Finally! *collapses face first onto floor*

We finally finally finally (barring little touch-ups) finished painting our house at 8pm Tuesday night. I had so little left and I was losing light but we did it! When I gave the hubs a high-five, we both had smiles on our faces. The relief rushed in and the pride in our work came soon after.

Even though it took waaaay longer than I figured (I originally estimated two weeks tops – try two months!), it looks great. We are proud of our work and I feel like we did just as good, if not better than most professionals. We went over the house with a fine toothed comb, finding any spots, re-caulking areas that had either been missed, never touch, or already needed more touching-up. It took a lot of our strength and sweat and a ton of our time, but everyday now, when we come home from work, our hard work shines through. I love it.

We still have the doors to replace and paint, but there’s no rush on that. They work for now. Next up is some fun stuff – new house numbers and finding a spot for our raised bed garden. But again, in due time. For now, we rest. These other projects take little time and can be done whenever we feel so inclined. I’m not worried about them, and I usually forget about them completely until something triggers my memory.

For now, we relax and have some fun.DSC04072 IMG_5101 DSC04098 IMG_5097 IMG_4750 IMG_5105

Last night we went to Austin’s last Sound and Cinema for the summer. It’s a great free deal Austin does at the Long Center for the Performing Arts. They have a band that plays music from the movie they are showing, and when the sun sets, they play a different movie each time. This time was The Sandlot, a classic coming of age story. If you haven’t seen it, I recommend it. It’s a favorite of ours.


We stayed for a short while, but since it was so busy, it was hard to hear the movie so we ended up leaving to find a quieter place. We stopped at Radio Coffee & Beer, a great newer place that has great cold brew coffee and local drafts, so everyone can get something they want. The place has a great outdoor setting. One area has an open field with chairs for chatting, and the other side has picnic tables (and a couple food trailers of course), and they happened to be playing a bunch of short films. During the short films, one of the trailers came out with samples of their rosemary honey popcorn. If I hadn’t just eaten earlier, I would have grabbed a bag because it was amazing.

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I stayed out much later than planned but it was well worth it. We hadn’t “gone out” and done something like this for weeks, heck, months, because of the house projects. When I have a big project going on, I feel guilty leaving it undone, so we committed ourselves to one last push, finished up the painting, then went out, partly as a celebration, and partly to renew our love of the city. You can start to forget why you like a city if you don’t take advantage of the things that made you love it in the first place.

Improvements here and there

I’m STILL working on the house painting. We have a tiny, but difficult section left to go on the main body (plus touch-ups) and I’ve started on trim, but we have a road trip coming up soon so the finishing up of the house will be delayed, but it’s inevitable and I’m okay with it. It will get done, just later than sooner. In between painting, we’re also working on cleaning and organizing the garage. We have a new roommate, so it’s the perfect time to declutter and make some room for his stuff. Unfortunately I don’t think I have any before pics of the shelving unit that was here before. It was some 2×4’s haphazardly thrown up with some screws and two plywood shelves, but not anchored to the wall, so it wiggled dangerously every time you took anything off the thing. It was inefficient and downright nerve-wracking, so we tore it down and will be keeping the plywood and 2×4’s to make a workbench later (you can kind of see the plywood shelves in the picture). For now, we started with one of these handy shelves to see how much stuff we could fit on it. We’ll be going back for one more, but it’s coming along well. We got almost everything that was on that entire wall unit (it went from the left wall to the fridge), into one small shelf. Plus, adding the clear containers helps to preserve all of our gear but still makes it easy to find.


I wanted to get trim done in the front of the house, since that’s what’s seen the most, and will slowly but surly complete the rest of the trim. I was a little worried about the yellow tint in the trim paint, but I think it’s going to look nice against the limestone wall and the golden door.


Our potential door color below. Please ignore my painted fingers. I’m no clean painter.

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And I’m still not done with the house. I feel like I’ve been lazy at finishing this project, and I hate when I was doing so well, going so fast, and then a couple of things derail me and now I’m feeling like my house will always have spots of blue on it. I know this isn’t true but it starts to feel that way and I start to get antsy. A few things have come up (was out of town for four days, friend moved into our house, found out I have way more training to do than I thought I did, so I’ve been trying to wrap my head around that), yada yada. Hopefully this weekend shouldn’t stop me from finishing the house. I have only a small portion left on the south/southwest side (it’s just been hard to get to because it gets sun when I’m home) and a small portion on the north side (Hubs is going to have to climb onto the roof to paint the chimney but 1-he hates heights and 2-he hates painting – so I’m going to buy him lots of beer for afterwards). Once those two sections are done (it’s probably only about 200sq feet total left to do), then I’ll be moving onto trim.

I at least did find a trim color…I think. The two that I’m looking at are practically the same so I’ll tell you the one that I’m leaning towards, and that I can remember the name of. It’s called Stonewashed by Behr. It’s a good neutral white without being too…WHITE! When the house was blue, the trim was blue as well and the house kind of got lost in itself. Trimming out the windows gives it a little more distinction, especially since we have a handful of half-moon shaped windows that add a little uniqueness to the architecture of the house.

stonewashedWe are both getting the itch to get out and travel, but I feel like the right thing to do is just finish this ASAP so we can get it done. I hate having projects open and waiting to be finished for too long.

Earlier I stated that we have a new roommate. Unfortunately, his rent skyrocketed so he’ll be staying with us until he can figure out what his next housing venture should be. Here in Austin, if you can scrape up the cash, and you plan on sticking around, it’s better to buy right now. We pay slightly less than we did renting. And we own the home. Of course, it comes with the cost of renovation, but that’s our choice. Either way, he’ll be at the house, which means we have some rearranging to do as far as storage goes. I love our little house, but it seriously lacks in storage (not even a single linen closet), so we’ll be getting creative in the garage and attic and office closet this weekend when we’re not painting.

Not trying to get too philosophical here, but I think a key to true happiness is to stay flexible and open to things. Situations change and flex and the best way to not get upset is to expect the change. Expect things to be different than how you see it happening in your head. Even if a situation isn’t how I expected it to be, I find myself enjoying where I am if I just embrace whatever comes at me. Even if it’s things like rearranging a closet. If I go into it with a great attitude (this will give us so much more space!) instead of dreading it (I hate organizing!), then the project immediately starts off on a better foot.

So embrace whatever comes at you, enjoy the ride, and remember, nothing lasts forever, nothing stays the same, so embrace the And…


Garage door painting over the weekend

For my US WP friends, I hope everyone had a fabulous 4th and got to see some fireworks.We went out to a friend’s house in the country. They’d bought a wide assortment and set them off throughout the evening. There were snacks, beers, and a lot of people I’d never met before. It was great, but the weekend was exhausting.

You’d think the long 4th of July weekend would be prime time for painting, but it wasn’t. Between having friends over, an emergency dental visit, and going out to a friend’s house, there wasn’t a whole lot of time in between. And honestly, I’ve lost count of how many hours of painting I’ve put in (something in the 30′-hour range most likely), so I’m not always motivated to paint if I only have a couple hours of free time since it takes 15-20 minutes for setup and cleanup each time.

I did get the garage done though, which was great. It was currently a faded baby blue beacon in contrast with the front entry that I had completed previously. I was initially nervous about painting the garage door because all the info I’d read on painting a garage was geared toward spraying it and I only had a brush and a roller. I did find one tutorial that advised to paint the crevices with a brush, then coming back with a roller which is what I ended up doing. I made sure to put two coats on the crevices, then rolled the whole thing twice. It took only a couple of hours and I was very pleased with the results.

I’d been playing around with either painting the door the body color or the trim color and ended up painting it the body color because there wasn’t a lot of the body color in the front of the house since we have a lot of stone. I wanted to accentuate and showcase the body color and I’m glad I did. The stone pops a lot more with the contrasting rich brown/gray of the Mined Charcoal and I really like it.

I just have a small portion of both the south and north side, then I’m done with the body. The hubs has graciously said he would be the second coat guy. I am planning on having him go back and finding all the mottled areas, or spots I missed, instead of doing a full on second coat everywhere. While he’s working on that, I’ll be working on trim. I plan on heading to Home Depot today to pick out a few color swatches. Hopefully making a trim choice won’t be nearly as difficult as the body choice. IMG_4898 FullSizeRenderIMG_4900 IMG_4907

24 hours of painting in and making baby steps

I’m still working on painting my house. I’ve had some road blocks here and there, mostly rain. One minute it’s sunny and perfect for painting. The next minute I have this over my head…


Luckily, since I’ve been working on the entry, I’ve still been able to paint a little while the rain comes down since it’s luckily been raining strait down, or from the west, keeping me dry.

Before pillars. The bottoms were replaced with cedar as they had molded and rotted out.
After pillars!
These have been quite helpful with the heat and humidity
These have been quite helpful with the heat and humidity

This week I plan on finishing the front during my spare time, then finishing up the north and south sides. I also need to figure out if I should paint the garage door the house color or the trim color. I still have to pick out the trim color too. Anyone have any tips on garage door colors? Should I make it blend into the house with the body color, or brighten it with the trim color?

Either way, stay tuned – more to come!

Painting a house….14 hours in

I’ve collectively put in around 14 hours of painting so far into my house. I thought I’d be a bit farther along, but alas, I should be used to this. It always takes longer than you think to finish a project. Especially when that project involves painting an entire house, even if it’s just little ole ours. So far, I’ve gotten the far west side painted, parts of the south side (ran into sun so I had to quit), and some of the north side done. My house isn’t a square since it comes in at one point where the deck is. It’s more like a polygon, so in reality I have six sides to paint. And although I only have around two sides painted, and progress is going slower than I thought it would, I’m still happy with it. I also keep reminding myself that I still have a boat load of trim to do as well. The trim is going to be a creamy off-white (no I haven’t picked it out – took me a flippin’ month to pick out a body color). The body color is called Mined Coal, and I’m using Behr Marquee exterior in Satin.

So here she is in all here partially painted glory. More to come once I finish.

IMG_4497 IMG_4824IMG_4750 IMG_4823I just noticed that you can tell we got quite a bit of rain (hence my paint delay), just by the grass from the before and after pics. Ha!

Monday it is….or maybe Tuesday


More rain today, but Monday is looking good. If we dry out over the weekend (30-40% chance over the weekend), then we paint Monday! If we need more dry time, we paint Tuesday!!

In the meantime, I decided to re-measure the exterior, just to be sure that I was getting the correct square footage, therefore the correct amount of paint. I’d used the blue print we’d been given when we bought the house, but only used it as a rough map. I realized that I had to be cautious of using the measurements as fact, because in certain parts of the house, there’s a limestone facade, so I needed to make sure not to take that into paint consideration. Once I re-measured, I felt much more confident that I had the correct square footage. I did over-estimate in three areas, where our house peaked. I measured the square footage to the peak, just to play it safe.

One question I’m still mulling over in my head, is that if I do two coats, do I double the amount of paint needed? I feel like I use less on a second coat than a first in an interior wall, but I’ve heard differing opinions when it comes to exterior paint. Anyone have any sound advice on this?


And so it begins

Our house is on its way to a new coat of paint. The painting part feels more like the finale to this whole process than the main process. So much prep is involved with painting a house. Today we have carpenters coming out to replace all rotted boards. Tomorrow they will pressure wash the entire house and Thursday they’ll fill in all holes and caulk all the seams. THEN, after all this, it’s paint time. I look forward to painting the house but I like to see this part too; taking down old boards and putting up new ones, replacing trim, it’s all part of the transformation.

Left board replaced
Replacing a couple of panels.
Another rotted board replaced
Bottom pieces of the columns replaced with cedar.
Panels and trim needing replacing. This is going to look so different once complete!

I’m dreaming of gray….literally

After talking with my new friends at, I’ve gone back on the browns and am once again leaning more toward gray. I still like the idea of warm gray, with a hint of brown, or at least without the cool blue tones. Deciding on a house color is definitely a tough decision because this decision lasts for years. Or at least it should. I’m nervous about going too dark, or playing it too safe and going too light. I want to feel great about the color I choose. Not just that it took so long to decide so I settled on one.

This picture I found, I believe originally off of HGTV’s site, is Iron Mountain by Benjamin Moore. I really like it but think it may be too dark. I even went to the Ben Moore store in town to grab a swatch. Staring at it made me nervous though. What if it was too dark and just made the house seem…dark, or uninviting. The inside of our house is very different; it’s very light and airy, but I think a dark exterior can look great too. Back and forth, back and forth goes my brain…. Iron mountain

I’m not an emotional, chatty person. I don’t need a group of girlfriends to chat with about how I’m feeling. But picking out a paint color made me want to talk to someone. I needed some therapy and guidance, so I did what any person would do. I went to Home Depot at 8pm last night because I couldn’t stop thinking about paint colors.

I brought my sample of Magnet and Porpoise along, as well as my swatch of Lamplit, the possible door color. I wanted to find a happy medium between the Magnet and Porpoise, and possibly a shade darker. I wasn’t doing a good job for myself, so I asked the lady at the counter, who immediately was distracted by my dog Arthur for the next five minutes. That’s okay. I was used to that and wasn’t in a hurry to leave the store. Not without my samples!


After opening up to the Home Depot lady and telling her my dreams of a color that was the trifecta of gray, brown and dark, she commited herself to helping me find that color. She reached under the counter and grabbed just about every swatch of color that was ever created. She immediately started going through grays, inspecting the shades to see if she could find something I would like.

I mentioned to her, besides the Magnet and Porpoise, that I’d been looking at Intellectual. She told me right away, no, that it was too dark and would give off too much brown. Okay then. No to Intellectual.

Sorry I got bug spray on the sample. Stupid mosquitos

While she looked through the color swatches to find my match, she got to work making a sample of Magnet for me. I have Grizzle Gray, a Sherwin Williams color, sampled on my wall at home, and although they’re very similar, I didn’t want to chance it and base my decision on a color that looks like another color. I can’t do that for a house painting job.

Magnet is a great basic gray. About as gray as gray can get. I’m just not sure yet if I want to go all out just gray.


Another of the samples that I already have is Porpoise by Sherwin Williams. It looks gray at times, but switches to brown in the light. We have a lot of light here in Texas (usually) so I have to think it’ll usually look more brown. If I paint my house a very dark color like Intellectual, would the sun absorb enough to put off more heat than a gray house like Magnet? Weird thoughts but I have them running in my mind.


I also asked her to make me a sample of Pier. They didn’t have a swatch I could take home, but I’ve seen it on two homes (online still), but it looked great. My only concern was that it had tinges of green. But green is warmer than blue so I thought, heck, for $3 it’s worth a shot.

After she got that sample going, it was back to the hunt for the perfect mix.

She grabbed another small book and fanned it open. She stopped quickly, grabbed my Porpoise and Magnet swatches and placed each one on either end of the sample. This color was about as close I was going to get to a mix between the two. It’s called Mined Charcoal, and the interesting thing about it? It’s actually in the same scheme as Intellectual, just one shade lighter. Small world in the vast world of color swatches! Here is is below…


I still don’t know if it’s the one but I feel like I’m getting closer and closer to finding a color I love and can commit to. Once I get some samples painted on my house, I’ll post some more pictures. Maybe I should just paint each side of the house one of my color choices? What do you think?

PS – I had night #2 of dreaming of house paint colors. The dreams are kind of the far out type, with swirls of browns and grays, sometimes in a big trough, and sometimes just swirling in the air. Either I’m going nuts or a decision needs to be made ASAP before I do end up going batty.

My biggest project yet – tackling exterior paint

Our next big project is to repaint the exterior of the house. Normally I wouldn’t have any problem playing with colors, but this isn’t just a room. A room is a few days of work and $30. Painting a house is days of prep work, days of painting and multiple gallons of paint. It makes me a lot more nervous choosing colors.


I’d like to give the house a more modern look with either a dark gray or brown, with a craftsman style door, preferably in a bright color. At first, I had my thoughts on a gray brown, but the more and more I look around for inspiration, the more I’m heading toward the grays. But at the same time, I don’t want the grays turning blue.

I recently went to Lowes and grabbed a couple Sherwin Williams samples and tried them on the side of the house. Neither one blew me away. I liked the gray at first, but I think it has too much blue in it.

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Depending on when the light is shining on the side of the house, the brown looks like a rich dark brown, which is what I was looking for, or a lighter otter brown, which is nice, but  not what I’m going for. The gray sometimes looks great, but then starts to take on a blue tone, and I don’t know if that’s because the house itself is already blue, and pulls your eyes to the blue tones, or if the gray itself has blue undertones that will come out at different times during the day. I’m not sure if I want blue undertones. I’m thinking warm gray, not cool gray.

My inspiration of course comes from scouring the internet and Pinterest. I re-looked through all the websites I’d been saving and think I need to go back to the paint store. I’m going to pick up a couple more samples and try them out tonight. Painting the house is such a big effort that I want to feel confident when I start the actual painting process. I’m going to hit up Benjamin Moore after work and grab swatches. I don’t know if I plan on getting the paint there because 1) it’s a bit out of my price range and 2) a pro painter friend of mine said any good quality paints from Lowes or Home Depot are just as good. I think I’ll grab the swatches and see if Lowes or Home Depot can match.

Here’s some of my inspiration I’ve gathered over the past few months. It definitely seems as if I’m leaning more toward the grays. And why not? I love gray.


I love the idea of a bright contrasting door as well. We’re thinking of going with a craftsman style, honey yellow door.

midcentury-gray dk gray Benjamin Moore Iron Mountain

This last picture interests me. The sample looks like a rich charcoal gray, but on the house, it looks like it has quite a bit of brown in it. It’s called Iron Mountain and it’ll be one I pick up at Benjamin Moore. The others I’m going to grab are Mink and possibly Graphite, but that one looks like it may have some blue in it as well so I may pass.

Do any of you have house painting stories or advice? Do you have a color preference? Let me know. I’m all ears and eyes right now.