Front Exterior & Front Yard

My Freshly Painted House Exterior (Sherwin Williams Mindful Gray Exterior)

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!

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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…

And now…

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. 🙂



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48 Comments

  • Reply
    Guerrina
    January 16, 2018 at 9:51 am

    Amazing and perfect transformation!

  • Reply
    Theresa P
    January 16, 2018 at 10:02 am

    Although you have yet to tackle any of the “pretty” stuff, I’m sure you’re neighbors are already so excited about this! They might be as excited as you are. I can’t wait to see some outside projects.

    • Reply
      Mo
      January 16, 2018 at 10:13 am

      It looks great! And, Theresa, that’s exactly what I thought…bet the neighbors are as pleased as Kristie is!!!

    • Reply
      Chad
      January 16, 2018 at 7:56 pm

      As her neighbor I can tell you that I’m more jealous than pleased! Great job!

  • Reply
    Mrs Mike
    January 16, 2018 at 10:20 am

    What a wonderful transformation! Love the soft neutral pallet as any landscaping you put in will pop. And the studio looks like it was built with the house, a seamless transition. It’s really lovely.

  • Reply
    janpartist
    January 16, 2018 at 10:22 am

    Looks so nice. I like the overhang over the windows, it adds architectural interest. Don’t let those squirrels in!

  • Reply
    PML
    January 16, 2018 at 10:26 am

    It looks good! I can’t wait for one of your loyal readers to do a mock-up with the new windows and columns and all the other changes you plan to make. 🙂
    Also, there was a news piece in an area local to me about someone who put a VW beetle in their tree in their front yard. We went to drive by, and there was a lot of other people driving by. It got me wondering, do you have a lot of people driving by your house, just to get a glimpse? I know I would if I lived nearby. 🙂

    • Reply
      Teri
      January 16, 2018 at 10:57 am

      My thoughts exactly. I would definitely do a drive by, and whoever I’m with I would say with excitement, “I read her blog!” ❤️

    • Reply
      Kristi
      January 16, 2018 at 11:07 am

      Our street is pretty quiet most of the time, with relatively little traffic. But every once in a while I’ll see a slow driver staring as they pass by and wonder if they might be a reader. 😀 Just two days ago, a slow driver passed, staring at the house the whole time, then they turned around and passed by going the other way very slowly. Of course, the guys were here painting at the time, and they were more than halfway finished, so the driver was probably just checking out the paint job and the colors. Or maybe it was someone who lives nearby who was shocked and thrilled to finally see those big square paint samples gone from the front of my house so they needed another look. 😀

      • Reply
        Kimberly
        January 16, 2018 at 7:29 pm

        Kristi, isn’t it amazing what a profound transformation something as simple as paint can make? I swear it looks like a whole new house. Just beautiful, the color combination is very pretty, and very clean and put-together looking. And since you said it first, I’m going to go ahead and agree with you that your neighbors must also be amazed at the transformation, and probably pretty happy to have the sample paint squares gone LOL! 🙂

  • Reply
    Julie S
    January 16, 2018 at 10:31 am

    Oh, so much progress! I think it’s quite dramatic despite the lack of “fluffy” decor and landscaping. It all feels fresh and clean and cohesive now. You can charge ahead with the pretties very soon!

  • Reply
    Karen
    January 16, 2018 at 10:36 am

    Oh my, that house looks so wonderful now – crisp and clean and inviting and simply lovely! It would get all my decorating ideas going as it is such a highly inviting clean slate – I can only begin to guess how you are feeling right now 🙂 Fantastic colour choice, too! Looking forward to all the outdoor projects this year, as I hope to get inspired here by you, too!

  • Reply
    Tammy
    January 16, 2018 at 10:39 am

    Looks lovely..!! Can’t wait to see what amazing things you have planned for the curb appeal..!!

  • Reply
    Laurie
    January 16, 2018 at 10:43 am

    Oh wow, that looks 100% better! It’s really coming together now. The color is great–a nice warm neutral.

  • Reply
    Barbara H.
    January 16, 2018 at 10:46 am

    Great transformation! You made huge strides forward last year. Good job!

  • Reply
    Mark Tisdale
    January 16, 2018 at 10:54 am

    Looking very sharp!

    Those two little posts don’t seem like much for the length of that whole porch. I’m sure it depends on the size of the beam, but maybe that has something to do with the sag? Good luck getting to the bottom of it. Looking forward to the porch adventure whenever it comes!

    Mark

  • Reply
    Tammy
    January 16, 2018 at 11:08 am

    Love it! It’s looking fantastic!

  • Reply
    chiflipper
    January 16, 2018 at 11:09 am

    WOW! I am amazed at the impact of the new windows. The divided lights really show up with a black background. Have you considered lining your window coverings in black?

  • Reply
    Dori Garbutt
    January 16, 2018 at 11:28 am

    What an Amazing Difference! Good colour choice. The soft grey will allow the landscaping to shine.

  • Reply
    Sherre
    January 16, 2018 at 11:47 am

    I wanted so badly for Mindful Gray to work in my living room when I just repainted before Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, it looked way too purple in my north-facing, somewhat dark room. Looks fantastic on your house, it’s the perfect shade!

  • Reply
    Tracy
    January 16, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    I’m in love!

  • Reply
    Jill
    January 16, 2018 at 12:52 pm

    You just helped me with my decision to go from a large picture window with 2 small side windows to 3 evenly matched windows. So clean, crisp and uniform.
    The house is wonderful!

  • Reply
    dee
    January 16, 2018 at 1:11 pm

    Looks great. SW white right out of the can must be a well kept secret. You are the first blogger I have read that used it. Best choice I made on my new house for all the trim.

  • Reply
    Genelle McDaniel
    January 16, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    Those squirrels will chew on your new electrical wiring and cause shortages. Screen wire would help until you cover the openings. Or hire someone else to do it immediately.

    • Reply
      Marianne in Mo.
      January 16, 2018 at 2:16 pm

      Agree! My daughter was living in a rental in Wichita Falls, and there were squirrels in the attic. You could hear them running around and digging, etc. at night. We finally convinced my son in law he needed to deal with it, so he and my husband searched the entire perimeter for holes, and plugged them up with screening. A few days later the screening was pulled away again, so he got permission from the owners to hire an exterminator who trapped the stinkers and fixed the holes. He also told them they were chewing on wiring up there, so they also had to have that repaired. I told them I worried they would have a fire if they didn’t get this done. They soon got transferred to San Antonio and were very thankful to get out of that rodent filled house! ( they had mice too!)
      Kristi, loving the new look of the exterior! You got it done just before the bad weather came in!

  • Reply
    Sarah V.
    January 16, 2018 at 1:33 pm

    To get rid of a particularly stubborn mulberry tree, I cut it down, drilled holes in the stump, and poured in boiling water every day until it died within a week. For annoying plants, goats are incredible eaters who will clear any weeds, vines, bushes, or poison oak. You can hire goats on Craigslist. The house is looking good, Kristy!

  • Reply
    Sue
    January 16, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    I do like the fact that the whole house is cohesive color and the trim is bright white. Very clean and ready for some extra jazz with the porch and trim. I like the idea of a fountain in that little area outside your breakfast room. You might even consider a couple of small bench-type seats and flowers. My creative side came up with a couple of ideas for your porch for color but I’m waiting to see what you do as I’m sure it’ll be amazing. Woo Hoo! Another item off the list and it’s only January 16.

  • Reply
    Gaye Austin
    January 16, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    What a transformation! Looks great!

  • Reply
    Bettsi
    January 16, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    Beautiful transformation! I think your concrete will be very happy if you have it power washed in the spring. Oak tree debris, I’ve noticed, can really stain concrete. LOVE the color you chose!

  • Reply
    Joyce
    January 16, 2018 at 3:40 pm

    WHat are your plans for the porch floor and ramp?? I am just loving the painting and gives the house a whole new look for sure. House painting is on my list for this Spring. Living in Massachusettts makes it difficult to do at this time of year.

    • Reply
      Kristi
      January 16, 2018 at 4:07 pm

      I’ll be removing the ramp (or hiring that out since it’s solid concrete), and then the porch floor will be covered in wood and stained so it’ll look like a traditional stained wood porch. The I’ll wrap the columns, add decorative moulding for a traditional look, and paint them white.

      • Reply
        Debbie
        January 16, 2018 at 7:05 pm

        I’m just curious about removing the ramp since Matt is in a wheelchair. I know he doesn’t leave the house a lot , how would you get him in & out ? I’m sure there is times he goes to the Drs. & with your back & shoulder problems pulling him up & down steps will be hard. Then I remember the back door. Are you planning a ramp back there? May want that in before you take the other one out.

        • Reply
          Kristi
          January 16, 2018 at 9:01 pm

          We currently have a ramp from the music room doors to the back door of the sunroom. And once the carport is done, we’ll have a ramp from the back studio doors to the carport. Since that’s where I’ll park, there will be no need for a ramp in the front.

  • Reply
    Jeanie
    January 16, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    What a huge (and wonderful) difference!! It’s all coming together and it’s going to be awesome! One suggestion, after personal experience, is that you paint your house number on the curb in reflective paint. Makes a big difference in how easily a fire truck or ambulance can find you should the need arise (but hoping it never does 🙂

  • Reply
    Holly C
    January 16, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    Fantastic!!

  • Reply
    Rebecca B
    January 16, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    So much better and I will be excited to follow your progress as you re-do that yucky front porch! You are creative and I know that house will have so much more curb appeal when you get some work done on the outside. No one could guess how nice it is inside (partially) from how it looked outside. But it’s getting there! And no, I don’t even notice the overhang on the side.

  • Reply
    Gail Ebeling
    January 16, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    Beautiful and so exciting

  • Reply
    Elle
    January 16, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    Black plastic bag on the shrub will terminate it.

  • Reply
    Leslie Bonner
    January 16, 2018 at 10:59 pm

    Very lovely, a coat of paint really does wonders but then thrrr’s everything else you’ve done and plan to do. Amazing!

  • Reply
    Kate Hollingsworth
    January 16, 2018 at 11:33 pm

    The exterior is looking fantastic! I’m waiting to see what you do with your porch. Mine is very similar- long and narrow. I’ve lived here for a decade and I still don’t know how to decorate the porch! xx

  • Reply
    patty reed-pederson
    January 17, 2018 at 5:36 am

    Really looking amazing. Don’t know how you do it all. I’m exhausted for you. : )

  • Reply
    Kristi
    January 17, 2018 at 5:48 am

    Are you replacing the sidewalk and adding a driveway? For me that would do more than anything else you have planned. Or pavers.. that would be pretty too.

    • Reply
      Kristi
      January 17, 2018 at 7:25 am

      I don’t think I’ll be replacing the sidewalk but it will be getting a big makeover. And yes, we’ll be adding a driveway. I’d love to do a circular driveway in the front as well as a driveway that leads to the back where the carport will be, but that much concrete (or pavers) would be ridiculously expensive, so it might not work out.

  • Reply
    AinOakPark
    January 17, 2018 at 10:00 am

    The outside is a great color, and taking away all the construction bits and pieces also helped. (Construction mess is always a pain.) Seeing the progress/transformation must be so energizing!

  • Reply
    Sharon
    January 17, 2018 at 11:43 am

    It looks lovely! Such a big improvement, with all those little improvements, that are really not little because it’s been a lot of work along the way.

  • Reply
    Sharon C
    January 17, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    Kristi, simply, wow, your house looks like a new house with the exterior and trim all painted. Now your new windows really stand out and look amazing. It is all coming together so nicely and it will be a show stopper for sure when you redo the front porch, remove the ramp and add your Kristi curb appeal. What a fantastic way to start this year with this big job now done! So happy for you.

  • Reply
    Lexi
    January 17, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    This is gonna sound nuts and totally ignore this as a criticism but I think the stone throws me off because it’s a different texture so I feel like it should be a different color or maybe natural (sand blasting that would be a PITA though). Visually it’s a thing for me personally.

  • Reply
    Rebecca Neustel
    January 22, 2018 at 3:16 am

    If you had a way to get from the house to that little area outside the breakfast room, you could put a pergola there and have a small bistro area. I’ve noticed Joanna Gaines has done that to a couple houses in this season. I think your house really looks beautiful with the new paint scheme, and I can’t wait to see what you do with the porch and yard.

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