Sunday, June 3, 2018

Home Exterior Painting Reveal: Quest for the Perfect Gray

Hello again, friends — I have a lot to fill you in on since my last update two months ago! Although if you choose to just skim through and look at pictures rather than read my long post, I won't blame you.

If you'll recall, I was internally tortured with deciding on the perfect gray for our home exterior. Well, we finally did settle on Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal at 75%. (The 75% is an important detail, as you'll find out later...)


Label from my sample container. We had it matched at Sherwin-Williams even though it was a Benjamin Moore color.


Since this was one of the few projects we were not going to DIY, we hired a small local painting company (after getting three different quotes) and got on their schedule for June 11. Well, they called me up on May 20 and said a client had cancelled so they could actually start on our house the next day. Yikes! I felt a little un-prepared but couldn't turn down the chance to have the house done even sooner.
As you can see, it was looking pretty drab and lackluster after ten years of living here. 




So the three-man crew started that Thursday morning by pressure washing and beginning to caulk all the nail holes, seams, and other voids. But then a rainstorm popped up and they had to come back the next day to finish all the prep. After that was Memorial Day weekend, so Luke and I took advantage of the long weekend to finish up some landscaping projects. 

On Tuesday they began taping off all the windows, etc. in order to start painting. I went into the office for awhile that afternoon, and when I returned, the house had been transformed. As I slowly drove up toward it, my first thought was, "Whoa, that looks a lot darker than I expected it to." I chalked it up to being the shock value of going from the old beige color to this new gray color. 


As the crew packed up and left for the day (rain was coming again), I walked around to survey the house. I couldn't shake the feeling that it shouldn't be this dark. Seeing one of the paint buckets on the side of the house, I looked at the label to see if my sneaking suspicion was right. The color was indeed Kendall Charcoal — but I didn't see a "75" on the label like what was on the small sample container I'd given them that morning to take to the paint store. 

I texted a photo of the paint bucket label to the owner of the painting company to confirm. He called me back after a few minutes and said he'd just talked to his guys and the Sherwin-Williams store. Indeed, they had mixed the SuperPaint formula as full-strength Kendall Charcoal. And unfortunately, the crew didn't double-check that it was the right color before they sprayed the whole house.

Now, let me just say, it didn't look badKendall Charcoal is a great gray, but for us, it was just a little too dark and heavy.


On a freak-out scale of 1-10, I was maybe a 5 at that point. I mean, at least the house wasn't yellow or purple or something, right? I could have probably lived with it. But he reassured me that the SW store was already working on mixing the correct 75% strength color, and the crew would fix it the morning. Even though it wasn't my fault I still felt a little sick to my stomach about the whole situation. 

As promised, they did re-paint everything the next day (after apologizing for not paying attention to the too-dark color). I was much more comfortable with this lighter, softer shade of Kendall Charcoal — just what we had wanted for a neutral gray.

After the body of the house was done (again), they painted all the trim a satin extra white. It was amazing how much more crisp and clean everything looked. 



It's tricky to get a true-to-life representation in a photo. Like most grays, it does change depending on the angle and lighting (usually the amount of brown undertones coming through). I tried to take these pictures when the sunlight wasn't totally washing everything out.



The front of our house faces north, so it usually looks darkest due to the shade.





I also really like how the green foliage of our plants looks against this gray color.



Yet another thunderstorm rolled through in the middle of that night. I found myself lying awake listening to the downpour, having irrational fears that all the fresh paint would be washed off the house. But alas, when we got up in the morning, it was all still there. No streaks or anything.

Despite the sauna-like weather that morning, the crew returned to do some final touch-ups and also paint the metal railing around our window wells on the back side of the house. As you can see, it was rusted and nasty before. They used a protective direct-to-metal alkyd enamel (semi-gloss finish) to make the railing look like new again and prohibit future rust).




Needless to say, I am beyond thrilled with the overall transformation! It was so nerve-wracking to commit to a color for our entire house, but thankfully it ended up being the perfect gray in my eyes. (And good thing, because I was beginning to think the job was cursed with all the uncooperative weather and paint color mistake!)

And it's not just the updated color that makes an impact, it's the satin sheen that was lacking with the faded paint before.




Thanks to the new paint and some refreshed landscaping, I'm feeling pretty swell about our curb appeal right now. And it's just so nice having something done for once, which is not the case for our never-ending renovations inside. Guess you just have to fork over money sometimes in order to make that happen!

What do you think of our home exterior makeover? Have you ever had any "freak-out" moments during a painting experience (DIY or otherwise)? Spill below!



1 comment:

Molly said...

Amanda - I LOVE your house! It looks amazing! Great job! We have to choose a color by Friday and are in a total panic! Probably a gray, possibly a green, but very difficult to commit. I change my mind all the time. Loved reading your blog. How did you finally choose?

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