Last fall we finally pulled the trigger and painted the exterior of our house which I shared a little with you all a month ago. This was a wish list project we dreamed about pretty much from day one of living here but Rome wasn’t built in a day. We teetered back and forth on how we would tackle it, what colors to choose and where they would all go. This was definitely a process for us, so I wanted to share how we made all these decisions and a few tricks we learned.
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First things first. I am all about DIY but this was not a DIY project. We did hire painters and are so glad we did. Could we have painted it ourselves? Probably, but there are some really tall parts on our house and for us it was about safety and time. They were in and out in a few days and we didn’t have to get on a ladder. For us, this was well worth it.
So why now? This question is two fold really. In addition to us never loving the exterior, last summer we had a big hail storm and were hit HARD. We had a fair amount of damage, needing a new roof, new sun tunnels, as well as some painting. Because we were getting a new roof and changing the color, we felt like it was the right time to address the house painting. This is what our house looked like before.
Now to decide on a color, right?! If you have been around for a while you know I am all about painting and generally not too afraid to choose the wrong color. The worst thing that can happen is you pick wrong and have to repaint. But in this case, we weren’t doing the work and if I hated it, there was not an easy solution. But we did a few things that really helped us be confident in our choices.
First, we decided what kind of look we really wanted. The original exterior colors were tired, dated and did not reflect our style at all. Not to mention we have always hated the orangey brick. I still remember when we first bought our house, we both said we wished the outside was cuter, haha! So we knew we wanted to make the house feel much more modern and paint that ugly brick! I mean, go big or go home, am I right? This was the look before they started painting the brick. We definitely got some concerned looks from the neighbors, haha!
The Color – Where to put what
I knew with certainty I wanted to go with a darker color. It just feels clean and modern to me. This was definitely a huge departure from other homes in our neighborhood, but we do not have an HOA and were doing this for us, as we have no intentions of moving. To help us decide on the placement of each color we used the Sherwin Williams Color Snap Visualizer tool. You just take a picture, upload it, and paint. This was a HUGE help! Originally we thought we wanted the brick to be dark and siding to be light. But once we saw the dark on top, we knew that was the way to go! Something to note. While the visualizer was great to help us decide where to put colors, the colors that come through on your screen are not necessarily an accurate representation of what they look like in real life. You need to see them outside where they will actually go. Here are a few of the mock ups we did with color snap.
The Color in Real Life
I cannot stress this enough. Do not pick your colors inside! They will not be inside. They will be outside. Daylight out in the sun and in the shade are different and need to be seen outside. We initially started narrowing down colors inside but when we took them outside they didn’t look that good. Lucky for us, we received a complimentary color consultation from our painters through Sherwin Williams. A gal came to our house, talked with us about what style and look we wanted and helped us choose the right colors. We narrowed it down and then got samples. We didn’t want to go gangbusters painting the exterior in samples, so I picked up some foam core boards and we painted those instead. This allowed us to see them in larger scale. We walked around the house with them holding them up in different light. This was pivotal. Once we felt pretty good about the colors, we tested some swatches behind the chimney. Ultimately, we chose Sherwin Williams Iron Ore for the top, Accessible Beige for the brick, and Lagoon for our front door.
Mixing things up a bit
The final big dilemma we faced was deciding on the sides and back. No matter what we chose, the front of the house has variation and both of the main colors would be seen. But the sides and back of our house are almost entirely siding. While we loved the idea of going dark and painting the top of the house basically black, the idea of painting the siding black under our covered patio, seemed like too much. But painting it Accessible Beige seemed too similar to what we already had. We played around with the color snap tool some more and decided to paint the sides of the house black, the chimney white, and just the bump out in the back of the house black. Yes, not all of our siding is the same color now, but we are ok with that. It gives the house better dimension and who says they all have to be the same? I should also mention, we have aluminum siding not vinyl.
In the end, we changed the roof from brown to black, painted most of the siding Iron Ore, painted the brick Accessible Beige, and painted our front door Lagoon. Our old vinyl shutters were also painted Accessible Beige, but some time in the future we hope to DIY some wood shutters. We are also toying with painting our retaining wall in the front. More to come on that later 😉
We could not be more happy with how our house painting turned out! I often see people drive by real slow or even stop in front of our house all together. I am not sure if people love it or hate it, but we have had a ton of compliments on it!
If you don’t already follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, I would love for us to be friends! Plus, I will also be sharing lots of behind the scenes in the next few weeks in my stories on our big project coming soon to the backyard. Spoiler alert, it might include a pool 😉
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