Has anyone been wondering when the heck we were going to finally paint our shutters and front door? Well, my friends – that day has come! Let’s begin by seeing what our little abode used to look like…
Red shutters, red door, red porch – are you sensing a theme here? This whole shebang started last spring when a windstorm blew one of our shutters off. I initially wanted to replace them with wood shutters, but they weren’t affordable unless we built them ourselves (like my friend Lauren’s husband did).
I did what I usually do when picking paint colors – spend way too many hours on Pinterest. I decided on Benjamin Moore’s ashley gray for the shutters and wythe blue for the door. Don’t be jealous of my awesome painting clothes:)
I brought my paint swatches to Lowe’s and had them color match them using Olympic zero VOC paint. I ended up taking the paint back to Lowe’s and having it re-tinted 2 shades darker because it looked like almost a champagne color and blended in with the stone. All we needed now was a door that popped!
I wiped down the door, sanded it, filled in the holes with this zero VOC lightweight spackle (which I love), and taped off the handles. I just got a $3 paint sample for the door and a pint of exterior paint for the shutters.
2 coats later (I rarely prime because of my lack of patience), I had my soft turquoise blue door. Oh how I love this door, let me count the ways! Ben even keeps commenting about how much he likes it (which is a BIG deal). We plan on replacing the hardware and door kick with brushed nickel.
Here it is with the muddy gray shutters – a perfect match! Please ignore the red porch (thankfully our doormat has both blue and red and disguises it well). Ben suggested we get an all-glass outer door so the blue will pop even more since we planned on replacing the security door anyway.
At first it was so weird seeing the shutters and door a different color. I didn’t realize how much the red brought out the reds in the stone until now. Overall, I love the new look and am shocked at how much paint can make a difference!
The pair of vinyl shutters were $40 and the paint and supplies were $20, so it was about a $60 weekend project. What do y’all think? Anyone else have any weekend projects to share? Who else likes blue doors and they cannot lie?
My man decided to fix our fence this week when the heat index was around 115 degrees every day! He said something about needing to do some hard labor after being at his cozy desk job. Yep, he’s kind of a big deal.
We forgot to take a before pic of the fence leaning and being held up by ropes, so this was the best one I could find. You can see in the background the section that was starting to lean. After several strong wind storms, it had taken a beating and at one point had completely fallen down.
Ben researched online how to do this himself and decided to replace two posts that were rotted out at the bottom. Sounds simple enough, right? 4 days and 4 trips to Home Depot/Ace Hardware later, he thought otherwise.
First, he had to dig up the old posts and concrete which he pulled off like He-Man. Then he poured in gravel (for better drainage), set the post in the hole where the previous one had been and set it with ready-mix concrete. You then let the posts set for 24 hrs. before putting the fence back up.
Look at that manly man! Ok, back to the tutorial. You can see here how he even set a leveling string between the existing posts to make sure it was around the same height as the others. We also purchased a bright orange fence leveler thingy (this is what happens when I blog about Ben’s projects).
Around 11 p.m. that night while laying in bed he was thinking that the project seemed a little too easy. Then a thought crossed his mind, “I wonder if I should have measured the distance between the posts to make sure they line up with the fence?” Dun dun dun…
Unfortunately, he was dead on and the fence did not line up where it needed to with the new posts. He proceeded to dig up one of the posts and concrete and start from scratch. This time,
his pretty princess who doesn’t like to sweat I helped him hold the fence up to make sure it matched up before setting the post.
After letting it set for 24 hrs. again, all that was left was to reattach the fence to the posts. Ben opted for heavy duty screws rather than nails.
Here’s the final result – that part of the fence ain’t going anywhere for a long time! You can see the two dirt areas where the new posts are located. I couldn’t be more proud of Ben for tackling this project himself and saving us tons of money after the estimate we saw!
So what do y’all think about all of
our Ben’s hard work? Anyone else attempt to fix or build a fence themselves? What is the most frustrating home improvement project you’ve ever tackled?
Oh the adventures we’ve had this Memorial Day weekend! We FINALLY decided on the perfect paint color (Benjamin Moore Coastal Path) for the master only to have the Lowe’s guy burst our bubble. Apparently, the colorants needed to create that color would cause there to be too much paint in the Olympic paint can. Plan B was a trip to Ace Hardware while crossing our fingers that the BM paint would be on sale this weekend – no such luck! There’s no way we were paying $50 vs. $23/gallon on paint, so back to square one.
Plan C was giving up on the wall color and focusing on painting the trim in our house from ugly beige to semi-gloss white. Why are we going to all the trouble of doing this? Well, besides it making our crown/foot molding really POP it would look really bad next to all the white air duct vents we’ve replaced. It makes a huge difference and just gives the whole house a crisp look.
Oh, and here are the remains of the trees/brush Ben spent hours chopping down in our backyard yesterday. I knew we needed to do some major trimming before putting the house on the market so it wouldn’t look like a forest. I, however, was NOT prepared for the new view Ben opened up to our neighbor’s yard.
Spare tires, trash cans and falling-down tents are a home stager’s nightmare! There were words and more words about whether or not Ben had single-handedly brought down our property value with every hack of his saw. Now our options are to politely ask our neighbors to clean up their yard OR to buy large plants of some kind to replace what Ben cut down – ugh!
That pretty much sums up our
productive frustrating weekend. As upset as I was about the new backyard view fiasco, I couldn’t really say much since Ben spent hours and hours painting trim and I have yet to pick up a paint brush (blush). Anyone else have paint matching problems, or better yet solutions? How about having “the talk” (no birds or bees involved) with your neighbors about cleaning up their stuff so you can have house showings?
Saturday morning at our weekly Panera breakfast, we debated whether to paint a room or clean out the front garden. The weather choose for us because it was beautiful – it would have been a sin to stay indoors. This didn’t seem quite as crazy for my hubby because the yard is his domain, but I definitely felt outside of my comfort zone. This is what we started with…We began by pruning our crape myrtle to the far right. I hadn’t grabbed the camera yet, but it had grown higher than the gutters. Ben researched this online and decided on this method of pruning 6″ above the knuckles.Next up was taking Old Man Winter OUT of our garden. I raked the leaves and debris while hubby did the hard task of de-weeding.Notice how you can’t even really tell where the yard stops and the garden begins? There was a black rubber divider that used to section it off, but it definitely wasn’t doing its job.After cleaning out the bed, we took a fun trip to Home Depot to brainstorm on a better solution to a garden divider. These stones were 99 cents a piece and we ended up needing 54 of them (plus a couple extra just in case one breaks). We also bought 5 bags of black mulch to build the garden up and make it pop.Look at that beautifully sectioned off garden! It will have some color once the daylilies, gladiolus, and crape myrtle bloom. Last year we attempted to plant some more flowers, but the clay in our soil sucked the life out of them.Here’s a close-up of how much of a difference the stones and mulch make. I also raked 3 bags worth of leaves from the side of our house which is where I discovered a secret compost pile we didn’t even know about – gross! It took us most of the afternoon, but was well worth all our hard labor.
Before we did anything, I had Ben walk across the street with me so that we could really look at the curb appeal (or lack thereof) of our house. We often neglect the very first thing potential home buyers see. We’re too busy pulling into our garages day in and day out to really notice. No matter how nice your house is on the inside, they may never step inside your front door if the curb appeal isn’t up to par. It’s a great place to start if you’re thinking of listing your home!
There was no dramatic paint reveal at the end of the weekend, but it sure felt good to get some dirt underneath my fingernails. Thanks to some Home Depot gift cards hubby got for x-mas, the entire project only cost us $2.25 (it would have been around $80). Who else out there has put their green thumb to use this spring? What low budget fixes have you done to enhance your curb appeal? How many of you are wondering if I actually did any work or just sat on the sidelines with the camera?