I call my house Mr. Grey because when I bought it, every room inside was painted a different shade of grey. The outside is your standard 1960s red brick ranch with white trim. It was very plain when I first moved in. Over the years I’ve planted some things, removed the big ugly bushes on the side, and installed a privacy fence around the back patio but it has taken me a while to get to the huge task of updating the house itself.
After researching different options for brick, I chose to use a limewash on the two sides that have brick siding. I used Romabio Limewash in Cristallo which is a warm, off-white color. There are a lot of Youtube video tutorials on how to apply the product to the brick and many do-it-yourselfers that have posted images of their limewashing experience with Romabio products. Unlike latex paint, limewash is made from lime and actually calcifies to the brick. It will patina naturally over time, creating that antique whitewash look on the brick. You can help it along by using a garden hose to squirt off random areas as you apply the product. I chose not to do that, I liked the look of complete coverage of the brick and I wanted to wait for the aging process to occur naturally over time.
The other two sides of the house have an older Masonite siding on them. I just painted them with latex paint that Lowes color-matched to the Cristallo Limewash for me. For the trim, I used a shade of taupe by Valspar called Coastal Villa.
The front entrance on my house almost never gets used. I live on a corner and my driveway is on the side of the house so everybody pulls in the drive and comes in through the garage. I wanted to do something to give the front of the house a little more emphasis.
I decided to remove the storm door because it covered up the pretty door behind it. I’m still on the fence about whether I need it or not, I’ll see how it goes for a while and if I decide I need it, I can always install it again (or buy a newer, prettier one!) 😉 I replaced the brushed nickel doorknob with a fancier one and the ancient porch light was replaced with a new one in an oil-rubbed bronze finish that matches garage lights.
I painted my porch with Behr Granite Grip in Tan. I built the wooden box with my house numbers on it from treated plywood. I painted it to look like vintage boards. It probably won’t hold up against the elements for very long but I’m hoping to have a portico built onto the front of the house in the future so hopefully, the planter will last until then!
I had my brother, Tim, help me remove the old light fixtures on each side of the garage door. They were black, which you would never know by the image below! I cleaned them up and painted them with Rustoleum spray paint in Burnished Amber. They turned out pretty nice and saved me a lot of money over buying new ones. Unfortunately, both lights had wasp nests in them which we didn’t figure out until Tim got stung. A week later I asked him to prune my lilac bush for me and he disturbed an underground nest of bumblebees. The bees were furious and chased us both into the house! Tim got stung again! 😬 I expect next time I ask him to come over and help me he will tell me to buzz off! I ended up being stung 3 times myself during this project!
On the garage side of the house I trimmed the overgrown lilac bush and removed the storm door. A new garage door is on order but I was too anxious to take pics to wait on that to get installed. If you’ve tried to have any work done by a contractor lately you know how long it takes to get those things scheduled. It will probably take months!
The west side of the house was a bit of a challenge to paint. There is a little more basement exposed on that side which meant I needed an extension ladder to reach the top. That steep slope starts right at the base of the house so the ladder felt very unsteady. I was a bit nervouse but I got it done!
It was also incredibly hard to mow that steep slope so last year I had the steepest section landscaped so not only does it look really nice, it’s much easier to maintain.
It was definitely the biggest project I’ve ever tackled. It took a lot of time and it was a ton of hard work but I’m really pleased with the outcome! After I finish some landscaping in my flower beds, I will finally be able to say this project is finished. I may actually have time to paint some furniture projects again! Let me know what you think of Mr. Grey. Tim liked it so much he suggested we start flipping houses!