i am here to say that we are (mostly) finished painting the exterior of our house and we both have lived to tell about it. we still have a few high points of trim to finish up and the chimney, which will probably take an entire day in of itself. the chimney is a whole different and dangerous situation that i will get into later. but besides that, this house is done! the photo above is what the house looked like when we moved in almost 4 years ago. we aren't sure what the original color is because it has faded so badly and our HOA doesn't have record of the color schemes. we think it was some sort of gray but overtime it has started to look purple. and because i'm not a huge fan of purple houses we decided to change it up and go with a shade of blue-gray. deciding to do this job ourselves came after a few houses in our neighborhood had received quotes from $3500-$5000. and since we have a few other backyard projects that i want to do this year, i wanted to save our budget and try to spread it out between the 3. after a lot of research, calculations, and talking to some professionals, we built up enough confidence to do it ourselves. ^^^ the house the day we started painting. paint: we decided on sherwin williams since we had heard and read they were the best of the best. we went with their top of the line for the front (emerald) and were told with the harsh west sun we get on the front of our house, we can expect the paint to last about 10-12 years. that was totally worth it to us. plus, by then we'll have 3 grown boys who can help with the next round :) the sides and back was their duration line, just a step below emerald. we figured we could save some pennies by going a step down since the rest of the house doesn't receive the same amount of heat. russell simply measured with a good 'ol fashion tape measure to calculate our square footage- we ended up with two gallons for the front and 7 gallons for the rest of the house. grand total on paint, including our 40% off coupon- $433. (sign up on SW website and every now and then you'll receive a 40% off coupon. we got our coupon in february so we went ahead and bought all our paint then. we hadn't decided on our colors yet, though. SW told us to bring our paint in later and they would still tint them at no charge.) update: after talking to some local painters they actually suggest we NOT use emerald if your house has flaking paint, but instead stick with duration. our home was completely faded, not flaking. they said the emerald paint was so strong in adhering to the house that if your old paint was flaking, the emerald paint would continue to pull the it off over time. our final choices- gibraltar for the front & morning fog for the sides & back. 2 weeks before we were set to paint russell went out and pressure washed the entire house. we had read up to 30 days prior to painting is fine. however, we never considered pollen season. we had to do some extra cleaning the morning of, but it ended up not being too much of a big deal. i began caulking the week before in the areas i could reach with my ladder and russell filled in the gaps in the evenings when he got home from work. the other big expense we decided to splurge on was renting a 50ft lift. the sides of our house stand around 36 feet and even with the tallest ladder, we were pushing the limits of how far russell could reach. and for his safety we thought it was well worth the $250. it also made painting go faster as he didn't have to keep climbing up and down the ladder. we had also planned to replace some of our trim because we had assumed that some of it would have been rotted. we got lucky and didn't find any rot but we did have flaking paint that needed to be peeled, sanded, and primed. had we found rot it would have been replaced, adding to our budget. i will admit that at this point i began freaking out. the sides of the house were supposed to be gray. not blue. and when the peak of sunshine hit the side of the house it looked baby blue. we discovered the time of day made a big difference on how the color looked. russell and i discussed tossing the paint and starting over, which of course russell was totally against. in fact, he may have laughed and said i can use the rest of our budget to hire someone to redo it. ha! i guess there really wasn't much of a discussion then, haha. ultimately, no matter what color we chose, one side of the house was going to look different than the other even though they were the same color. i decided to keep it and see how it turned out once finished. i'm one of those that has to see things on a grand scale and not by small paint samples. now that it's done i don't see it as much as a baby blue as i do blue/gray. and over the weeks i have come to really like it. we were really hoping this lift would have reached the chimney, but it couldn't get around our roof line. russell is planning on wearing a harness and climbing up the roof to paint. however, if he gets up there and decides it's too risky we have no problem calling in the professionals. if you are wondering where all of our plants went that were once up against the house, we transplanted them with the intent to expand our patio. years later we are finally getting around to it. one of the other projects planned for this summer is to lay additional concrete to give us more patio space. and we are hoping (if we aren't too far in over our heads already) to also add a pergola. overall, this project took us about 3 weeks of painting to finish. we had a deadline to get it done in half that time before russell left for a work trip to africa. but because of rain and wind, we were pushed back to when russell returned home. then throw in easter weekend and then more rain. i think we easily could have pushed this out in 4 days but i had to watch the kids while russell painted, only being able to help when gatlin napped and at other random miscellaneous times. we divided the house and i was responsible for all the lower half, saving russell about 1/3 of time. i am here to tell you that if you are thinking of painting the outside of your house, you can definitely do it. with strategic planning and research, and if you have the basic concept of how to paint and repair, it can certainly be done. our grand total spent was around $800. that's $2,700 savings from the cheapest $3500 quote. and in 10 years, sherwin williams will see us again ready for round two. with 3 additional family helpers ;) update: we had two painters come out and quote us for our chimeny. one quoted $500 and they would purchase the remaining paint. and the other $300 and we provide the paint. each one said it would have been half the price if it wasn't such a steep and dangerous job. we had them paint it in less than an hour and our home was complete.
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