Front Porch: Improvements with Paint

August 8, 2011

Hey all, hope your weekend was swell.  We’re in ‘last week of summer’ mode around here which means relaxation is priority number one until school starts next week.  However I did manage to squeeze in a few front porch improvements over the past few days. 

I’ve long been in love with the idea of painting the front door something other than white.  All the colors of the rainbow seemed too strong and all wrong, and since the stucco is yellowish in tone, gray seemed the logical choice. 

I posed a question on Facebook what color gray I should go with, and many kind readers responded, thank you!  I reasoned it was best to grab those two samples I was considering, and maybe a couple more at my local Benjamin Moore.

Choosing the perfect gray is very challenging – there are so many ways gray can lean based on the formula: lavender, green, blue, or taupe, one must be careful! 

 

As always, you can’t tell much from a paint deck swatch, you need a real sample viewed in proper light so I picked up four samples from my local BM, and painted big swatches on a poster board to study which would be the best choice.   

  

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The voting was a family affair, with the men on the side of ‘Cape May Cobblestone’ in the lower right corner.

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The gals were split, me for ‘Gray Horse’ upper left with its green undertones and the little lass for lower left ‘Coventry Gray’ with blue undertones.  Yes, my children can be found still in their pajamas in the afternoon in summertime.  What?  That’s not normal? 

My darling daughter pointed out that the blue undertones in the ‘Coventry Gray’ matched the lavender in the garden.  Brillz, I tell you.  Look for her name in lights someday. 

I decided in an abundance of caution it was best to stay close to a true gray, so the men prevailed and ‘Cape May Cobblestone’ won. 

 

 

It’s nice, it’s sophisticated, it’s subtle.  I like it.  The gray will take some getting used to, but change is good.  I think what’s throwing me is the fact that I painted the urns too.  I’m really not liking that look, they look too ‘gravestone’ to me and I’ll likely paint them white again soon.  Or maybe I’ll leave them gray until Halloween, mooo ha ha. 

Painting the door was a simple process.  I deglossed the existing latex enamel paint, taped off the hardware and door surround, then used a low sheen enamel paint in a latex acrylic formula.  This particular paint is designed for outdoors and resists moisture and rust.  The enamel formula dries quickly to a hard finish more like an oil based paint, but offers the ease of soap and water cleanup.  Me thinks it will make a great furniture paint too since it comes in both low lustre and high gloss.    

 

 

I also had to tackle a few other issues that have been bothering me for a while now.  There was a whole lotta hodge to the podge going on between the dirty brass sconces which did not coordinate with the nickel handle and the black threshold which to me just stuck out like a sore thumb.  Cute kid though, he can stay.

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The threshold is built into the frame so it’s not like I could easily replace it without having to reframe the door.  Everything I read online said you can’t or shouldn’t paint your metal threshold.  Well call me crazy, but I completely ignored that advice. 

I sprayed two coats of water based Bullseye 123 primer and covered with two coats of the same enamel paint used on the door.  I choose latex and not oil based paints because latex formulas allow for expansion and contraction which both occur with moisture and heat outdoors.  Time will tell if the paint on the threshold proves durable, I shall know much more in a few months.  But I just couldn’t stare at a black threshold anymore. 

 

The one improvement I’m most thrilled about is the change to the lantern sconces.  I committed to fixing those in my Home Goals of 2011 and finally got around to it.  It was a cheap fix, with spray paint to the rescue once more. 

We have four of these sconces on our house, two on the porch, two on the garage, so even though I wanted to replace them, that would cost me some cash.  Instead, I just refreshed them with a paint.  Once I dismantled them (taking pictures along the way!) and cleaned out the bug corpses, washed the glass and porcelain, then spray painted the metal with RustOleum’s ‘Matte Nickel’.    

 

 

 

It all feels more coordinated now, except for those dang gravestone like urns.  Doh. I’ll have to make them white again as soon as I find the energy.  

  

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What about you, have you painted your front door lately?  What technique and paint product did you use?  And what’s your favorite shade of gray?  

 

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