This project has been a long time coming and it makes me so happy to be able to finally share it with you! We are busy prepping for baby's arrival in July, and wanted to knock out a few house projects before she arrives. Painting our brick house exterior has been #1 on my list of to-dos for a year now, but along the way we discovered some things that had to be done first to prep the house for paint...it's been a long process!
Our cutie 1955 ranch style house still has a ways to go as I transform it into a quaint cottage exterior, but I am so pleased to be making progress! We've done a few projects inside over the last year to hold us over until we decide what we want to do for our larger renovations. Our kitchen epoxy counters, DIY bathroom makeover, entryway update, and office makeover have kept us happy for the last year, but now it's time to bring out the big guns ;)
I wanted to share all of this on Instagram, but the details started to pile up, and I wanted to be able to share more photos, etc., so a blog post it is!
Here's what we started with. A blah house exterior...I built my garden in the backyard, and added a few garden beds in the back, but other than that, we haven't done much landscaping in the front or side yards because we wanted to paint first. A little sad looking, but that's what we wanted to fix! :)
The big issue that we ran into once we started getting paint quotes was that our roofline along the gutters looked really "saggy"...especially on the corner of the front porch. Somewhere along the way, a previous homeowner had decided to add vinyl siding to the soffit (underside of the roof/gutter area) and it brought the roofline DOWN about 12-18 inches. Here's a closer photo of the siding...terrible. It was probably the same DIY homeowner who thought he could install doors and windows on his own *insert eye roll* so we'll be paying for those upgrades next year. Thanks, bro. (lol)
When we started talking to painters about the project, they couldn't give us a real quote because they didn't know what was underneath the siding. They said it could be rotted wood that would need to be replaced ($$$) or it could be fine. Quotes were all over the place, so we finally decided that before paint, we needed to rip out all of the soffit siding (ugh!). We did an exploratory mission (with a kind neighbor who helped us) and discovered that it didn't look too bad under there! (praise the Lord!). We decided that we had to bite the bullet and remove all of the siding, so we hired a team to remove it all and were pleasantly surprised at what we found.
We removed the gutters, soffit, and siding and here's what was waiting for us..."ribs!" This style of roof basically leaves the end of the beam exposed underneath the roof. LOOK how much higher the roofline looks already! After we ripped all of this down, I was thrilled and kept telling everyone that it looked way better already! They thought I was crazy, because we also had this...
NAILS! A lot of them. I drew a white line where the old siding came down...look how much height we added! I was shook! Whoever we hired to paint was also going to get the exciting just of cutting off each of those individual nails.
We also removed the siding that was around the bay windows. The wood looked pretty scary, but overall, was in decent shape. When we replace these windows, we'll also rip out and replace this wood surround.
We also had some major demo happening on our garage. Here's what was underneath all of the vinyl siding that covered our garage....shiplap! We had a few pieces repaired, holes filled, etc., and it looks so good now!
After demo, it was time for me to make my final paint color selection. I knew I wanted a warm white; I see so many white houses that are way too white, too cool, or just sooo bright. I was feeling the pressure to get this decision right! I selected a few whites from Sherwin Williams that I thought were "warm enough" but the girl working advised me to go darker because outside everything looks so much brighter. Thankfully, I listened! I grabbed a few paint samples and painted my squares. The far right is "Panda White" and that's what we went with. I left the samples up for a few days, going out to stare at them at different times during the day and in different light. TBH, they all looked so similar! When painting white outside, definitely go a few shades darker than you think you want and test that sample against your others.
After the paint selection was made, it was time to replace the iron column with a cedar post on our front porch and I can't believe the transformation!
Wow. Remember our helpful neighbor (the same one who helped us when we had a pipe burst in the garage back in December)...he built this for us. Like, come on...thank you Lord for good neighbors! After the cedar column went in, we were ready to prime and paint!
Looking so much better already! In my head, I thought this would be an easy project and that the painters would take care of everything, but turns out....supervising contractors is a full-time job, hence the reason for General Contractors ;) I would go outside throughout the day to take photos and make sue everything was looking good. I had to call out quite a few things that had been overlooked...a missed nail, an incomplete item that we had already discussed being done, etc. It took quite a bite of time!
Overall, it looks so much better, but it took quite a bit of work to get here and there is still more to do.
If you're thinking about tackling this project, here are a few tips to keep in mind before you paint your brick:
- make sure there are no other "small" improvements that you need to make to the structure
- test your paint colors outside
- create a digital mockup of your desired finished result
I can't wait to show you the full before/after with landscaping, light fixtures, and all the fun things.