Over the past week, I set aside a couple of days to continue chipping away on painting the exterior of the house. You can see the first two posts about painting the exterior of the house HERE and HERE. My goal is to get the front, driveway side, and back of the house primed and painted before the cold weather sets in. The fourth side of the house is covered in a thick hedge, so we need to get that trimmed and cleaned up before we work on painting that side. With two gables, two walls of siding, and the porch, the front was going to be the biggest challenge and that is almost done!
Late last week, I took the day to prep, prime, and paint the front door and the shutters along the front of the house. I’ve been stalling on painting the front door for months because I didn’t want to take all of the hardware off and sand it down. It’s not that it’s a hard project, but I was a little intimidated about taking apart the handle and lockset without my dad’s help. Recently, though, I’ve replaced a few door handles in the house and that gave me the confidence to go for it. I also decided this would be a good time to replace the front handle and lock.
So, I removed everything and took a bit of time to fiddle with the new lockset so I felt comfortable that I would be able to get it on and lock the door at the end of the day. With that confirmed, I set about sanding and painting. I tested out two swatches for the shutters and doors and decided to go with the lower swatch, Card Room Green, which is less saturated and I felt like the color harmonized with and complimented the brick better.
Prior to sanding, I filled any holes in the door with wood filler. Since I was working on the door by myself, I didn’t take it off the hinges. I closed to door to sand it so I didn’t get dust everywhere (although I still feel like I’m cleaning up dust from our renovations over the summer.) I used an orbital sander and 220-grit sandpaper just enough to smooth out the filler and rough spots on the door. This is a 50+ year old door and I’m okay with some imperfections and signs of previous wear and coats of paint. To me, that is part of the history and charm of the house.
The funny thing is that I installed the latch and it kept latching when I closed the door. Without a handle, this meant I either needed to use a pair of pliers and the handle rod to open it or I had to walk around the house and let myself in through another door.
To fit the new hardware, I also had to fill a hole that secured the bottle of the handle and drill a new one. I was a little nervous about drilling a hole through our front door, but I used the template that came with the hardware and it worked out perfectly. I told Jeff I drilled a hole through the front door after it was successful.
One of the ways I make efficient use of my time is by trying to batch things together. While I have the sander out, let me hit other things that need to be sanded. While I have a brush loaded with a tinted primer, let me prime other things I’m going to paint in that color. It does mean I can turn smaller projects into bigger ones, but it is more efficient. So, while I had the Card Room Green tinted primer out, I primed the shutters along the front of the house as well. Fortunately, I’m tidy enough that I can paint the shutters while they are hanging on the house, so I don’t have to mess with taking them down.
I also primed the new vinyl shutters I ordered for the garage window. I was so excited to find these and I plan to order shutters for the back of the house before next summer. I think this house originally had wood shutters and they rotted and were removed. The front and garage-side shutters, with the exception of the garage window, were replaced with aluminum shutters at some point. The other shutters were never replaced, but you can see the ghostly outline of where they used to be. I think it will add a lot of detail to the back so we’ll reinstall new vinyl ones. Anyway, THESE were the ones I ordered. At just under $100 for the size I needed, that’s a relatively small investment for a big architectural boost.
Here’s how the shutters look painted in the new color…
I didn’t realize until a couple of people pointed it out, but the right shutter on the window closest to the porch is upside-down. They are so similar, but the bottom is just the slightest bit bigger.
And Jeff helped me install the new shutters on the garage window and they make such a difference…
I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to look out of my studio window and see a freshly painted porch, siding, and new shutters.
Unfortunately, we hung the right shutter upside down! I couldn’t believe that I didn’t notice that even after people had pointed out that we already had one upside-down shutter on another window. We’ll have to turn those right-side-up, but you really have to look hard to notice it. Most people driving or walking by the house would never know.
The front door looked great with the new hardware and fresh coat of paint, but the trim around it, which was still just primed, was a bummer. I had removed the storm door and filled the holes with some wood putty a few days ago, but I needed to sand, prime, and paint the surround. I took time yesterday to finish painting the porch ceiling trim as well as the trim around the door. Oh man, two coats of crisp white paint around the door and sidelights were just what was needed. It looks so sharp! And I LOVE it with the storm door removed. Now you can see the beautiful color of the front door as well as the new hardware.
I am not anti-storm door, but the one on this door wasn’t the highest quality and it had seen better days. If we’re going to have a storm door on the front door, I want it to enhance the beauty of the front door, not detract from it. But, this door is well protected by the shape of the house as well as the porch overhang, so a storm door isn’t really necessary.
I love this wall in the evening when dappled light hits it through the maple trees. I can’t wait to see it with landscaping.
My mom took me out shopping on Friday and she bought some mums for the front porch. I’ve even remembered to water them!
Here are a few before & afters so you can see how far we’ve come…
We need to replace the trim under the two front windows and then then we’re done with painting the front. We’ve already painted some of the garage side of the house and I’m hoping to get more done on it next week…