We Painted the Brick!

Painting the brick exterior of our home has been on my wish list since we bought our house.  Unfortunately, it was not on any list of  Mr. DB’s and since there were other priorities I didn’t push it.  Every now and then when we drove past a pretty painted brick house I would point it out to him.  His response usually mentioned “maintenance issues”.   There’s always maintenance I’d say, as if we just had to accept it as the cost of being homeowners.   Adding to my painted brick houses board on Pinterest only fueled my belief that our house would look so good if it were painted.

Here we have a picture from those early days.  The landscaping consisted solely of English ivy from one end to the other, giving the property a somewhat sinister, deserted look.  While we were getting used to having a mortgage, we had little money for major improvements.  But we could pull out the ivy ourselves, and we did.   Little by little we added new plantings – it’s still a work in progress.

You know that expression lipstick on a pig?  I guess I thought  I could disguise ugly brick with landscaping and black shutters.  Didn’t work.

In another attempt at improving the curb appeal we had a tree cut down in the front yard.  We hate to cut down trees.  But I knew it would make a difference in the landscaping.  I wrote about that here.

Now we have more lush plantings that give us the perfect setting to display the American flag.

These half-measures did not make me stop wanting to paint the house. In fact, I became more and more convinced that we really needed to do it and now. I had painters at the house on another job and while they were here I got an estimate for painting the house. Hmm, less than I thought.  The maintenance will not be a big issue.  I was able to reassure Tom and he started really noticing some other painted brick homes in our neighborhood.  Gradually, he came around.

The brick color is Gateway Gray and the trim is Snowbound, both by Sherwin Williams from their HGTV home collection.  Interestingly, getting Tom to agree to paint the house was the hard part.  We quickly came to agreement when we found this color.  I bought many samples and we painted them on the side of the house.  Once we saw Gateway Gray we both knew it was the one, not too dark, not too light, just right.

The painters fixed the facing around the front door and removed an old intercom from beside the door.

Full disclosure, Tom isn’t the only one who hesitates on unnecessary home improvements.  I have to talk myself into spending money on projects that are purely cosmetic.   Shouldn’t we put that money in our retirement fund, or, if I’m going to be frivolous,  maybe toward a trip to Paris?

There are no regrets here.  We love the way it turned out.  It was just the fix the house needed.

How do you feel about painting brick?

GARAGE MAKEOVER IN PROGRESS

Our garage had reached the point where it caused me stress every time I went in there.  The disorder, dirt and cobwebs, not to mention not being able to find anything, made me want to scream.
The previous owners of our home used old kitchen cabinets and the puniest shelves for their storage needs.  I have been gradually getting rid of both for years.  They made the garage look even more rundown and they weren’t functional for any of our stuff.
This past weekend I managed to cajole Tom into helping me get started on this project that has been nagging at me for years.

We have cinderblock walls in our garage, so mounting any wall systems or hooks is challenging.  The walls were old and stained and covered with cobwebs and dust.  Yuk!



We painted half of the garage.  And put up two shelving units that we bought at The Container Store.  Just painting made the space seem so much fresher and cleaner. And we also bought a few tubs for camping equipment and sports equipment.  It’s so nice having everything organized and stored and off the floor.

Those clean, freshly painted walls make me so happy.  We used paint we had left over from a renovation project, so no cost!


Still to come is the workbench area (I use the term loosely; we are not workbench people).  And more painting.  And more disposing of stuff.


But looking at the part that is done is very motivating.  Onward.