A Big House Change, Darling

benjamin moore whites and blues
This fall we got ourselves a surprise gift: we painted the house! Here’s a reminder of what it looked like last spring when we bought it.

2013-05-06 new house

Well, “we” didn’t paint the house, we paid some very skilled painters to come by and two weeks later we had a lovely painted house. Adam wanted to but it was a good thing he didn’t for two reasons:

  1. He didn’t have any more vacation days to take to paint it, these types of projects are best done all at once when possible.
  2. His wife didn’t want him falling off a ladder.

jen darling house paint colors

When we were picking out colors we wanted something that would be clean and neutral without changing the colors of our house dramatically. We also wanted to stand out from our white house and blue house next door neighbors.

We bought our paint from Lowe’s in Delaware (no sales tax!) and used Valspar’s Reserve Outdoor Paint + Primer in a satin sheen. We used Benjamin Moore’s Stone Harbor gray and Home Depot’s Liberty blue. It isn’t one of the colors up on the door in the photo above, but we’re very happy with it. It’s a friendly blue that’s between trendy and classic. For the trim we picked out a creamy cloud white from the options on the Whites brochure at Lowe’s.

Considering we didn’t test paint at all the house came out pretty darn well. But first there was a lot of prep work to do.

The painting crew power washed the garage and the house. We had a lot of paint come off the house, I’m pretty sure it hasn’t been painted since 1948.


The green doors on the garage got a coat of primer. Then all of a sudden… Bye bye green doors! Hello pretty blue doors and fresh warm gray paint!


You can see our old green doors and how much of the paint needed to come off.

We had a few days of rain that slowed down the painting progress, as well as going through a lot more paint than we anticipated. Our painters estimated one gallon of blue, one gallon of primer and 5 gallons of gray. After going through 10 gallons of paint on the brick on the house, we had the painters put primer on the chimney before painting it. The brick sucked up the paint like a kindergartener with a popsicle on a summer day.

Adam also decided to work on the really embarrassing overhang on one of the side doors before it gets too cold outside at the same time. That will come more in another post.

2014-11-09 house painted 2014-11-09 16 house painted 22014-11-09 16 house back painted

It looks so great y’all, seriously. The green mould is gone from everywhere. The chipping paint is no longer an issue for my ADD. And the whole house is one color which I was certain wouldn’t happen without putting siding up over the brick.

So what was the total damage?

  • Painting team: $2400 plus $150 tip.
  • Paint: 15 gallons total, costing approximately $1000.
  • Broken bones/ladders: none.
  • Happy homeowners: two.

We originally thought this project would end up going last, but we are so happy we decided to get it done now. Even with all of the other work that needs to be done our house feels so much fresher. Hopefully you all like it too!

A photo posted by Jen Nelson (@jkhnelson) on

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