Shutting the door on house painting

Because we are officially done!! It only took us six weeks longer than we had hoped…But really it wasn’t all our fault. I blame it on the rain.

When I last updated about our house painting project a few days ago, our house looked like this. Sad and shutterless.


We decided it’d be much easier to take the shutters down to paint them so I could spray them with my HVLP gun, and it was, but it was also eye-opening. As soon as we took them down, I was embarrassed for our house! It looked naked, and I wanted to slap the shutters back up before anyone else saw its nakedness! But sacrifices had to be made to get rid of the tan.

First, we tried using the same grey that’s on the siding, Sherwin William’s Pewter Cast in a satin finish. (The light ones on the left.)


After studying the color for a while and at different times of the day (different lighting can have a big impact!), we decided it was lighter than we wanted and it looked washed out. It actually looked lighter than the siding to me, too.

Another option we had considered was to go darker and try to draw out the dark bricks. We compared the Pewter Cast paint chip to charcoal greys in our Sherwin Williams book and selected a dark, slightly warm grey called Urbane Bronze. We bought a quart in Valspar Ultra Exterior, and opted to go with a semi-gloss to prevent the shutters from looking “dusty” or faded. Semi-gloss also adds a bit more dimension, so it works well for things you want to accent, like shutters or a front door.


I recently discovered that simply by turning up the PSI on my compressor, it’s like I have a whole new sprayer! It puts out so much more volume and goes a lot quicker, so in no time I had a smooth, thick coat of paint on all 6 shutters, and it was the moment of truth! We put them back up…


And we loved them!! I definitely think it was a good choice to go darker, and I’m so glad we got semi-gloss, too.

Now, check out this horrible before. Like before everything…before we got new windows, before we took down the gutters, before we had started painting…


And after!


It makes such a huge difference! I love the shutter color. I think it really helps tie the grey into the color of the brick and it ties in with the roof, too! (See that frosty corner on the right side of the roof? Accidental overspray. Gotta work on that…)

And yet I actually think that that before was not as bad as after we got the new windows and they stood out like a sore thumb against the tan and cream.


White + tan + cream = not a good look. This was one of the main reasons we decided on our grey and white color scheme. One neighbor told us he thought the tan matched the brick better and looked like it belonged. He’s totally right. Our grout is tan and the brick is very orange, so the tan “matched” perfectly.

But we didn’t really have a choice with the white windows (black were almost $1000 more!), and once we got those, it was just all kinds of wrong! The paint was in bad shape and needed to be repainted anyway, and we needed new gutters. White gutters were a no brainer to make the windows look like they belonged. But we weren’t going to do tan siding with white trim. Blech. Clearly, we are just NOT tan people. Also, we wanted to minimize the orangeness of the brick, not emphasize it.


I really think the shutters tied it all together. The color does match certain parts of the brick, but also looks like it could be on the same paint chip as Pewter Cast.

The crawl space vents were a major fail, though. They were tan before and since it matched the grout, they blended pretty well. But I wanted to eliminate all signs of tan, so I painted them with the lighter grey. And boy, did they stick out!


The lighter color reflects more light, too, so they were really noticeable. After doing the shutters, I painted them the darker Urbane Bronze.


Now they’re much less noticeable (which is great, because who wants crawl space vents to be a noticeable feature?) and the darker color should help camouflage dirt better, too.


From the street, they’re barely even noticeable, unlike when they were tan or light grey.


See? Mahvelous.


Sometime soon I also want to repaint our front door. It was black when we moved in, which just looked like a dark, ominous hole, so I temporarily repainted it with some leftover grey floor paint. It’s a very blueish grey that doesn’t really go with the brick or the new grey siding color…and it’s very flat, not glossy. I’m thinking a fun, shiny turquoise? We’ll probably replace the storm door, too.

Of course, we also finally finished this stupid garage door! I swear, I’ve probably spent more than 20 hours working on the door alone! But in the end, I guess it was worth it.


I started with lots of scraping and sanding and caulking. Once it was prepped, I primed it with a latex primer, but it kept bleeding through, so I coated it with two thick coats of Zinsser Cover Stain (an exterior oil primer.) Then I painted 2 coats of grey on the panels first, because they were easier to tape than the routed edges of the trim pieces (which were rough and cracked).


After taping, I used this method of painting the base color along the tape first to fill any gaps and prevent bleed-thru. It worked really well! I followed that with two coats of the white trim paint, which is Behr Frost from their white pamphlet (chosen to match our white gutter option).

And ta-da!


I had chosen not to tape the windows cause everyone says it’s easier to scrape off the paint…never again. Still haven’t scraped that last window cause it takes so long!! But regardless, doesn’t it look soooo good?? I love it! That door better last at least a couple more years! I will be so sad if it collapses on itself any time soon. (Apparently a common end for many old wooden garage doors.)

So there you have it. I’m so relieved that this project is coming to a close (other than scraping the last window and replacing/painting the handrail), and that we like the results as much as we do! Stay tuned for gutter updates and a budget breakdown!


Here they are! New gutters and a house painting budget breakdown!


4 Responses to Shutting the door on house painting

  1. Valerie B. September 12, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

    Wow! It looks great!! I love gray and white together on houses. Way to go – all your hard work has certainly paid off!!!

    • Simple House Expressions September 12, 2013 at 5:53 pm #

      Thanks, Valerie! We love gray and white, too! 🙂

  2. Nikki October 3, 2013 at 9:53 pm #

    Oh my gosh SO much better! I actually have hope for my house now! Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Simple House Expressions October 4, 2013 at 11:23 am #

      Thanks, Nikki! Glad it inspired you! A little paint can make such a big difference!