardwood floors, and then the style was built around one of my favorite pieces in the master bedroom, which is the mint green steamer trunk that once belonged to my grandparents. It held their belongings when they migrated by ship from Africa to the US. The antique tiered dresser (almost like a wedding cake) is truly unique as are the old printing-press drawers that my husband Benjamin Myers painted various shades of green and hung above the bed. He’s very much into grids and lines, so painting the inside squares (that once held printing-press letters) helped to capture the antique-meets-modern look we were after. — Marlise

  1. Nicola says:

    Luciana–I would love to know what paint color you used on the walls (I’m looking for the perfect grey). -Nicola

  2. That is, hands-down, the coolest thing I’ve seen done with a printer drawer– though the inside word is they’re called cases in the industry. Nice work.

  3. erin m. says:

    Love that bedroom!!! Sigh

  4. FinderMaker says:

    Wow. Both of those are knockouts! I wonder how many folks will say “aww.. why’d you have to paint over the wood bookcases?” Not me! They look 110% better! I definitely would have hesitated to paint the wood floors, but your results look fantastic!

  5. Molly says:

    love the second room with the type cases (the solitary light bulbs are particularly inspiring). however, i’ll pass on the shabby white makeover of the first room. the little orange damask chair is very cute though.

  6. Rachael says:

    That first room is so beautiful – I love the new floors!

  7. Catherine says:

    Wow, wow, wow. I’m not usually a big fan of patterned floors, but I love what she’s done!

  8. Abby says:

    Gorgeous, wish I was that creative

  9. Ariel says:

    Am I seeing a painted black door? Love the contrast and intensity it provides!

  10. Kristi says:

    Both rooms are so perfect! REALLY am entranced with those diamond-painted floors. WOW! Stand-out job.

  11. Lucianna says:

    Thanks All! Nicola; The walls were painted Benjamin Moore’s Silver Marlin then I glazed over them with HC-80. I’m happy to help if you have any more questions.
    FinderMaker. I don’t usually like painting over wood but these needed it. Thanks for noticing!

  12. Rosa says:

    Not sure I’d ever have had the heart to paint over the wood in the first room, or the red in the second room! But they both look fantastic!!

  13. Tina says:

    OMG Gorgeous!

  14. That first room is gorgeous! Everything I would like my room to be.

    The second one I also love, but I wish it were easier to see the difference – where the pictures taken from different angles?

  15. Kate says:

    I love Marlise’s bedroom redesign! It reminds me of designer India Hicks. Read about her inspirations in this interview she did with Theodora & Callum

  16. Jeni Shirley says:

    Very nice! I want to spend a weekend here! :)

  17. lovely makeovers..its hard to imagine they are the same rooms..thanks for sharing, grace…do check out my runway to room post when you have a moment..xx meenal

  18. Maria says:

    I love the floors!!

  19. Sofia says:

    lovely on both counts. $6.95 seems like a bs cost to quote on the first though- you must have used more than that amount on sandpaper alone. I think the purpose of these costs is for people who feel inspired to have an idea of what is costs them to duplicate- no cheating!

    1. grace says:


      we ask project owners to give honest amounts, often those reflect materials they already own (paint brushes, paint, etc). no one is trying to cheat or BS, it’s merely a reflection of what they already have. and the price for paint would depend on the size of your room, so those numbers would vary widely.


  20. Lucianna says:

    Hi Sofia (& Grace). I was asked for my cost on the floor project only. I used a partial gallon of white and a partial gallon of black.
    I used the white as the base, the grey (mixed black and white by me) and the black for the 2 other diamonds.
    I hate wasting paint so use what I have. I used less than a 1/2 gallon of poly on top.
    If you were to buy all the material you need for the floor (3 quarts of paint + poly), the cost would be less than $100 (+$6.95 for tape). I didn’t use any sandpaper.
    Sorry for the misunderstanding!
    PS: A painted floor is only as stable as the final polyurethane (1/2 gallon). Lu

  21. Uyen says:

    So creative, looks so chic and rustic. Great idea, putting it my inspiration folder :)

  22. Beautiful transformations! They’re both so welcoming and cozy now. I really love the new shutters and half-curtain in the first one, a brilliant way to create privacy, light modulation, soft colors… fantastic!

  23. Stunning – both transformations are amazing ;D LOVE!

  24. Heather says:

    Wow! Such a transformation in both rooms. the floors look incredible and the 2nd bedroom just jumped about 900 degress on the style scale. love it.

  25. megan says:

    these are amazing! I love every detail. I kinda dig the original retro light in the first room.

  26. Janet Hild says:

    What a transformation! It just proves how much can be done within a budget.

  27. Luce says:

    I don’t want to be a hater, but that first before and after makes my stomach go cold. Noooooo! Not the bookcases! Aww, the floors too? Checkerboards?! …Faux finished checkerboards??!!! Still love your blog, though, Grace.

  28. Belly B says:

    That floor is amazing!!!! I love the rusty shading.

  29. I absolutely ADORE reading your blog. I have been following avidly for 2.5-3 years now.

    I have got SO many ideas from you – my faves to date were the tofu/pine-but wonton recipe, and the little succulents in jars, i did a variation for Christmas pressies last year, and they were a smash-hit!

    I look forward to my email post every day, and please, get that upholstery page up – BIG fan, and want to learn the DIY trade!!!

    Much love, Tasmania! (Come visit us here! its beautiful!!)

  30. Allison says:

    Love the painted floor. I hope to be brave enough to try that someday!

  31. Tyanna Hodges says:

    Nicola – looking for the perfect gray? Check out all the choices here:

    I love this painted floor. I have stripped all carpets from my home for remodel this spring, it is definitely an idea.

  32. Lucianna says:

    Hi All. Technical update: I have gotten lots of questions, via e-mail, about painted floors.
    Yes, you can paint over poly, no, you can NEVER paint over a wax finish. Mine were old orange shellac, which can also be painted!
    I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.

    Enjoy! Lu

  33. MakieDoll says:

    LOVE the bedroom. I’m inspired!

  34. karen says:

    That floor is stunning! I am so impressed. That would make me so happy to have that underfoot in my bedroom. Great work indeed!

  35. Goodness ~ that floor is stunning! Love the painted bookcases too!

  36. isavirtue says:

    i cannot even begin to imagine how luciana did that floor or how long it took her!

  37. kathryn says:

    i love the before and after posts here…the floor is so awesome…she did a fantastic job! very inspiring!!

  38. Christina says:

    That floor absolutely knocks my socks off.

  39. Elisa says:

    All of Lucianna’s work is fabulous, and this floor is just one shining example. Beautiful!!!!

  40. Melody says:

    Saving that painted floor idea for when I (someday) own my own home! Just incredible.

  41. Both of the rooms are inspiring for different reasons. That little gold brocade chair is adorable. I actually like the floor too! In the 2nd room I love the printer trays above the bed….really cool decoration.

  42. Maria Black says:

    I love what you did with the floors! Beautiful, never really thought of painting on wooden floors before, but it definitely works!

  43. I have gotten lots of e-mail’s wondering what color I painted the walls is so I thought I would post it here.

    The walls are Benjamin Moore’s Silver Marlin 2139-50. There is a glaze made of Grant Beige HC-83 dry brushed on top.


  44. Evita says:

    Both transformations are phenomenal!

  45. Carolyn says:

    Love the bedroom! I am a fan of light and airy spaces. Where did you get the bed frame from? I have been searching for a few months for a new bed frame and I can’t seem to find anything I like…

  46. Anna says:

    Drawing on the floor just gorgeous!!


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