Priming and Scraping

Exterior prep work has begun! 

Just having the primer on is already such an improvement. Hopefully they finish up today and I can post completed after shots soon. 



Exterior Paint Decisions

Painters are coming next week (weather permitting), which means we had to give them our paint color choice for the exterior trim. Right now there’s a whole lot of brown going on. And not in a good way. 

The windows are scheduled to be replaced in early June, and they will be white. So a lot of the brown will disappear with the addition of the windows. For the rest of the trim, I was thinking dark gray. I even used Window World’s window mock-up tool to get an idea of how it would look:

I did the mock-up before we replaced the lights and removed the screen door so I added a new door just to see the look. 

I thought the mock-up looked good and now it was just time to pick the actual paint colors. I recruited my best helper and headed to Sherwin Williams. 


I have such a hard time picking paint colors. I always feel like my first pick is wrong, and I end up wasting money on paint before picking again. But this time there won’t be any second chance opportunities since we’re hiring painters and they’re getting the paint ASAP. Pressure!

So Mini B and I narrowed it down to three (all Sherwin Williams): Black Magic, Iron Ore, and Roycroft Pewter.  Truth be told her initial voice was a deep navy with purple undertones, but I had to veto that. 

 The gutters are staying as-is, so the color we pick just needs to have the same tone. I think all 3 would work fine with the existing gutters and downspouts. 

I decided to get test paints for the two lighter colors (Iron Ore and Roycroft Pewter) since Black Magic seemed too dark (side note: SW only sells quart-sized samples for $7, which is a little bit ridiculous. I now have a TON of extra paint).  I’m hoping that decision will be my only mistake in this whole picking-a-color process. In short, I should’ve gotten a sample of the Black Magic, but I’ll get to that. 

Mini B was thrilled to actually help me paint (she did all the Roycroft Pewter herself). 

As soon as Mini B started with the Roycroft Pewter I knew it was too light. It was barely different than the gray paint already circling the bottom of the house. 

I also wasn’t sold on the Iron Ore. It also seemed way too light.  Even after letting it dry, I knew we needed to go darker. 

All that work to lead me back to my initial gut choice: Sherwin Williams Black Magic. A little googling and I was able to find another brick ranch that used Black Magic on its garage:


Looks good to me. Mini B agreed and we let the painters know. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and I’ll have after pics for you next week! 

Painting an Entire House

There’s nothing like an impending floor installation to really jump start some action. With the install date for our floors only a week away, we knew we had to get our painting caps on. Painting is so much easier when you don’t care about spills and drips. And given that we had to paint EVERY SINGLE WALL, CEILING, AND PIECE OF TRIM in the whole house, we wanted to make it as easy on ourselves as we could.  Now, we thought about hiring it out, but after getting estimates that ranged from $2,500 to $3,500, we opted to just do it ourselves. Plus, that way we knew it would be done right.  So we got our ventilator masks and got after it. 

Everything had to be primed first, including the ceiling (our contractor Steve had patched some of the settling cracks in the ceiling, so primer was a necessity). Here are some before-painting shots to remind you of where we were at:


Lots of green and pink.  And dirt. Hard to believe that those pictures are after we hired a cleaning crew to vacuum and wash the walls. Gross. 

We started with primer everywhere. I did all the brush work and Mr. handled the rolling.  

The ceilings were the hardest part, but Mr. did a fantastic job (I offered to help and I offered a pole but he said it was easier his way). After a couple long days, everything was primed and ready for paint.

You might be able to tell from some of those pictures that a paint sprayer was attempted at one point. I say  attempted because it was sort of a fail. I wasn’t around for it, but I saw the aftermath and it wasn’t pretty–lots of drips and spurts combined with spots of too much paint and spots of too little. In the end, Mr. Bunches decided it was a big time and money suck. Lesson learned. 

After the priming, it was time to paint. After much trolling of Pinterest to find the perfect greige to paint the whole house, I decided on Benjamin Moore’s Classic Gray.  (Image sourced from Jennifer Pacca Interiors.)


In an attempt to save some money, I decided to buy the paint from Home Depot and just get it color matched (I think HD used to have all of BM and SW colors in their computers, but they no longer do. That meant that they used my little paint chip to color match it). 

This was the formula they came up with. And here’s a shot of the paint chip next to our flooring sample. 

It looks a little more beige than gray there, but all the pictures I found on Pinterest, and well, the name itself made me feel pretty confident that this was the warm gray I was going for. And then we started putting it on the walls.  Cue the dramatic music and drumroll . . .  

And Mr. said it looked like a bodily fluid (I’ll let you guess which one). Womp-womp.

Those two pictures make it look very beige, but in real life it read as a very sickly yellow. Totally not my style. And totally not Classic Gray–my own fault for trying to get it color-matched at HD. So basically it was a complete waste of $100 (that’s how much the five-gallon bucket of paint cost) and two hours of precious painting time (that’s the total amount of time it took me to go to a Benjamin Moore store and get new paint). 

With the epic paint fail, I decided to take that opportunity to rethink my color choice altogether. I knew that I wanted it to look gray and not just read gray in certain lights. So I went with BM’s Gray Owl. We used it in our own master bathroom (although lightened by 50%) and I knew it looked great. Plus, turns out it’s Benjamin Moore’s second most popular gray (after Revere Pewter), so I knew it would be good.  (Below image from Fabulously Vintage.)

Despite the delay, we’re so happy we decided to go with our gut and change the paint color. Totally more us. 

I didn’t have time to wait for the paint to dry before snapping these progress shots so there are still a few wet spots in those pictures. Forgive me. And these are most definitely progress shots. Oh, and the paint isn’t 100% Gray Owl. I had it lightened by 25%. Why? Well, the house isn’t that bright, and–let’s be real–it’s also in Buffalo where the sun forsakes us for six months each year, so I didn’t want to go too dark with the walls. I think it’s going to work out great. Now if only we can finish it all before the floors go in . . . 



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