The Final Facelift

Once upon a time, we thought we could paint the exterior of this house ourselves. Even with the help of friends and family, we were wrong.

I mean – we could have done it. But it would have come at the cost of missing out on fun family time and being stressed out and a slave to this house. We bought this house knowing it would need work and we like working on it. But some projects are just too big and better handled by a team of professionals for a reasonable cost – and that turned out to be the case for getting the exterior painted.

I spied on the painters from the house across the street.

I spied on the painters from the house across the street.

Dylan did a ton of prep work very thoroughly, which was hugely helpful. Not to mention that some of the house was even painted! But when we finally vocalized and realized that Dylan’s free-time for house projects was much better used on something that provides more value or would be more complicated/expensive to hire out, it became an easy decision to just finish the exterior and hire painters.

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So our house is painted! And it’s beautiful! It was amazing how quickly I can’t even remember what this house looked like with all the crazy colors. It makes such a difference for the charm of the house – I know the neighbors appreciate it. The red doors are having some issues with old stain leaking through despite a coat of oil-based primer, but since we hired that out – its not our problem to deal with!

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Painting complete – no gutters yet.


With new house paint also came new gutters. They were in terrible shape when we bought the house, so we had them taken down last summer when we started painting. That resulted in more water than normal seeping into our basement throughout the winter, but since Dylan tore our all the walls and flooring to remedy the water intrusion the right way, more water in the basement wasn’t a terrible problem for us. But now new shiny gutters are up. We do want to put in rain chains in the front (instead of waterfall streams into a bucket), but they still need to be ordered. The chains will be placed in the front because we also have grand plans to move the steps to the house to the front! Its on the short list for our spring/summer projects since we plan on using the porch so much with the nice weather.

Paint and gutters complete!

Paint and gutters complete!

The Ugly House on the Block

In case you couldn’t tell, our house is the ugly house on the block. Which is always the house we want to buy. When we first moved in, both homes on either side of ours were vacant and being renovated. Most houses on our street are older but have had more attention and love given to them than ours had over the past 20 years.

It was very apparent that the exterior needed some work. Besides not being in love with the crazy color-scheme (hot pink and purple isn’t our jam), we learned it had been over 20 years since the house was last painted, so the weather has taken a toll on a lot of the siding. Our front porch is also not up to code because its over 4 feet off the ground and doesn’t have any railing. This is not only an issue for our homeowners insurance that we need to deal with within the first 6 months of taking ownership, but the 1 yr old has gotten braver and more intrigued by the edge of the porch. So we’ll add that to the list, although it may get a temporary fix for the winter, and we can revisit a permanent solution when the weather gets nice again.

So, we’ve begun getting ready for paint. After handfuls of paint samples we just pulled the trigger on a full gallon of a grey that we never tested out. For a while, the green/grey on the right was our winner, which was Benjamin Moore’s Desert Twilight. But in the end we decided it was too green.

2014-07-14 16.33.36More samples went up in the back, too dark, too green.

In the end we picked Storm from Benjamin Moore…basically – we copied this picture on their website for exterior color ideas because I was starting to go crazy looking at color combinations for the exterior.

Screenshot 2014-09-24 10.19.39So the body will be Storm and we picked up Barren Plain for most of the trim (where its currently purple).

The Pink is mostly the wood windows, so we picked up a bright white for that – Wedding Veil.

We weren’t feeling the blue but wanted another dark accent for our corbels (those are the things near the roofline on Craftsman-style houses) and parts of the porch columns and went with Wrought Iron.

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The worst part of painting the exterior of a house is the prep work that needs to be done first painting the exterior of a house. Dylan has been busy power washing, sanding, caulking and priming before we are even ready to put real paint back on this house. P really enjoyed watching him power wash the front porch from the safety of the couch.

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Here’s a few live action shots of prepping a house for paint. Its not as fun as it looks.

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The porch column here has been sanded a bit – it wasn’t that bad originally.

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Taking out hooks from the porch. Previous owners  probably had 30+ hanging baskets…or things hanging from the porch. We also ditched the screen door on the front that was in rough shape, and just power-washing the front took off a lot of paint around the front door.

And some more fun of priming the porch column in the back.

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We did buy fairly high-quality paint so I could probably get away without some of the primer, but since we were doing a lighter color trim over that deep purple and pink and there was a lot of bare wood, it seemed like the better idea to just throw some primer on there. If some extra time now buys me years of not having to do this again, I’ll take it.

So here is Storm, live and in person after having dried.



There’s really not much to say – its a nice, medium tone true grey. Maybe a touch on the green side. And there is a little of the light blue left for comparison for you. With how big this house is, we didn’t want to go too dark and have the house become a giant dark…blob.

We’ve got one big push this weekend to see how far we can get. There is a lot of trim detail to handle that is going to take some patience, and hopefully we have enough sunshine left in Portland to get this all done!





Painting Things: Part 1 of 3267

That might be an exaggeration. But everything needs to be painted. On the main floor we had the hardwoods refinished, but in the bedrooms and upstairs hallway we needed a different strategy. The floors upstairs are fir which is a softer wood and doesn’t refinish as well. Plus the hallway upstairs had already been painted white. And really, we didn’t want to spend the money up there yet. So we decided the cheapest and best solution would be to paint all the wood floors upstairs. It was something we’d never done before but its all over pinterest, so it can’t be that hard right?!

And it really wasn’t. I used Benjamin Moore’s line of Oil-based primer and floor paint (we found an old gallon of floor paint in the basement, so we knew it was oil and needed to put more oil paint over it). We primed, which I was told wasn’t really necessary but seemed like the right idea based on how rough the floors were.

Upstairs Floors BeforeHere you can see the hallway – painted white, but dirty and not done well.

And here are two of the three bedrooms upstairs.

Upstairs Bedroom Floors Before

Master Bedroom Floors Before

Not pretty.

So on went the primer. The whole process went really fast outside of dry time because its like one big wall. You have to cut-in at the walls of course, but then I just put a roller on an extension handle and went to town.

Upstairs Bedroom Floors Primed

The floor color I chose is Benjamin Moore’s Mint Chocolate Chip – so yeah…its definitely a light green color. But its kind of refreshing and fun. I have plans in the hallway to add a 2-inch border in a a chocolate brown to really tie it all together, but we’ll see if that happens. I bought two gallons of the floor color to do 3 bedrooms and the hallway which was plenty, including two coats on all the floors.

Upstairs Bedroom After

So here’s the bedroom with the floors finished. They look almost white, but in reality they have some green to them.

Here’s the hallway which shows the color a little better.

Hallway floors


Basically, they are fresh and clean which is what needed to happen upstairs. And for about $150 and 3 nights (pre-moving in) it was a quick fix to ugly. The final coat took maybe an hour and a half to put on all the floors. Although, I’m also holding out on the fact that we haven’t done the master yet (the room above with the really funky blue walls happening). The only thing I didn’t like was having to use Oil-based paint because 1. it smells and 2. I’m really messy and that stuff is impossible to get off your skin. And painting a floor almost guarantees you’re going to get paint on your feet. Benjamin Moore does have their Floor & Porch paint in a Latex which I definitely would have used if there hadn’t already been oil paint on the floor.