Month: March 2015

Exterior | Paint It Black

The exterior of our house was painted brown and it’s not a color that we would have picked. The Hardie Siding is only a few years old and having the entire exterior re-painted would be pretty expensive so for now we’re living with the color and trying to add some of our personality and curb appeal in other ways.

To keep things consistent we decided that all of our window treatments in the front should match. Our favorite window treatments are plantation shutters and after having a set installed in our playroom/office we went ahead and ordered them for the rest of our front windows. The plantation shutters were a splurge but we think that they’re a good investment and they’ll definitely be enjoyed – we LOVE them and can’t wait to have the rest installed in a few weeks! In the meantime we’re living with paper shades and the window treatments left by the previous owners.

The wood shutters on the exterior of the house were painted white but we felt that there needed to be some contrast between the windows, the window frames and the exterior shutters. The trim of the house and our two front porches are also painted white. We love that the house has big windows and pretty porches but because everything but the siding was painted white nothing felt defined and everything was blending into each other. Choosing a color to compliment the brown siding was difficult so in the end we decided to keep things simple and go with black. We’re going to save pops of color for the front door, the landscaping and the porch decor.

The shutters were previously painted with Valspar paint (the leftover paint was in the garage) so we headed over to Lowe’s to choose a new color. We went with Valspar’s Reserve Paint + Primer with HydroChroma Technology in the color Lincoln Cottage Black/Satin Finish.

Before J started painting he power washed all of the shutters and then gave them a quick blow dry with his shop vac. Once the shutters were completely dry he was able to start painting them. We thought it would be an afternoon project but it ended up taking about two full days for J to apply 2 coats of paint to all of the shutters without my help.

Prepping and Painting Shutters

Painting the shutters started a chain reaction and we ended up pulling out some landscaping that we’ve been wanting to replace (a friend scored a bunch of blue agave) and we removed the corbels from the front porches for a cleaner look.

Here’s a peek at the difference between white and black shutters. Painting the shutters definitely gives the windows more definition and it helps the front porches stand out instead of blending in.

Painting Shutters

Next up will be the landscaping. We started scouting the neighborhood and the local nursery to get some ideas and we’re set on painting the front door a fun color. Can you guess what color I’m thinking? In a few weeks we can say goodbye to the paper shades & curtains and all of our front windows will have plantation shutters installed. Yay!

We’re hoping that as the spring turns to summer all of these changes will help improve the curb appeal of the house. I’m most excited to paint the front door and accessorize the porch. Patience is a virtue right? 

So has Spring gotten you in the mood for outdoor projects too?

Master Bedroom |Prep & Paint

Things have been pretty busy around here! Over the last few weeks J has spent most of his free time working in the backyard, moving a butterfly garden and assembling a swing set for our daughter’s 3rd birthday. I was busy with birthday party planning and now doctor appointments as we prepare for baby #2 who is set to arrive in 2 weeks. Our weekends have been jam packed and this weekend we started yet another project – painting the exterior shutters of our house! We’ll have plenty to share from our outdoor projects but for now let’s talk about our master bedroom.

When we first laid eyes on our home we fell in love with all of the main living areas. The house had a lot of character and charm and we were quickly able to see the potential there was for us to turn the place into our dream home. Unfortunately the master bedroom didn’t leave us with the same impression and walking into the master bathroom was even more disappointing. Eventually the master bathroom will need a professional renovation. We’re using the space as storage in the meantime and to be frank, I like to pretend that the bathroom doesn’t exist…for now :)

Even though the master suite didn’t leave us jumping for joy there were still pros like the crown molding and the french doors. It’s not a huge room but the master bedroom is larger than our last one so that was a plus as well. We’re pretty sure that the master suite (especially the original master bathroom complete with carpeting) was a huge turnoff to other buyers. In time we hope to transform these two spaces into our favorite rooms in the house.

The Master Bedroom:l499be044-c8o

The Master Bathroom (yikes!!!)l499be044-c9o

J’s Dad actually started this project for us by removing the chair railing in the bedroom. That alone was a great improvement as the ceilings instantly appeared taller once it was removed. After its removal the walls needed A LOT of spackle and a thorough sanding. The crown molding, door frames and french doors also needed to be sanded as well to prep them for priming. We used the same method as the rest of the house for sanding and cleaning all of the wood surfaces (sand with medium grit sandpaper, Krud Kutter Degreaser followed by Krud Kutter Gloss Off). Once all of the wood trim and walls were prepped everything was primed with Kilz Premium No Voc Primer.

Master Bedroom Primer

After priming we realized how badly the ceiling needed a fresh coat of paint (it was casting pink) so J applied two coats of Benjamin Moore Natura in Simply White/Flat Finish.

We chose Benjamin Moore’s Natura in Gray Owl/Flat Finish for the walls and Benjamin Moore’s Natura Simply White/Semi Gloss Finish for the trim.



After everything was primed and painted the bedroom looked like this:



As much as we would have LOVED to rip up all of the carpeting in the house we don’t have the money or time to replace all of the flooring right now. We decided it would be best for us to leave the carpeted areas alone until we could either afford to match the existing hardwood in the rest of the house or find carpeting that we really like.

We left the original baseboards in place while we painted. After the room was painted the old baseboards were removed and replaced with new 7 inch baseboards that matched the base molding in the rest of the house. We were lucky to find the matching profile at Lowe’s. J cut the baseboard using his Craftsman Miter/Chop Saw. Once everything was cut to size, J’s Dad applied a coat of Benjamin Moore’s Natura in Simply White/Semi Gloss. Once the first coat of paint dried the baseboards were installed, caulked and given a quick final coat of paint. I’ve always loved high baseboards so even though the carpet had to stay I was a happy duck.

7%22 Baseboard

We also installed a new ceiling fan. A little bit of function over fashion.

After weeks of airing out it was finally time to move in our bedroom furniture! We moved in our king size bedroom set, nightstands and armoire and hung up a pair of extra curtains that we had for privacy at night. Our bedroom furniture, lamps and bedding are all from our townhouse.

Master Bedroom Gray Owl

Just like the other rooms in the house, painting has really transformed the look and feel of the bedroom. I’m bound to say it 100 times but it’s really amazing what good prep work and a few cans of paint can do! I can’t even remember what the bedroom used to look like. There’s still much to be done in the bedroom (and the rest of the house!) but thanks to J and his Dad we’re off to a pretty good start.