If you’re popping over from Apartment Therapy, welcome! A few other posts you may be interested in: our paint selection process, the evolution of our front yard and backyard, and progress on our front porch since having the house painted. Thanks for stopping by!
It’s done! The house is painted! Our ugly duckling has really come into her own. Here’s what the house looked like shortly before the painters arrived.
Not bad, eh?
When I last told you about painting, we were eight samples deep in our quest for the perfect gray and crossing our fingers for lucky number nine. Nope, we made it to 12 before we decided on Sherwin Williams’ Classic French Gray. Here’s our meandering path through graydom.
For the record, Classic French Gray was #11. I did start to worry that we’d paint the whole place in a patchwork of not-quite-right grays, but I’m so glad we persevered (largely at Hubby’s urging) because we are 100% happy with the color. Colors, actually; we love the doors, trim, and accents, too. Couldn’t be happier. But I guess that’s what 100% means, right? (Btw, the doors are Sherwin Williams’ Citrus.)
Blah, blah, blah…Let’s look at a few more pictures.
Front door before:
Front door after:
Above back door before:
Above back door after:
Back porch before:
Back porch after:
110 + neighbors, before:
110 + neighbors, after:
And here’s how it all went down…
The job took two days; two long days, with the crew working 7:30 am to 6:30 pm. They actually showed up at 7:25 the first morning, but I saw them waiting in their van until the planned arrival time of 7:30. So polite.
The first part of day one was spent scraping then vacuuming the brick. Yes, vacuuming it.
Next step: primer (which they’ve already started in the picture above). Both primer and paint were applied to the brick with rollers and brushes; mostly rollers. I originally thought they’d spray it, but the owner of the paint company explained that spraying wouldn’t achieve adequate coverage on the varied brick surface. It just wouldn’t get into all the crevices and such. Phew, that saved me from the please-don’t-accidentally-spray-our-neighbors’-houses anxiety attacks that I anticipated having.
When the primer went on this all became REAL. It was tinted to 75% of the paint color…
…so it made for a pretty decent preview…so I nearly peed myself with excitement when I came out to peek at this progress.
Speaking of almost peeing myself, check out this ladder action:
Whoa. The painters were nonchalant about working up there (of course), but I was nerrrrrvous on their behalf. I tell you, I could not have handled seeing the father of my children way up there. Or the father of myself, who might have offered to help if we went the DIY route.
You can see they just dropped simple tape lines to keep an edge between our house and our neighbors’ houses. They suggested asking our neighbor if we could paint the whole chimney, but that seemed pretty audacious to me. And I don’t think it looks all that weird to have the shared chimney half painted. (But that could have something to do with these
gray & yellow rose colored glasses I’m rocking.)
At the end of day one, the crew had the house scraped, primed, and caulked. (I was surprised to learn that filling holes came after primer.) They had one coat of paint on each door, and they also started repairing the front door frame.
I know it doesn’t sound like much, but fixing the door frame is probably one of my favorite parts of this whole job. It had been irking me since we removed the storm door shortly after moving in. We never tore off the storm door’s metal frame since we weren’t ready to deal with fixing the door casing, and it just looked terrible. But now…
…ah, much better! I was also pleasantly surprised that the painters fixed the dents in our front door! (More on those here.)
Apparently Bondo is a bit of a miracle product. It was the secret to achieving a smooth finish for both the door casing and on the door itself. Bondo. Who knew? (By the way, I haven’t decided on permanent house numbers; these are temporary.)
Day two of the job entailed two coats of paint for the brick, a final coat for the doors, and painting the window frames, accents, back porch, and railings. It also entailed excitement, happy dances, and huge grins. Because, well, we’ve come a long way…
In terms of disrupting our lives, the painting process was a breeze. We lucked out with gorgeous weather. There was no threat of rain to delay work, and it was cool enough to tolerate the lack of AC while the doors were open.
I’m sure the crew didn’t mind the cool temps either. Can you imagine being cooked between a dark brick wall and the blazing sun all day? Reason #4000 that we’re happy we hired this job out.
In fact, let’s discuss that for a moment. It took a four-man crew two ten-hour days to get this done. That’s 80 man hours. Eighty professional man hours. Since we’d only be able to have one adult painting at a time, that would have taken us eight straight ten-hour days. At best. But you figure we’d add plenty of “amateur hours” on account of our DIY brick painting novicehood. My experience from applying twelve paint samples (12!) suggests that painting brick is a pain; all the nooks and crannies and the super paint-absorption power, ugh.
So we are very happy we hired it out. And I’ll just put this out there since I always wish people would: all this professional fabulousness only cost $2600. That’s not nothing, especially for something cosmetic, but I really think it was a screaming deal. (If you’re in Northern Virginia, I’d definitely recommend Solutions Painting.) Besides — dangerous thinking alert — I do think it will help us at resale time. Most importantly, WE LOVE IT!
I did a quick calculation, and (as predicted) the house looks 1000 times better. That’s math, folks, and math doesn’t lie.
P.S. – You may notice that the front porch and steps still look a little sad. Don’t worry, we have plans. In fact, we have a permit. Stay tuned… (Update: see progress here!)