SUMMARY: Happiness is a new paint jobTen years ago, I had spent the spring and summer desperately searching for a house to buy that had a yard large enough for dog agility, was in good shape with modern wiring, had room for All My Stuff (walls for bookcases, storage in the garage, like that), could easily handle a renter living in the same house, wasn't too far from friends and work, and that I could afford.
I found--and bought--this house in August 2001:
One of my first thoughts on seeing it in person was, "wow, what ugly colors!" After I bought it, some termite/repair work (paid for in escrow) required the replacement of a few beams and boards on the front porch, which I primered but were then otherwise nekkid. Plus, the paint was starting to peel from the fascia boards and eaves in various places, so it was really urgent to get it repainted.
So the thought of what color to paint it (purple? sky blue?) was on my mind from that first moment of fascinated horror (sorry, previous owners, who really took very nice care of the place). It was only a few months later when, driving down a nearby street, I saw a gorgeous paint color combination that I WANTED ON MY HOUSE RIGHT NOW. However, seeing as how matching paint colors by eye or by description is a lost cause, I actually stopped and knocked on the door.
The nice people invited me in, looked up the names of the paint colors for me, wrote them down, and we had a nice chat about where she got the colors, who did the work, and so on. I stopped off at Kelley Moore on my way home, got some samples of the colors, and mocked them up on my computer like this to see how they'd look on MY house:
Then, on a free weekend sometime after that, I sprayed down the whole house to get it clean and daubed on a bit of paint in a few key places to see how it would look. Realized I didn't have time that weekend to really get started. Aaaaaaaaaand there it sat. Here's the front in 2004, with a little test daubing on the lower right.
And the front porch in October of this year, testing by the window and the front door. Yep, all my visitors saw my house like this for nine years. Nine. Whole. Years.
Fast forward through years of never having the time or energy to tackle it, through 2006, when my sister got married in my back yard and we spent weeks prepping and painting just the back deck (isn't it purty, in its nice tan and green and white?), and I realized that I was never going to have the time or energy to tackle this particular house, and starting to set aside money to hire someone else to do it.
To December of last year, when the eaves and fascias had become so badly weathered--ok, rotten--that chunks were just falling off randomly, and I hired someone to fix that (see my before and after photos of that in this Wordless Wednesday post), which depleted the funds again.
To this fall. Things were looking pretty bad in places by then. The south-facing wall was the worst.
But it was pretty ugly everywhere, including the side with the side garage door (with the mandatory test paint from 2002).
However-- I finally had the dough, got & looked up referrals, called painters, got estimates, and, yeah!, hired someone!
Here's what they saw as they drove up:
They worked really hard at the preparation--scraping the cracking and crumbling paint away made my yard look like it had snowed (well, with patches of fluorescent green here and there). And, oh, the mildew under the peeling paint on the back wall!
And here--finally--is what it looked like when they drove away four days later!
And all is right with the world.