Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Weekend Facelift

I posted earlier this summer about our front yard and how buying a few and repurposing a few plants made a huge difference in our front yard.  I love our new landscape (although we still have one tree left to buy and plant in order to finish our plans), but our house was looking a little womp womp. (aka sad.) Our house is 16 years old and I can pretty much guarantee that the shutters and maybe even the door have never been repainted.  Did you know that painting your shutters is a really easy and a low cost way to make your house look fresh?  At our last house we had only two shutters but we took them down and spray painted them (one can per shutter) and then (regular) painted the front door to match and it made such a big difference that we kicked ourselves for not doing it sooner.

Here is a picture of what our house looked like before the landscaping:
(Can you tell it was taken of the yard and not supposed to be a picture of the house?)
Well I hated that we had lived in this house with faded shutters for over a year. Oh, and also? I was so embarrassed that our front door, which is metal, had two holes left from the old owners' door knocker that they took with them. But I knew that if we could find a fix for the holes and paint the door that I wasn't going to put the same knobs back on the door and that we would need to also paint the shutters.  So one thing would snowball into the next.  I wasn't sure what color I wanted to paint, but I knew I wanted to change it up but I just kept putting it off. 
Here is an after picture of the landscape and before picture of the paint: 
(In this one it doesn't really show much of the landscape at all. Wow. The photographer should be fired! But at least you can see the house.)
The house originally had hunter green shutters and door.  With the white siding, I felt like I really needed to bring two colors to the house in order to give a little dimension.  I didn't want to do the black shutters with red door (like most of the other white houses around here). So I found a slate color for the shutters and a blue color for the door.  I got my color ideas from these pictures on pinterest:

(There was no source listed with this pin)

The shutter color I had pictured in my head as being darker, but like my dad told me, most likely a darker grey color would have looked like a washed out black instead of a meaningful slate. (I was worried that my slate color looked a bit washed out.) My dad and Jonathan took the shutters off the house to paint them because it's way easier. (But you might not want to look at your siding when your shutters are down. Scary!)  We used a Laura Ashley Home color called Chimney Sweep from Lowes. They painted two coats on the lower shutters and one coat on the upper shutters and we still have paint left over from our quart that we bought!  They let them dry completely before putting them back on the house. I really like the end result!
I realize that you can't see much of a difference since the before color of hunter green was so faded but in person the slate looks so much better and has a nice sheen instead of a dull washed out green.

Although my dad has painted his whole life and knows what he's doing, Jonathan and I decided we wanted to try something new/different on our front door prep.  The part that faced outside was really sticky and I had read this post. (Do you love Young House Love like I do?? You should! They're awesome! And this post was perfect timing!) They recommended using a liquid deglosser to get the grime off before priming the door.

Let's take a look at the old color of the door and also those awesome holes and door knocker marks...that we lived with for 16 months. ::hangs head::  It almost looks like I was framing the ugliness.

We used the liquid deglosser on the front door to get the sticky off and get the door ready for paint.  (We did two coats.) Then, my dad found some stuff called SteelStik which is an epoxy to fix the holes in the metal door.  This stuff is actually supposed to bond so hard that you can re-drill into it! (Which is great since one day we may want a door knocker!) After all was dry, my dad painted two coats of an allen+roth color called Evening Stroll from Lowes on the door.

We priced new hardware for the door to replace the tarnished ugly brass hardware on the front door.  I decided that I wanted Oil Rubbed Bronze on my new light colored front door and they start around $130! We have a storm door that is a no-name brand so I knew that there wouldn't be a replacement for those brass parts. I was planning on spray painting ORB on the storm door accessories, but after reading this post from YHL, (again, perfect timing for them to be working on their doors!) I decided that we should go ahead and try spray painting our front door knob too! We used the liquid deglosser and then sprayed two layers of ORB. I'm ecstatic about the result! And if it scrapes off or doesn't wear well, we can try spraying again or break down and buy a new door knob, but for now? LOVING this low cost option!

We stuck all of the knobs, accessories and even all the screws into a cardboard box so that we could get all sides of the knobs. YHL recommended putting a key half way into the key holes, but my dad said that wasn't necessary so we didn't ruin an extra key and the key hole still works!

Awesome paint! Love the easy trigger and the paint and primer in one! It has a great shimmer to it too!

Next round: Screen door
 After: LOVE the ORB! It took years off that door! (The screen door makes the door color look really dark.)
Pretty door! And the ORB knob goes so well with the light fixture! Now I want to put the glass in the storm door just so you can see the color! I'm pretty sure I'd kick myself for not having a nice fall breeze be able to blow through the house this fall! Soon enough you'll be able to actually see my door color. Winter is coming:)

Our garage door had some white blotches where we assume the previous owners had painted out some dents and marks.  When we first moved in we thought that the door needed to be power washed but we quickly realized that the splotches on the door were paint and not dirt. So we matched a new color of white to the siding (I had never realized how our garage door didn't match the white of our house before.) and now it looks amazing! (No one would ever notice but me, but I don't care!) Let's take a look!

This was a relatively inexpensive, easy weekend project that gave us great results. (We only bought 2 quarts of paint - $15 each for shutters and front door, 1 gal of paint - $25 for garage door, deglosser - $6, Steel Stick Epoxy - $5, and ORB spray - $8.  A house facelift for $74!)  I didn't want our new colors to be crazy noticeable because I didn't want to be the person on the street with the wild house colors that aren't really house colors. Do you have one of those houses in your neighborhood? The updated paint blends in and makes a huge difference to me (even if you can't really tell the difference in pictures.) We had a couple neighbors come over during and after the painting process to ask how we did different parts. Maybe this will inspire the rest of our block to paint their 16 year old shutters and door too. It's like an episode of Curb Appeal...except there isn't a cool designer making the decisions. Here is the house now!
 (And with the screen open so you can see the colors together.)
I love driving up to our "new" house! It makes me happy. And hey, if I get tired of the blue door I can always switch it up easily since most colors will go with the grey shutters. (Other color options I was looking at were light green and burnt orange.) But right now Evening Stroll makes me smile! And I really think that any wreaths I put on the door are going to pop! Now we just need to plant a tree to the left front of the house to be done with our exterior summer project! I better get working on a fall wreath. I already have an idea I've pinned for my new door:


Janine said...

I VERY MUCH love the new door color! Great idea for the spray painted knob and stuff--would love to know how that wears. We spray painted all the outdoor light fixtures two years ago and so far they have weathered well. And, yes, there is one of THOSE houses in the adjoining neiborhood: it has yellow-ish brick and VIOLET door, shutters, light fixtures. It's bad.

Heather Collins said...

Looks great! Our front door has desperately needed paint for MUCH longer than 16 months, so don't feel bad :) How long did it take the door to dry before you could close it without fear of ruining the paint job? That seems to be my main hang up with getting it done. That and choosing colors!

Anonymous said...

Looks great hon. Those men are great guys giving it "their all". I'm glad I got to ztay in with my precious Adalyn. What a joy!

Anonymous said...

I love the idea for the new wreath. Can't wait to see what color you choose. Maybe I could make one for my door in Toledo.

Aimee said...

Your house is so beautiful! I love the colors your chose! We'll need to decide what color to paint our shutters sometime soon - such a hard decision! I love that our girls are so close in age! What a cutie you have on your hands!!

Murdock's mama said...

LOVE what you fresh & cute!! Great job!!