The house is painted!

Well, we did it! The house is painted and we are so happy with how it looks. The weather was kind of tricky here to plan this project around because we knew we wanted to paint before it was too hot but also didn’t want to have to combat the rain that we have been getting here in Central Texas. So, finding that sweet spot right in between the two was tricky, but I think we did it. It was still pretty hot for a couple of Northwest peeps but we just kept reminding ourselves that this is just the beginning of the heat that is to come! Sounds like the name of a really bad movie about the apocolypse, The Heat that is to Come. I’d probably go and see it. Anyways, we are hoping that, in August, we’ll be glad that we did it in June.

We rented a paint sprayer from Home Depot and Nate picked it up first thing in the morning. He has used this same sprayer a couple of times before so it was helpful that he was familiar with how it worked. But, it’s pretty simple to figure out even if you haven’t used one. A little trial and error and you should be good to go. The biggest problem you can run into with using these sprayers is spraying on your coats too thick. Think light coverage with multiple coats and you should avoid those pesky drips. Here is yet another reminder of what our house looked like when we moved in.

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Here’s where we are at today.

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Love this. There is actually still a lot of work to do and touch ups all over the house. The open beams in the entrance still need to be painted to match the body of the house and close up, there are many spots that still need some attention.

We also went ahead and updated our exterior lights, doorbell and house numbers. When Nate was hanging these for me, I kept thinking about how these details are like accessories. Like a good pair of earrings, but for the house. The house numbers used to look like this.

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 Now, look like this!

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We couldn’t be happier with how it turned out! Even some friendly folks from down the street have stopped by to tell us how much they like our colors.

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I love the contrast. It feels so fresh and with the new paint and accessories, the whole house is taking on a much more modern feel. Before we painted, the house didn’t really have any particular style or category that it fit into besides 80’s ranch style. Now, it has some much needed personality.

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While we still have some touching up to do, we can check this off our list of to-do’s. And this was a biggie. But, it feels really good that we did this ourselves. Back inside I go to get back to mudding and texturing the ceilings. No more excuses!

Prep, paint, and power washing

When Nate and I saw the house for the first time, we decided this house needed to be painted before we even got out of the car. Seriously. The house is pink. The trim is maroon. Help me. This is what it looked like when we moved in.

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But, before we can paint, we have some work to do. There are sheets of plastic covering the entrance to the house that needed to be taken down. I am not sure if we will need something else to go in its place to protect the entry from rain, but we are going to try and live without it to see how we do. It is laying on top of some exposed beams that I think would look really interesting to the eye uncovered and exposed to the world.

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Because these plastic sheets filter the light trying to peek through, I’m hoping that taking these down will let more natural light flow into the front entrance. While Nate was taking them down, he uncovered four wasp nests! I kept reminding him to be careful and he only ended up getting stung once. Which I thought was sort of hilarious…sorry Nate.

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So. Much. Better. I will not miss you plastic sheets (I’m sure there is an actual name for these plastic sheets, I just don’t know what it is). Now that they are gone, the entrance reminds me of one of those mid-century modern houses that have an atrium with plants or trees growing out of them.

Now that the plastic is down, the next thing we needed to do to get ready to paint was pressure washing the house. Our neighbor, Chuck (thank you, Chuck!), was nice enough to let us borrow his pressure washer so we didn’t have to rent one. I was very surprised to see the amount of dirt that is just sitting on the surface of the house. I guess it makes sense but still surprising. We also went ahead and took this opportunity to clean up our driveway and sidewalks. What? Sidewalks aren’t supposed to be black? This was news to us because our driveway and sidewalks were all totally scuzzy and black.

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My next task was choosing a pallet for the house. I thought this would be easy because I have always loved picking paint colors. There aren’t any colors that scare me and I don’t find myself nervous and agonizing over choosing a paint color because if I don’t love a color, I will just paint over it. We have lived in a lot of rental houses over the years and I have done a lot of painting. Trying to cover dirty walls and trim and trying to add some interest in blah spaces with beige carpet is nothing new to me. But, choosing paint colors for the exterior of your house is serious business. It is loads of work (and loads of prep work, i.e. taping off foundation and windows) and I couldn’t have Nate spraying the house a second time because I wasn’t happy with the colors that I chose. So, for the first time, I found myself stressing over these colors. I read every article online about exterior color choices, scoured pinterest for inspo, and even went to the library to find books on the topic! I couldn’t come up colors. I was driving myself and Nate crazy.

So I decided that I would email a few of my fave bloggers and see if any of them would have the time to get back to me. I sent them pics of our house and told them about my dilemma. Sherry, from Young House Love, was nice enough to email me back her thoughts. I couldn’t believe she emailed me back! She is practically a celebrity to me and I have been a big fan for years! Their newest book, Lovable, Livable, Home, lives on my coffee table this very minute. She suggested a color that I have seen a lot on pinterest, but never considered it as a color for the body of the house. The color is Urbane Bronze, a deep charcoal, with some brown, gray, and metallic undertones. She said she has seen it on some houses in her area and paired with a crisp, white, trim is stunning! So, off to grab a tester pot!

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I tested it in a few different spots for light comparisons. After a day of walking outside and staring at it during different times of the day, I was sold! I love its richness and I think it’s going to bring some life back to the house! Here we go! Hope we don’t shock everyone on the street!

Once you pop, we can’t stop…..scraping

Once upon a time there was a girl who bought a 1648 sq. foot house. Every ceiling in this house had that famous popcorn texture that we all know and love. Every. Single. Inch. It’s even on the ceilings of the closets! This same girl thought she would be able to scrape this popcorn texture from these ceilings and it was no big deal. Boy, was she wrong.

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Here’s how all the ceilings looked before we started scraping. We have told several of our new neighbors about our project and how we are going to start scraping and their reactions have been pretty funny. We have heard things like, “yuck,” and “what a mess.” We soon found out that those are just a few of the ways you could describe this job…among other, less blog-appropriate words.

The process itself is simple. First, spray the area you plan on scraping with water and let it soak so it saturates the surface. We found that magic number was around 15 minutes but it definitely didn’t hurt anything to let it soak for longer stretches of time. While it soaked, we used this time to prep for the mess. Although, I’m not sure there is any amount of prepping that a human being can do to prepare for the mess that is about to ensue. Then, the scraping begins…and never ends. Okay, it does end at some point. We just haven’t found that point yet.

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Lovely, isn’t it? It was a little shocking to see the drywall for the first time all dark and soaking wet. But, it quickly dries and looks lighter and more like drywall is supposed to look.

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The plastic tarp was a life saver for us as the dust that comes with this job is very fine and goes just about everywhere. Your hair, your ears, and even manages to make its way through your clothes. In the kitchen, I was able to tuck the plastic right under the doors of the cabinets. Originally, I was going to use painters tape to secure it to the top of the cabinets but when I went in the the garage to find the tape, I was greeted by a very large wasp. Nate wasn’t due home from work for another 45 minutes so I decided I would work with what I had and tuck that plastic right under the doors. It worked like a charm.

Preparation is really the key to this job. We quickly learned that the more you prep – the less time you spend cleaning up. A shop vac would have been very helpful. We don’t have one but would definitely buy one if we were doing it over because our regular vacuum for the house isn’t speaking to us anymore after all this extra work we have put it through.

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That fluorescent light used to live in the kitchen but we took it down so we could scrape under it. It definitely won’t be returning. I am going to start hunting for a flush mount fixture for the kitchen. This was sort of a theme as we finished each room. I had Nate take down the light fixtures for scraping ease but am thinking that none of them should go back up so we can take this opportunity to replace them with something more our style. Either that, or we will be living in the dark.

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Nate was a good sport and climbed all the way to the top of the vaulted ceilings for me because I was too scared to get up there.

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After the long weekend of scraping, we finished up the kitchen, dining and living rooms, entryway, hallways and one bedroom. We have three bedrooms with their closets and the bathrooms to go…and we will finish it! Next up, figure out how we are going to get these naked ceilings textured and painted.