Y’all, the weather finally cooperated just enough for the exterior of my house to be painted!! They finished yesterday, and I was able to snap some pictures just before sunset.
I chose Sherwin Williams Mindful Gray as the main color, and Extra White (the base color right out of the can) for the trim. It looks a little lighter during the bright part of a sunny day (I’ll get more pictures on our next sunny day for comparison), but here’s how it looks just before sunset on a cloudy day…
I’m so excited to finally be seeing some serious progress on the exterior of the house!
Of course, it’s nowhere near finished. I’m just at the very beginning stages of making improvements to the exterior, and I feel like it’s finally to the “blank slate” stage so that I can even get started on turning this into what I envision in my head.
But it’s been a long road just getting it to this “blank slate” stage. And to fully appreciate it, you have to remember what this house looked like when we bought it. So let me show you a few “before” and “progress” pictures together.
Here’s how the garage and breakfast room windows looked when we bought the house.
The plants were all grown up and covering the windows, and the house was covered in vinyl siding in a very light yellowish antique white color.
And today, I have new windows in the breakfast room, as well as windows in my studio where the garage doors used to be. And that plant that I cut down is stubborn, as you can see. It’s growing back, so I need to figure out how to get rid of it for good.
Here’s the original view from the front left corner of the house…
This half of the house is covered in Austin stone, which had been painted long before we bought the house. It was also a yellowish antique white color that I’m assuming was chosen to match the siding, although it didn’t really.
The color difference seems very subtle, but I can tell you that it’s actually pretty significant. I took this picture during the painting process when they had painted the lower half of the stone in the new color, while the top half of the stone was still the original yellowish antique white color. This was taken on a bright sunny day, but you can still see just how yellowish the original color was compared to the new color.
And the whole house — stone and siding — had that old yellowish hue to it. I love yellow, but that aged, old yellowish tinge just isn’t a good look.
Here’s how the view from that angle looks today…
This side of the house has changed the least (so far) since it still has the old windows and the trim around these windows is significantly narrower than the new trim, and it’s made of metal. Hopefully we can get these windows replaced this year so they’ll match the ones on the other side of the house.
Here’s a straight on view of the whole house when we bought it. It was during the summer, so the trees were green and shading the front yard.
Our oak trees are bare right now, and we cut down the leaning (and dying) pecan tree.
And here’s a closer up view of the front porch area when we bought the house…
You’ll notice that I didn’t have them paint the porch columns. Those are old and very dry cedar columns that I’m pretty sure are original to the house. When the house was new, they were wrapped in the same stone that’s on the left of the house. Somewhere along the way, the stone was removed and the columns were left exposed to the elements. Anyway, they need to be replaced, and with them being so dry, they would have soaked up a lot of paint, which would have been a waste.
The front porch area is actually going to be a fun project that I’ll work on this year. I have big plans, starting with replacing the old columns and straightening out the roof edge on the porch so that it doesn’t sag in the middle like it does now. Since that wood (just at the edge of the roof above the porch) is still wrapped in the old aluminum cladding from the old siding, I have no idea why it’s sagging. Perhaps the main beam needs to be replaced, or maybe the column near the front door just needs to be taller to support that section of the roof to straighten out the sag. But whatever the problem, I plan to tackle that during the porch makeover this year. And at that time, I also plan to wrap the (new) wood columns, add some pretty moulding, give them a very traditional look, and paint them white.
This area has seen a big change, not only with the new siding, but also with the removal of the odd half stone wall on the side of the living room. That area made no sense to me, so I had them remove the stones…
…and replace it with siding. That left a little area that juts out just a bit above the windows, but I can live with that. I think it looks much better than a strange half stone wall.
And I think once I get all of my outdoor projects finished, including lots of pretty landscaping, perhaps a fountain in that small area, etc., no one will notice the little overhang above the windows.
Even though the front porch is far from finished, it still looks quite different now than it did the day we bought the house. Here’s a view of the before…
…and the current progress…
The front porch had not one, but two doors — the main front door and then a side door into Matt’s game room. But the thing I hated the most was how low the ceiling was, sitting just above the doors and windows.
They siding guys removed the vinyl siding, the original shiplap siding underneath, along with the horizontal supports (basically non-structural ceiling joists) that the low ceiling was attached to, and just left the angled rafters. I’ll be attaching the new tongue-and-groove ceiling boards directly to those rafters so that the new ceiling is angled and gives some breathing room above the door (singular…door…since I had them remove the other door and do siding on that wall) and windows.
But I can’t do that until I get my front porch light wired. I need to do that very soon, because with cold weather here, the squirrels have learned that they have very easy access into my attic right there. (There’s nothing but foam insulation above that top plate, which they can burrow through very easily.) So this is now a high priority project.
So I now have a blank slate, just waiting for me to add some character and curb appeal. After I tackle that one structural issue (the sag on the porch roof), it’ll be ready for some greenery, landscaping, shutters, window boxes, a trellis, and so much more that I’m excited to work on as soon as the weather gets nicer.
Oh, and I still have to finish that studio portico. That little thing still needs a “ceiling” and light installed. It’ll get done. It’s on my list. 🙂