It all started over a month ago when we decided to paint JUST our foundation and exterior doors from burgundy to slate gray.
Here are some pictures of what we started with.
Then it changed to this:
I decided our front door needed to be a different color. So I turned to the best place to get advice: facebook. I slapped some different colors on the front door with Microsoft Paint, and showed all my facebook pals.
Some of the things I read were,
"No, just no. Not with that siding."
"We can help you paint your siding."
"I don't think anything would 'go' with that siding."
"That siding is sad."
I never mentioned anything about the siding.
This is why I love social media. You get everyone's real thoughts. I truly appreciate this because apparently I was suffering under a blind spot about the siding.
Deep down, I knew it was Dijon mustard yellow but had convinced myself it was tan. Or beige. Some sort of neutral which would work with anything.
It's because there were so many other projects to do that we felt replacing or painting the siding would have to wait a long time..
But once I took off the siding blinders, I decided that changing ugly, gross siding is more of a top of the list thing.
Here's the catch: you can't paint siding if it's below 40 degrees. I don't know why. All the websites say this. Something awful will happen.
I knew that if we didn't do it now, we'd be living with it until this part of the planet thaws out, roughly five months from now. So about two weeks ago, I walked up to Greg, and this is how the conversation went:
"Oh no. Just say it."
"Well ... there's something that's going to bother me a little all winter."
"I'm not painting the house." (This is not a lie; he guessed it. I literally have no idea how.)
"But babe! We could just bust it out like our other projects."
"Allie, I don't think you know what's involved in this."
"I know, but our house is one story and not even 1200 square feet. This will be easy, I promise. Please???? Jus think about how much better it's going to look!"
*Sigh* ... "What color are you thinking?"
Ok, so it took a little more convincing, but that gives you a general idea of his reaction.
First it took forever to decide on a color. We wanted something between beige and gray and got a hundred swatches. The reason we chose this is because we wanted light, bright and neutral, but not white; you can't power wash paint. As I told Greg, we needed to paint our house, "dinge."
You know how each swatch has three shades of the same color? Well, if you're painting an exterior, DO NOT go with the lightest one.
I wanted to, and luckily Greg talked me into the medium one. He was right because the sun washes out color, and my choice would have looked straight up white.
It took us two weeks. Greg painted the top half on a ladder during his time off, and I painted the bottom half during Darby's naps. (I was secretly scared he would fall and die and I would be guilty forever.)
Update: I should add that prior to starting, I contacted my uncle, a professional painter, to determine whether painting aluminum siding was possible. He said yes!
The day I asked Greg to paint the house was daylight savings, which in upstate New York means that dusk is now 4:30pm. This was unfortunate. There were a few days one of us was painting in the dark because the temperature was high enough. We painted according to temperature, not light.
We painted by our exterior lights in the dark, which usually worked fine, but sometimes we had to touch up spots in the daylight.
You can imagine the strange looks we received from passerby, which I guess I understand. If I passed a house and saw people painting their siding in the dark when it was cold out, I would probably stare too.
One night Greg asked if my parents knew about our project. I said no.
"Why?" he wondered.
"Because. I'm not telling my mom until we're finished. She'll be mad at me for making you do this, I just know it."
"That's not true."
"Yes it is. I'm hiding it from everyone in my family. They will all feel bad for you because they like you better."
"Yeah, that's true."
Here's a reason I love Greg: he always gets into things even if he began reluctantly. He ended up loving it and is glad we did it! (now that it's over)
You know the interesting part? We finally finished the very last bit on Friday, Nov. 22. The next day we got our first snowfall. Just in the nick of time.
So, drumroll ... here's the end result:
Now, that roof is about to collapse, and is going to be replaced with a black roof this spring (as cheap and do-it-yourself-y as possible.) The old white wood stove chimney is also heading for its demise, but other than that, I'm super happy with our exterior.
We took the shutters off and have no plans to replace them because we like the way this looks.
And of course I'm still undecided on the front door, vacillating between yellow, red or keeping it like this. (So tell me what you think about that in the comments.)
Greg continues to warn me that if I don't decide soon, I will have to wait till spring to paint the door. I just laugh and shake my head. Does he not know me yet?
I'm really glad it doesn't look like this anymore:
Yesterday I told my mom that I love not seeing mustard yellow every time I look at our house.
"Awww, Allie. You know ... it was really more like baby diarrhea."