The Exterior Paint Recap – Progress

Remember how I was freaking out in excitement?  Like in a creepy, awkward, I-might-slide-tackle-someone kinda way?!  It was because the CertaPro team was breaking open their paint buckets to transform the exterior of our house.

After grabbing my daily painter-watching-supplies (which included but was not limited to binoculars, my camera, a bag of starbursts from last Halloween – don’t judge, and some baby wipes – don’t ask), we pulled up folding chairs and settled in for several days of oohing and aahing.

Here’s some interesting details of what the pros used during the transformation…

The Certa Pro guys use Sherwin Williams paint.  They encouraged us to pick a Sherwin color because color matching to another brand paint color can tend to be a little ‘off’ between buckets of paint and to the actual color.  There is more information how we picked our colors here.

Mad Dog primer was the product used on all unprimed or unpainted wood…it came in big tubs.  I had never heard of this primer before but now that I have, I would definitely recommend it.  It seemed to go on great and so far, so good.

For the top coats, they used SuperPaint exterior latex.  We had payed for two coats of Sherwin Williams in two different darknesses (is that a word?  it is now.)  of the the color, Pavestone.

Our house has an EXTREME amount of trim…so they began there.

All of the cleaned surfaces got painted…high and low.

On the front of the house we used Pavestone at it’s normal darkness.  It looks kinda like a gray plaster color…but it blended well with the stone and the bricks that are all over…I’m ultra sensitive to undertones so I didn’t want something brown or blue or too white…in the end, this color makes it look like a little lighter and allows the stone to grab your eye instead of the poop color.  I’m sure there are folks out there that would prefer poop in their eye but I’m not one of them.  I already have enough poop in my life with two little ones.

See that center window?  The arched one?   Look at the bottom.  See how the bottom of it was perfectly blended?  That is where they dug out that rotted wood under the pane and covered the bottom with an extra piece of trim.  The center one and one of the sidelight windows needed it so I asked they just make it consistent across all three pieces (which they happily did) and I can’t even tell they added anything.  Bravo boys!

Since we are talking about what superheros they were…they also became arborists for the sake of our house.  They had to trim a bit of this tree to get to the trim and gutters that were completely hidden.

Then came time for the back of the house.  They brought out this bad boy and I got more excited than Kim Kardashian with a compass.   more excited than a contestant on Naked & Scared with a stash of naturally grown sandals.  more excited than me with a terrible analogy.

It’s the hulk of paint sprayers.  They wrapped up anything exposed when they started to begin.

I barely made it to the back of the house with my camera before they were almost finished.  It was so fast.  One guy would move ladders and the other would just climb up and down spraying.  Basically they did the entire back exterior in what seemed like fifteen minutes.

Here is the same guy not five minutes later.  He would spray the area he could reach on top of the ladder and then come down and do the under-the-deck zone then move up another ladder that another guy moved while he was spraying.  It was a uber efficient job.

And the painters were experts with the paint sprayer.  Here is the guy who did my garage doors.  I think he was done in five minutes?

And note that he didn’t even put down drop cloths.  I checked too for drips…because I am crazy particular like that…not a one.  And after they sprayed them, they removed the hardware, painted it, painted the trim and put it all back on.

Dare I say that I was most excited about the back of the house and the garage doors?  I think it’s because that is the view I see most.  I am hardly ever out front looking at the exterior front…but I live in that driveway and in the grass out back.

All in all, it took them ten full days of actual work if I remember correctly.  They were here a couple days only part of the day because of the rain and we had to postpone some of the work days because of weather.  So maybe two and a half weeks from start to finish?  But that is four professionals doing work that would have taken me all year…so money WELL spent.

Overall, the process of working with them I give an A+++ .  I did have two little complaints in my review sheet…one was because a finishing nail must have popped out of a board they removed and it fell in the driveway and the other because I found a box cutting razor in the back (they used them when up on ladders to cut open the caulk and must have slipped out of the knife unknowingly).  Thankfully both of them were discovered by me really quickly and it was a no-harm-no-foul situation.  But in general, there were hundreds of nails and pieces of wood/siding they had to fix and all other cleanup was perfect…so they still deserve the excellent grade.

PLUS…the paint job itself was great.  And the guys were (like I said before) overwhelmingly respectful and communicative.  Dude…they even recommended the best way to repaint my wrought iron railings, taught me how to replace my exterior doors weather stripping and showed me the light about my front door!  And on top of it all, they put up with me taking their photos repeatedly.  Bravo crew BRAVO!



  1. says

    I love love love when service people do a great job (over and above even!) at THEIR JOBS. In fact, it makes me so happy when I hear about these professionals that it makes me want to cry.

  2. Heather says

    What a transformation!!! Please share how they told you to remove the exterior door weather stripping. I need to do that stat and have no idea how it should be done without causing more problems or a mess. Will this be on the blog anytime soon????

    • says

      I am planning on doing a few more doors (we have a ton of exterior doors so I just need to bite the bullet and do it all at the same time). Maybe I could do a quick how-to post…it’s REALLY easy…like WAY easier than I thought.
      xo – kb

  3. Laura says

    Kim with a compass!! HAHAHA I really LOL’ed.

    I love the colors and the great review. I work for a home builder and I love to see crews that love doing their job. I have a ton of respect for anyone that can climb up ladders that high!

    Thanks for sharing

  4. Cassie says

    The paint looks terrific! We really need to do ours next spring but it’s complicated because the house is trimmed in wood with color stain. I am researching the process but none of the contractors I have spoken with seem to have any experience in changing the color with stain. Do you have any advice choosing updated colors for a house with peach colonial brick and burgundy shutters? And does CertaPro have a coupon code? ;)

    • says

      CertaPro does not have a coupon code that I know of. We had to negotiate with our local guy for the price so its definitely worth getting other estimates. As for the advice…are you painting the brick too? Or are you just changing the shutters and the trim?
      xo – kb

  5. says

    What is the best way to paint wraught iron rails?? What’d they say?? I have some by my front door that’s the same hideous forest green color as my trim. I have that mentally scheduled for repainting this fall. I could use you ‘dropping some knowledge’ on that front. :)

    • says

      They recommended a paint that is formulated for metal and using a sock (we found a paint mitt that is specifically for this job so I am gonna give that a whirl).
      xo – kb

  6. Lindsay James says

    Ooh, looking great now – you’d never think that it could look so different.
    Pretty please, if you could do a post of the incredibly helpful things you learned about replacing weather stripping, that would be really, really useful – Ineed to replace ours on the front door and the storm door and I haven’t a clue!

  7. Brandy says

    I’m… I’m done checking this blog daily. Which makes me sad. But I’m tired of being let down again & again with the lack of upload-worthy posts. You could be (and have been in the past) a REALLY great blogger but the last year has been so disappointing. At this point it’s blatantly obvious that you hang around only to make the $ from sponsored posts…which are weak & below what I had come to expect from a blog of this (previous, but not current) caliber.
    I will miss it. But then again, I’ve been missing it for a while now…

    • Nicola says

      I have been reading this blog for a while now I just can’t believe how rude some of the comments are that Katie has to deal with. What happened to just being polite. If you don’t want to read anymore then just don’t read, there are plenty of us who are still happy to be here, we don’t need to hear about it! I honestly would have thrown the towel in by now if I wad Katie, I don’t have the patience for it. If you’re not here to read about huge home improvements such as painting the whole exteriorof your house then wbwhat are you here for?

      Anyway, sorry rant over. I am in the UK and hugely jealous of your gorgeous house! I love reading your blog and all about your life x

    • Sandy says

      Katie, I came back to this post because we are buying a new house and I LOATHE the siding and shutter colors. I’ve been told replacing the siding would be too expensive so I thought of painting it and remembered you recently did it. Looking at your pics again made up my mind, I’m going to get quotes and paint!
      I am shocked at some of the comments people write here, especially from someone like this Brandy character. You handle yourself very well, Katie. I give you a ton of credit.

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