Happy Labor Day!! Dan and I are relaxing today, recovering from the birth of our new home. We are doing great. I did not need any stitches, and Dan did not faint. The house looks beautiful, and we couldn’t be prouder home owners.
The house is painted, and we are loving the face lift. SO glad we took the plunge and did it, and did not put it on the “if we are here for a few more years…” list. The house is still up for sale, and the market came to complete stop in mid July. A lot had happened over the summer, things we have yet to share, and this may be a good time to explain why we took the painting plunge!
In June we decided to list with a realtor and forfeit the for sale by owner route. Our home sold to a nice family in EIGHT days. Count it – nearly a week and it was off of the market. We were set to close/move July 23. We had four short weeks to get hunting for a home and pack up our lives and move on. We were thrilled. Contractors in and out, pricing different things the new buyers wanted but, everything was moving smoothly. They adored the home, and all they wanted from us was $$$$ to build an extended pad at the end of our driveway. We agreed, not because it was a violation, but because if it sealed the deal and made the process smoother, we were not going to argue over a few thousand dollars.
Two weeks prior to close, inspection day came. We were nervous. We knew we had done everything to bring this house up to code, and went above and beyond to maintain the home. THIRTY minutes before the inspector came, our realtor called and said that the inspection was cancelled, there was a hiccup in the buyers financing. We didn’t panic right away, because the banks are crazy now-a-days … we knew “hiccups” could be fixed. One insane week of emailing back and forth and waiting on the news if it was all going to be okay, we got word that there was no hope in fixing the issues that popped up with their financing, and the deal fell through.
Starting from scratch with selling the home was just a pain in the rear. For a few weeks following we were fairly swamped with showings. Cleaning a house, top to bottom, and trying to keep your kids busy was exhausting! Nothing worse than leaving your house for a few hours after a day full of scrubbing, to hear back “They LOVED your house! They just want a 4th bedroom”…. or “They LOVED everything, but wish there was more square footage”. We wonder why people look at houses when it doesn’t meet any of their criteria?
Then things just went completely stale. Interest rates went up, things just came to a stop. The summer buyers already made their purchases in May/June, and we knew we would be sitting for a bit. The only thing we could come up with that would improve the chances of selling our home was fixing the outside. Our pale white aluminum siding was in need of a new look. No power washer in the world could get er’ clean. It was a Thursday night when we decided to that we would grab samples the next morning and start painting. By Friday afternoon I tackled the front bottom of the house, and we were feeling great about what the house would turn out like. We had 2 days to get it done, so we needed to move FAST!
Lacking curb appeal can take a much bigger hit on the selling of your home than you may anticipate. Look above our door, and the bay window at the dark gray yuck that would never come off when washed. They were like permanent dark circles underneath the eyes of the windows. ICKY.
Pick a color, any color. No, really, I did. I purchased 7 samples. We both knew we wanted a shade of gray. Dan wanted a darker tone. We love the look of gray houses with black shutters. We did as we were told to do, and painted fairly large samples on the side of our house Friday morning.
Of course, paint swatches always look different once painted on a surface. And, exterior paint tends to show up a few shades lighter. There were light grays that looked purple in the sun, we had dusty grays that appeared hunter green in the shade. Colors we thought we would love, we cringed at once they were on the siding. Once our final color sample was on, we knew right away it was a winner.
BEHR’S Dark Granite, ultra exterior – satin finish was the one that stole our hearts. I’m glad I wrote “we’re halfway there” on this picture. I was so pumped I did that all by myself in a few hours, I thought the rest would be so smooth sailing. Then 86* weather with high humidity – zero babysitters – and a scissor lift later, I realized this project was a big one, and we were only a smidge there. We tried our best to paint where there was shade first, because the humidity was so high our paint was drying faster than normal. I wish we would have set up a video camera of us painting, because we were flying the entire weekend!
Here are the before pictures. Which feels like I am showing you dirty laundry. I will never buy a white house again. MARK MY WORDS.
I tackled the perimeter of the home on the bottom. Anything under 10 feet I was willing to touch. Anything else and my knees would have buckled out from under me. Dan was up high the entire time, and Papa John helped us finish the front top of the house which was a huge help!
The spiders during the painting of the house were one of the biggest hurdles to jump. I am usually a runner/screamer/vacuum grabber, suck them up, scream for husband when I see a spider personality. But, I did not have the time to be a sissy. These spiders were like suicide jumpers when the shadow of the paint brush came around, they jumped from their hiding spot so fast it gives me goose bumps to talk about it. I have never popped so many spiders with a paint brush in my life. It was super funny though to hear Dan and I squeal when a big one would make it’s way out. We were SO grossed out! Don’t worry – I let a few live. I do have a heart. If their web allowed them to make their way to the ground without the risk of crawling up my leg, they lived. I do have a soul.
NOW THE AFTER PICTURES!! MY FAVORITE!
The house is now a dark charcoal gray. We removed the front storm door (which was old junk) and gave the front door a fresh look with a gorgeous sea glass blue. (ENAMELWARE by Martha Stewart, color matched to BEHR) Dan did not like the door color at first, and as soon as it was “complete” he said he loved it. Momma was right! Spray painting the door handles/locks a clean crisp black really changed the entire look of the entrance of our home.
The brick on the foundation of our home now stands out, the gray compliments it so well. Where as before, it didn’t look nice at all. Even our landscaping stands out so much more. The bright greens against the gray is a nice contrast! We picked up some pretty fall mums for the front steps. This was a fun Home Depot trip for me, one of the 15 I made in one weekend.
The steps and front door have got to be my favorite part of the home now. The bay window stands out more, which is the best detail in our living room inside. So, I am glad the outside of the home now matches the feelings it gives you on the inside. We have had neighbors stop and complement our hard work, which was super sweet. We have had neighbors who have lived on the street for over 20+ years point on detailing on the house that they said they never noticed before until now.
We are SO happy we did it. And even more glad the blasting sun, squashing spiders, covered in paint, shaking on ladders days are over.
Here is the break down, on what it cost us to paint this home completely on our own in one weekend.
Cost of Paint:
- Samples: we lost track @ 7. No more than $35 was spent on samples. Seems like a lot, but would have cost a heck of a lot more if we chose the wrong color!
- TEN gallons of BEHR paint : $390
- ONE quart of BEHR paint for front door : $15
- Rustoleum spray paint for hardware : $7
- TOTAL COST FOR PAINT: $447 (excluding tax)
Cost of Supplies:
- New paint brushes : 3 for $50
- Renting a scissor lift for the weekend : $275
- TOTAL COST FOR SUPPLIES: $325
- Mums for front steps : $30
- New storm door to be installed : $123
- TOTAL FOR EXTRAS: $153
Over all cost of this project was $925
I am so glad we didn’t add in the cost of the amount of food we had to order in because we had ZERO time to cook!
SO, for a little over $1,000 if you were to of added in tax, we were able to get the job done. I am glad we did it ourselves, instead of paying a professional. However, if we did not have that scissor lift for added safety measures, I know we both wouldn’t have minded paying someone to do it.
DIY house painting … CHECK!
ENAMELWARE, MARTHA STEWART