Paint Sprayers, Painting Stone & Exterior Paint Colors

Y’all, I can quite confidently say that my dining room walls (and ceiling) will be finished this weekend. I finished up every last bit of caulking on Thursday, and then started priming…with a brush. After about five minutes, I realized that would take me approximately four days just to get one coat done, so broke out my awesome Critter paint sprayer*. But, as I’ve cautioned you, that sprayer is NOT for painting walls. It’s great for small projects, and it’s what I used to paint my kitchen cabinets, with beautiful results. But it just doesn’t cut it for walls. So I headed to Home Depot and picked up this sprayer — the Wagner Flexio 590*.

wagner flexio 590 paint sprayer

Oh, how I love this sprayer!! I chose this one because it comes with two nozzles (one for general spraying, and one for finer detail spraying, such as painting a piece of furniture). It made such quick work of priming and painting. And it’s incredibly easy to use. I’m not much of one for reading instructions (my motto is, “When all else fails, then read the instructions”), but everything on this is pretty self-explanatory, so I was able to take it right out of the box, put it together, fill the paint cup, and start using it within about 10 minutes.

When I first pressed the trigger, I got a horrible orange peel look with the paint, and I’ve worked so hard to get my walls perfectly smooth, so that wasn’t going to work. But after making some adjustments (you can adjust the spray pattern to make it horizontal or vertical, you can adjust the width of the spray, you can adjust the amount of air flow, and you can adjust the amount of paint flow), it was perfect.

I did all of the priming on Thursday, and that took about two hours just because I was still trying to get used to the sprayer. But then yesterday morning, I did the first coat of paint, and it took me about an hour and a half to do the entire 24′ x 14′ room. If I didn’t have alllll of that moulding to paint around, I’m sure it would have taken much less time.

After the first coat dried thoroughly, I sanded all of the walls with 150-grit sandpaper (yes, I’m really serious about wanting smooth walls 🙂 ), and then sprayed my final coat. So I got both coats painted, and I also got my ceiling painted. Today (and probably tomorrow) I need to paint all of the moulding, baseboards, and crown. And I won’t keep you in suspense until Monday…I went with white. White everything. White ceiling, white walls. But I decided to paint the walls in a flat sheen, and I’m going to go back and do all of the trim, moulding, and the fireplace in semi-gloss just to give those things some dimension. That’s what I’ll be doing today (and probably all weekend).

But now that I have my handy dandy sprayer that makes such quick and easy work of painting, I’m kind of rethinking my idea of painting the exterior of my house. I know it wouldn’t be super quick or easy, but I think it would be doable. And I think a fresh coat of paint would make me so much happier with the exterior of my house until we can afford our big redo.

So I’ve been looking at, and dreaming about, exterior colors.

If I could choose any color for my house, it would probably be yellow.

yellow house exterior, from The Lettered Cottage Facebook pagevia The Lettered Cottage Facebook page

Yellow houses just seem so happy. And apparently I’m not the only one who thinks so. I’ve read throughout the years that yellow houses (like this pale yellow…not bright or harsh yellow) actually sell faster.

And if my house was all siding, or siding and brick, I wouldn’t hesitate. But I don’t have brick. I have stone. I don’t have a newer picture from this angle without the big bushes in front, but you can see that the entire left side of the house, plus the left half of the front of the house, is Austin stone. Unfortunately, it had been painted before we bought the house, so that’s not the natural stone color. But it IS real stone.

Painting brick just about any color has become pretty acceptable, but I don’t really think I’ve seen any stone houses painted a non-neutral color. Actually, to be quite honest, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a painted stone house. So perhaps I shouldn’t let that enter into my decision making since I’m pretty much doing something that’s not really accepted practice anyway. There’s really not much difference between painting Austin stone a neutral color, and painting it yellow, right? Either way, it’s not going to look natural. Maybe I should just go for it. 🙂

If I chicken out on the yellow, but still want color, green is always safe. There’s no such thing (to my knowledge) as green Austin stone, so it will still look completely unnatural, but green is nature’s neutral, so I think if I chose something like this, it would work.

But on the other hand, I’m putting so much green inside my house that I’d kind of like something different outside. Green is my favorite color, but even I can get too much of it.

Of course, the safe choice would be to go with a true neutral.

I’ve never seen Austin stone in that color either, but just being a neutral color would make it look more natural. My issue is that I love the way that that looks on that particular house, but I have a hard time getting excited about a neutral color like that on my house.

This is nice as well…

But same thing. I think it’s a beautiful color combo on someone else’s house, but I can’t get excited about it on mine.

The problem is that this is one of those situations where I saw an idea (the yellow house) that really made me happy and excited, and now everything else pales in comparison. I imagine myself driving up to a pale yellow house with bright white trim, and just wanting to sit and look at it for a while with a big ole smile on my face. I can’t imagine another color having that effect on me. BUT…then there’s that darned Austin stone.

So I’m in a quandary. Since the stone is already painted, and that bell cannot be unrung (I’m absolutely NOT willing to sandblast that stone to get it back to it’s original color), and since any solid-color Austin stone is going to look unnatural anyway, should that even affect my paint color decision? I’m tempted to try it. Since I’ve decided to paint it anyway, I can try the yellow in a section, and then paint over it if it doesn’t work, right?

I’ve never painted a house exterior before. I’m excited about the possibility, but also really nervous about it, for some reason. 😀



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  1. You were thinking of getting rid of stone eventually right? If so, paint it whatever color you want. Pale yellow is such a pretty color, and you could put a soft white on the stone.

    1. Yes, I eventually want it all gone. I’d like to have just siding on the whole thing. New siding, of course. Not the vinyl stuff I have now. 🙂

      1. Tbh, a light yellow seems more like white (and therefore stone) than green to me. Just go for it, I’d say. It’s already painted anyway!

        Can’t wait to see your living room.

      2. Hi Kristi,
        That first picture of the yellow house is the same picture I have been saving for my house colors. Our house is a yellowy/cream color already….. But, it’s ALL VINYL SIDING. I want the white trim and tin roof. I just saw an ad that Home Depot (I think it was HD) has a new paint for vinyl siding. Maybe you could paint your siding along with the Austin stone.
        Can’t wait to see your finished dining room (I’m still curious…..anymore progress on your niece’s room?)

        1. Oh, I definitely plan to paint my siding. 🙂 Both Sherwin Williams and Behr have paints that will work on vinyl siding. Right now Sherwin Williams’ paint is 30% off, so I’m hoping to decide on a color before their sake is over.

          I handed my niece’s room over to my mom and niece. I’ll share progress as there’s progress to share.

  2. Paint it! I just don’t think it is going to be a big issue, and I LOVE the first picture, with the yellow and white.

  3. That’s the color scheme I picked for my old 100+ year old house. It looked wonderful. Then I had to move, and chose a newer house that needs to be repainted. I know I won’t choose the neutral color it is now, but was afraid the colors wouldn’t work with all the neutral colors in the area. Then one day I saw a house not too far from me in the exact colors of my old home, and it looked wonderful!
    Long story short, as soon as I can afford it (dang medical bills) I’ll have my yellow and white house.
    In other words, I love the yellow. You can always paint the door green. Lol

  4. Painted stone is not that uncommon, especially in Europe. Look at the huge stone building Charles and Carmella designed in Wales then painted white with robin egg blue trim. Really pretty!

    1. I agree with Pam, and I do remember seeing painted stone houses in England and Germany when I visited there that were painted white or neutral. I grew up in the Carribean, where wood and plaster homes are more well-known, but there were certainly stone houses that were painted as well, and those were painted bright blues or pinks and they looked fantastic. Go for yellow if that’s what you want!

        1. It’s looks great but it’s a tinted lime wash over limed stone, not paint. I’m not sure how you’d get the subtle color variation with paint but I think it shows that a very soft yellow paint wouldn’t be as bad as you think, Kristi.
          Someone else suggested corner boards but I think except for large homes, it makes the house look smaller. I notice that all your idea houses have trimmed windows though so I think I’d add some white trim around the windows similar to your indoor door trims.

  5. I think since it’s already painted, you should just abandon any thought of it looking “natural”. The only way it’d ever even remotely look natural would be if you were getting into faux painting to try to make it look like stone again and that kind of defeats the purpose–you’d might as well pay to sand blast it at that point.

    You don’t care for neutrals, so that’s out. I’d just try to think of it as siding that happens to be bumpy like stone and go for a nice deep color that you like. As I mentioned before, I even think you could add white corner and edge trim on top of the stone to make it look even more like siding and less like a stone house and offset that bold base color with some white trim. It could look really cool. I’m thinking along the lines of the green house in your post (except it doesn’t have to be green).

    Mind you, the trim boards are quite a bit more expense than just a coat of paint (even if you buy paint-grade pre-primed finger joint stock or exterior MDF), but I suppose it’s something you could add afterwards or start with the front and work your way around the house.

    1. I love the idea of adding the trim! And when you mentioned it the other day, I grabbed to pieces of lumber (1 x 4’s, I think), and went around the house to hold them up and see what they would look like. I think it’ll look fantastic!

      1. I’m probably living vicariously through you. 🙂 Our house (a small Cape) is clad in cheap light gray vinyl that has faded even lighter with cheap vinyl “corner boards,” dark gray shutters, and a white/gray roof. The whole thing just looks blah and I’m not too good on tall ladders, so I probably won’t be able to do anything to it until I can afford to have it professionally done. I know the original siding underneath is painted shingles, but I don’t know what kind of shape they’re in.

        I’d love to have the new clapboard that’s made out of cement board and enameled at the factory (with something like a 40 year warranty) combined with PVC trim and a standing-seam metal roof. That’d stand up to our harsh New England winters and I’d never have to worry about the outside ever again. Oh well, maybe someday…

  6. The stone will look great painted yellow! I wouldn’t sweat that for one second. 🙂 A yellow house with white trim and either a black, red, or green door…SO PRETTY!! I think you will be so happy when you have a pretty house to drive up to!! 🙂

  7. Is removing stone paint possible with a high psi pressure washer? If not, I’d vote yellow with white/light neutral stone.

  8. I can’t believe someone painted Austin stone! The natural color of it is so pretty. I agree with someone else’s post. Paint the house yellow and the stone a creamy white.

  9. If you’re worried about painting the stone yellow, why not paint it white and paint the rest of the house yellow? I love yellow and white together.

    1. I totally agree! This seems like it would be so pretty. However, if you are not getting rid of the stone when you eventually upgrade the outside, if it is going to be there forever, you could hire someone to get the paint off the stone. You’ve mentioned several times that you hate that it was painted, and you’ve never been one to just let things go that bother you, so it might be worth pricing it out. Either way, I LOVE the yellow! My house growing up was this color, built in 1880, and it was so pretty. I think with crisp white trim, that a beautiful stained door would be the way to go {I can’t believe that I, who have a bright yellow front door, just said that, but it’s true}.

    2. I agree! Paint the stone white and the rest yellow. Fresh color (even white) will look much better until you can go with your “Big” plan later. Word of warning, painting the exterior of a house is a BIG job! You wouldn’t think so by looking at the areas to be painted, but somehow it seems to grow as you go! But, seeing a freshly painted house every time you come home will be SO worth it!

  10. I think the yellow house would be amazing! What about white washing the stone? It would complement the yellow siding and help brighten it up. Our house is currently very brown. Brown with darker brown trim and we have red brick on the front. It isn’t in need of being painted right now, but will within the next 5 years or so (we have hardy siding-not vinyl) & I’m hoping to convince my husband to do either gray (with white trim) and white wash the brick- or barn red with a dark trim & still white wash/age the brick. It’s going to be a HUGE task though. Our house is 3 stories and 4200 sq feet…I’m thinking we will probably save up & hire out. My husband works long hours & the slope of the roof is terrifying for me!

  11. I say paint it. But I think that you should choose a neutral “stone like” color as a nod to the actual material. I’m thinking a pretty gray color. Like either of your last two pictures. Maybe on the stone itself you could have several different grays with several different color densities. I’d stay within the same color family. Just some subtle differences on some of the stones. Then crisp white trim and shutters and a bright colored door. It would look great.

  12. Yellow everything with white trim! On my own house, I have yellow with the main trim painted at 25%, but gutters, windows etc. in white and it makes me so happy when I drive up . . . I’m home!!!

  13. I have a few questions. First of all, how long did it take to tape off and cover windows, fireplace, doorways, etc. According to my painters, (who are very good) it cost almost as much to do the masking of things that don’t get painted in order to spray, as it does to paint by roller or brush. Second, why did you spray around the molding? If you just sprayed everything would that have not counted as your primer coat for the moldings? Then all you would have to do is go back and paint them in the semi gloss finish? I did not get a chance to read all the posts about the outside of the house, but here in the Northeast, painted stone and brick are very common. I love the look. A clean white house with black shutters makes for a beautiful backdrop for a colorful garden. I think you stone will look great painted. I think using two colors will give the outside so much dimension. Go dark on the bottom and a lighter color on the top. Blessings

    1. 1. I didn’t tape off anything. Since I’m painting trim and moulding last, there was no need to tape that stuff off. And since I wasn’t painting trim (i.e., around windows), I didn’t get close enough to the windows to cause a problem. I did get a small amount of “paint mist” on the windows, but it comes off very easily, and it’ll clean right off when I clean my windows, which I’ll do once I get all of the messy projects done and do the cleaning before I start in on the decorating projects.

      2. I didn’t mean that I sprayed around the moulding, as in, tried to avoid the moulding. I sprayed right over the moulding, but I had to be sure to get into all of the nooks and crannies around each piece of moulding, which took quite a bit longer than it would have if I had plain, flat walls with no moulding on them.

  14. I really like the look of the yellow/white exterior. So, if that’s the case with you, too – and esp. if you anticipate that it’s going to make you smile all the time 🙂 – then I would not hesitate about the stone being painted, as it already is, anyway. I like Justin’s idea of adding trim so that you have defined white parts on the stone side of your house, too.
    I’m looking forward to Monday and the look of your dining room – curious about the effect of matte vs. semi glosse paint! Have a great weekend!

  15. If you want the stone to be natural again, you might want to check into sand blasting. Not sure how it works on stone, but in my town, several people who owned old painted brick houses had theirs sand blasted and all the paint was gone. Of course, you’d have to hire a professional (I doubt even you would want to tackle that job). But it only has to be done once. Something to think about.

  16. Try the yellow and any color you think you want, paint huge patches on different sides of the house, look at it all different light of the day/evening.

    I was POSITIVE I wanted yellow on our old house. Used an online paint program to paint it. It was beautiful! But when I painted huge swaths of the color on the house. I hated it. Tried many, many colors. None worked for me.

    So decided to just repaint using colors already on the house. Didn’t really want that either. Luckily the painter kept putting off starting. Then on Fixer Upper I saw IT. The color the house should be.

    Got several samples of the shade. One spoke to me and the house is stunning in the new color, a color I had not considered before.

    When you see the color your house should be you will know.

    So try out colors you think you want and maybe some you haven’t considered.

  17. I vote for the soft pretty yellow and white trim. You could paint the stones a lighter gray instead of trying to make it disapear. It will be covered up by what ever landscaping you put around the house .and on porch will blend with your floors . And be covered with what ever you putt on porch.
    even if you use the yellow on them , They will be back ground to what ever you put in front to landscape

  18. Hi Kristi! I’ve been a follower since the condo and you have inspired me many times. I live in the woods on a river and have a new home going up next to me and it’s YELLOW!! It has white trim and will have grey shake shingles for accents. It’s beautiful! The original cabin that was there was yellow also and it’s so cheery for me to look at it. I love it! And it’s beautiful behind our big green pine trees. The contractors keep commenting on the yellow. They must have never sided a house this color. My cabin is a light grey so they look nice next to each other too. Your house would be so striking in a nice shade of yellow. And then with landscaping, colored pots on the porch, maybe some red, green or blue rocking chairs. How fun!! Good luck in your decision!

    1. Laura,
      Kristi said “I won’t keep you in suspense until Monday…I went with white. White everything. White ceiling, white walls”.
      I think that was a good choice!

  19. I vote for the soft yellow, on both the stone and siding, with white trim. Who cares whether it looks “natural” or not??? if it’s what you love, do it! I agree, yellow is a HAPPY color.

  20. When we (someday in the distant future lol) put new siding on, I want a pretty light yellow too. Love, love yellow houses!

  21. I say paint it the soft yellow anyway. I think that would be beautiful. If you get rid of it down the line, then it doesn’t make much difference. I love the soft yellow, go with it 🙂

  22. Whatever makes you happy, but yellow and stone don’t usually go together like yellow and siding. Have you searched on painting stone surfaces for ideas? I would be so tempted to sandblast.

  23. I would sand blast the stone, and then revisit the colors. I absolutely LOVE that shade of pale yellow though, and don’t think you could ever go wrong with it on your house!

  24. My first home was painted all yellow outside and there was a portion of it that was painted over brick. But, not red brick it was originally those grey concrete bricks and then they leave the squished mortar between the bricks that has seeped out. I don’t know what that style is called, but anyway, it was all painted this light yellow and I liked it. It didn’t seem to matter that part of the house was this brick stuff and the other cedar siding. It was pretty.

  25. My husband and I adore stone homes. I wonder if there was a way to remove the paint from the stone of your home? My father-in-law owns a well thought of and successful professional painting business. Would you like for me to inquire if there is a way to remove the paint from your stone?

      1. There are several ways you could treat the stone to remove the paint, but without my father-in-law actually seeing the stone he said it would be hard to tell which option would be best.
        1. sand blasting ( I know you don’t want to do this)
        2. corn cob blasting which is kind of the same principle as sand blasting but a bit different
        3. spray paint thinner, but you would have to use a wire brush to brush the stone to take the paint off. Stone is porous so the stone can absorb the paint into its pores. As a result, removing the paint using paint thinner could result in a blotchy finished product.
        4. There are a few other options but they are similar to blasting

  26. This might be silly to ask, but why not just power-wash off the paint. It will be messy, but bring the stone back to its original glory. Then paint yellow on the siding side of the front and add some yellow planters to the stone side to pull it all together.

    1. Power washers aren’t powerful enough to take the paint off of the stone, at least not uniformly. It might take off some here and there, in areas where the paint is already look and/or peeling, but the stuff that’s really stuck on there isn’t going to be removed by power washing. It would take sand blasting or a chemical stripper to get it all off.

  27. Go Yellow! It will make such a huge difference to you. It never seems to matter how much work you do inside a house when the outside doesn’t make you smile and feel happy about how it looks. Will make doing the rest of your projects inside progress faster. Don’t worry! The stone in white along with the trim will look amazing!

  28. Paint it the soft yellow!! White trim, and you can do the corner stones with white also. I found an example on Houzz. Sorry I don’t know how to link from my tablet, but it is labeled Tudor entry by Studio C Architecture & Interiors. It is actually painted the soft yellow with tan corners, but you will get the idea.

  29. I agree that it was crazy to ever paint Austin Brick! I wonder if it was damaged? It would be interesting for you to see a picture of the house before it was painted. But, if sand blasting is completely off the table, then do what you really want and that’s yellow. I would probably choose gray or white, and someone already mentioned gray, but you don’t like gray! Your heart needs to skip a beat just a bit every time you drive up to you house and gray just doesn’t do that for you!
    So, it’s already painted so paint it what you like.

    1. Austin stone is rough and porous and has a tendency to get dark, dirty, mossy, etc., and need regular power washing in order to keep it bright and beautiful. My understanding is that they coated it with something in order to reduce the porosity and reduce the need for continual maintenance. I’m not sure if it was actually paint, or a product made for that purpose, but it has the same effect. The color is opaque and made the stone and the mortar all one uniform color.

  30. I can just imagine your home painted pale yellow with white trim and either paint the stone in the same yellow as well, or treat it as trim and paint it white. The yellow would look great with a nice navy blue front door! Can’t wait to see your dining room and entryway reveal.

  31. I wonder if there are other houses in your neighborhood from the same builder who have Austin Stone on the exterior. You could at least see if you like it.

    1. Every single piece of moulding and trim — picture frame moulding, baseboards, crown moulding, window casings, door casings, etc., have to be caulked where they meet the wall and meet each other.

  32. First, Yay! for all white (for now)! Next, I love the yellow house and think that would translate well on your home with white trim. If there is not another way to get the paint off of the stonework, paint the same yellow. If you paint it a different color I believe it will stand out more as painted rock.

  33. I love the yellow and white house! Not for me though. We are building a new house amid oak trees, on a lake. In our area, we have annoying Asian Beetles. (They look like ladybugs, but aren’t!) They get into the house to lay eggs, and are horrible. Imagine hundreds of these all over the house. If you smash them, they give off a horrid odor. I have read that they are drawn to light colored houses, so we are going with an Aspen green siding and dark brown shingle shakes. Our old house was cedar colored siding, (which to me seemed gray/green) and those bugs loved that house. We hope that the dark colors will not only deter bugs, but not attract mold that is also so prevalent here. In an ideal place, with plenty of sun and breezes, I would definitely do a yellow and white house! So warm and welcoming!

  34. Ten years ago we painted the exterior of our house a light yellow. We love it and have never gotten tired of it. I don’t think it has faded very much. We had taken our vinyal siding off and replace it with concrete siding. At first I wasn’t sure about that stuff but it is great!! It looks just like real wood and is easy to paint. Whatever you choose I know it will be beautiful…Rebecca

  35. Looking at the house, I think you should paint the house (stone and all) the soft yellow, but to add depth and interest…paint the center section of stone a white. It will break up the front facade and give it a more interesting look. Eventually when you get up the shutters, it will help unify all the sections and give it a more finished look until you are ready to tackle more outside renovations.

    I think coming home to your “happy yellow house” will give you that feeling of satisfaction (even if it is only one step on your exterior renovation).

  36. I just love that yellow – it’s a color that makes me want to live there! Since you’re not going to keep the stone, I wouldn’t worry one bit about painting it.

  37. Kristi, this post is so timely for me! I’ve been trying to decide which paint sprayer to buy and I was looking at the one you selected. Now I’m sure it’s the right one 🙂 I love the yellow as a color for your house. The name of the color of our siding is almond, but it’s really a light yellow to my eyes, and I think it’s beautiful. Also I’m glad you mentioned the paint for vinyl. We thought the white vinyl trim on our front door could use some sprucing up, and paint for vinyl would be just what we need!

  38. Safe? SAFE? That so does not sound like you! If there’s one thing I’ve learned on this blog, it’s that NOTHING can’t be redone if you don’t like it. (The yellow sounds lovely to me.)

  39. I love the yellow trimmed in bright white. It is so crisp, clean and inviting! I hope you go with yellow!!! I agree with prior posts, since the stone has been painted anyway, do what you want!!!!

  40. We rented an airless sprayer for $70/day, and were able to get the entire exterior of our 1 story house sprayed in 4 hrs. So worth it!

  41. Hi Kristi:

    Do you (or anyone else) know the exact paint colors, including the trim, used on the yellow home above? Thanks.

    1. Unfortunately, I don’t know. Layla at The Lettered Cottage blog posted that pic and said it’s in her neighborhood. You might see if she knows the owner and if they have that info.

  42. We have a 120 year old house that we are going to repaint
    It is currently a medium grey….I am not a fan of grey, never have been, so we are going to paint it a lovely yellow with white trim. We love our home and painting it yellow would make us even happier!