Friday, November 9, 2012

Keeping up With the Joneses

That title would make sense if "Joneses" was synonymous with "Roof".  Which it's not.  But I can't waste any more time trying to come up with a witty title, so let's just all pretend.

Since getting our roof replaced, the other ugly elements of our home's exterior have been bugging us.  There's nothing like having a beautiful new roof to help you see how nasty the rest of the place looks!  As a matter of fact, every day since the roof was finished, my goal has been to attack the "ugliest thing".  There were a few obvious items on the list: the peeling four-toned front door and trim, the rusting porch columns, the dilapidated mailbox, the saggy brass (hee hee) porch light.

First order of business?  Hands down, the front door and trim.  It still looked just like this, almost a year later.  Sorry, neighbors.

I started by filling all the holes with wood putty, waiting for it to dry, then sanding it down.  Our door is faced with a thin wood veneer (because our house is classy like that), which was peeling off in the top right corner.  To contain the damage, I used a utility knife to score a rectangle around the damaged area, then picked off the veneer.  Then I filled the patch with more wood putty, waited for it to dry, and sanded it down.  I took zero pictures of that process, because it was all done over the course of about five of Madison's lunch times.  I couldn't make any noise here during her nap because her window is right next to the front door.

We had already selected the front door color.  That process was pretty simple: my mom painted her front door, and had plenty of leftover FREE paint.  I've said it before, and I'll say it again, "free" is my favorite color.  It's a mellow, rusty red.  I think it looks very autumnal, which is appropriate for now, but with the right accent colors next to it, it can work with the other seasons as well. 

Once the door was reasonably smooth (I may or may not have sanded the patch less than necessary for a perfect finish), I applied the new red.  Since I was painting over an already red door, it only took two coats to get great coverage.  If I was starting from white, I'll bet it would have been an entirely different story. 

The next day, I painted the trim on the sides and at the top white.  I used Valspar's Exterior Semi Gloss Ultra White Paint + Primer.  It gave excellent coverage.  Two coats later, our trim was pure white, with no trace of the old yellow outline.

That left only one surface still needing some love.  See this threshold?  
 It was awful.  Chipped, peeling, dirty, but solid.  I used a putty knife to scrape away the chipping pieces, then sanded it down just enough to be sure that any remaining paint was there for the long haul.  Then I cleaned it very thoroughly with soap, water, and a dish brush that I bought specifically for paint prep.  I followed up with a tack cloth to be sure it was absolutely clear of dust and dry, then primed it. 

Since this is a surface that will be walked on, I didn't want to paint it white.  Call me crazy, but scrubbing thresholds daily is not my idea of a good time.  I lucked out when I saw a gallon of mistinted paint at Lowes for $12.  It was perfect!  Gray semi-gloss interior/exterior commercial grade paint!   It came out just like I wanted.

And now for the good!

 And after.
And after.
And after.
We do plan to install a kick plate to cover the bottom of the door.  That's why I didn't paint all the way down.  I also need to touch up over the door knob where the tape peeled off part of the paint.  I'd still call it an improvement!

What do you think?

Happy Friday!


  1. It's really looking nice!! Good work! dorothy

  2. Love it! Great job!!

  3. Everything y'all have done on the house looks so great! You will be sad when you leave! Y'all have added so much curb appeal and the roof looks awesome. Good job!