WAHOO! Eat caulk trim! Suck paint siding!
That’s a recap of what I was yelling at my house with pointed finger and devilish laughter this past week. That’s right. The house is officially painted. It’s not done-done…almost…but the ladders are still here and there are still touchups to be made…so I think that after today (as long as it doesn’t rain), it will be officially complete and I can share the before/after photos. For now, let’s take a step outside (not literally, please stay with your computer), and take a gander at what our exterior looked like before our painting adventure began.
That photo above is one of the very first pictures we ever took of our exterior. Our house has brick and stone and a dark gray roof and then there is the brown and brown….and more brown. I painted the front doors red but the house still looked like dried mud. So we talked to some folks early on about painting and it all came back with the same reply…it would probably cost between 8 and 10 grand.
That’s where we slammed the brakes and decided that dishing out that much cash at a single time would be not in the near future. I mean, we needed things like a water heater and a furnace and garage door openers.
Why so much for a paint job? Well, there was a lot of rotting wood. See that on the front peak? Above the columns you can see the paint has complete chipped off and the raw wood is exposed and rotting. It’s very sad.
The back doors suffered a similar fate….rotting wood all around….
It’s like American Idol…you take away one little thing like Simon Cowell…err…paint…and the entire thing rots away.
The other reason this would cost so much was the fact that the entire back of the house is siding. It’s very big and with weirdly spaced windows. And would require a ton of paint. The front of the house has a lot of different trim work too…so it’s definitely a ‘big crew’ type of thing.
We saved and saved and saved. We tucked a little away here and there and it seemed at times that other big expenses would pop up (that’s normal life though, right?!) so we finally got to the point financially where dishing out 10K wasn’t gonna mean selling off a kid.
Jer did all the research. He looked at local reviews and TrustDale.com, and we decided on getting three different quotes from folks listed with high reviews. The first one was a local handyman who quoted us just under $6K for all the painting (not including the wood and only 1 coat of paint). The second was a local painting company that came in around $8.5K for all the painting (two coats but no wood repair). The third and final quote was from a company that franchises called CertaPro Painters. Our local guy was Scott Pierce and I have nothing but good things to say. They quoted us as $7K with an additional $ for wood repairs. Jeremy negotiated with him and said if they could do the whole list of repairs for under $500, we would sign right then and there.
Scott agreed and handed over three huge paint decks for me to choose from. I knew that I would be buying a huge number of samplers. Since they recommend Sherwin-Williams, we decided to pick a Sherwin Williams color and avoid any issues with color matching.
The first five…
and then five more on doors out front.
When it came down to it, I learned some really important things about choosing exterior paint. Here are my best tips:
- always test paint…it’s way cheaper to test a color than repaint the whole house
- test the colors on all four sides of the house and against different areas like next to stone, brick, porches, and ceilings
- exterior colors appear much lighter than they do on paint swatches
- try photoshopping your exterior before painting to see if you can figure out what looks best
- look at test paint in morning, afternoon and evening light…as well as with any exterior lighting on.
- remember that if you like a certain color paint, you can always have it darkened up to 200% or lightened
We took the photoshopping thing seriously after the first five test pots…here’s how it looked with all the brown…
We tried the trim in the front with a darker color and felt like it was too dark… like a tudor style gone wrong.
Cream or white was just way too bright and really took away from the stone and brick.
So we decided to try a light to medium gray…something that we could pull from the stone color. We liked it slightly lighter on the columns…but liked the ‘disappearing act’ it pulled on the upper windows when it was slightly darker (you can kinda see what we mean below).
In the end, we knew that we wanted a gray that was slightly muddy (to match the color of the stone…not necessarily the brick because it wasn’t as prevalent on the front of the house and the front is priority one) and light enough to give a tiny bit of contrast to the roof line but not too light to steal our stone’s thunder.
So that’s how we chose our house color. I can’t wait to show you the end result…just as soon as this rain clears up and they finish touching up! Cross your fingers that it will happen today. I guess one more day isn’t a big deal after you wait two years, right?!