Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Project Curb Appeal is Underway

We spent most of the past weekend working on "Project Curb Appeal."   After some major bush trimming we set to work on changing the color of those horribly faded green shutters.  After researching it online, I found most people said not to paint vinyl shutters or if you did to use some kind of special expensive paint I've never heard of. Well I figured spray paint can be used on about anything and worse case, the shutters are only $40 a pair if I had to replace them. So I decided to go for it. Here's how it all worked out.

1. First have hubby or other significant male other with muscles rip shutters off house. Or summon your woman power and do it yourself. Ours were attached with plastic screws and pulled off fairly easily. Don't worry if you break any of the screws, Home Depot and Lowe's sell replacements next to the vinyl shutters they sell.

2. Watch for wasps and other critters living behind shutters Run and scream after hubby tells you to move "Now!" while wasps fly out after you disturbed their nest. Spray wasps with bug killer and watch them flop to the ground.

3. Clean off shutters. I used a bucket of water with a little Dawn mixed in to get all the dirt and gunk off. Wait for shutters to dry completely.

4. Break out the spray paint. I used some  black rustoleum spray paint that said it would stick to vinyl for the shutters. The can didn't list vinyl as an acceptable surface, but a little pamplet next to the spay paint did say it could be used on vinyl. The can has a nice trigger too so no sore fingers from painting.   That paint is some nasty stuff though. I probably should have worn a mask or something, because it really hangs in the air and travels. I had it all over my feet and my throat hurt and I was coughing afterward. It's incredibly sticky too, my flip flops were sticking to the floor.

5. Apply even thin coats and allow a few minutes to dry between coats. I used 3 cans on paint on 4 shutters so if you have a lot of shutters, this could start to get a little expensive since I think the paint was $6 a can. But I was very happy with the end result.


Then it was time to work on the trim around the garage that was rotted on either side of the door opening.

After another trip to Home Depot, we left with 3 cans of paint and 2-2x8 boards for the garage. Hubby ripped off the trim on the side of the garage, I scraped silicone  caulk off the sides while he cut the boards down to fit.  When he held them up to check that they fit, we discovered that they weren't as wide as the old boards had been. A 2x8 measures 7-1/4" in width, but the old boards were 7-1/2" wide. So I'm not sure what kind of lumber they were using before, but we will have a little bit of green paint and caulk that shows because the boards are not as wide.

I primed the boards and then hubby put them up. He got a little carried away with the screws and I had to remind him that you don't needs as many screws as compared to nails. He added fresh caulk all around the edges. The caulk says to let it dry for 7-14 days before painting, or until it dries clear. We are hoping that is sooner than 7-14 days so I can get that trim painted all the way. Now it is the old green color on top and white primer on the sides.

The final project of the weekend was painting the front door.  We had to replace the front door last week because our old one was warped. Steel doors aren't supposed to do that and it was only 2 years old, but luckily they refunded us our money when we brought back the old, warped door.

I found a nice red color called Sly Fox at Home Depot. It's not too bright and not too orangey either. It's an exterior semi-gloss by Behr. I knew red often takes many, many coats of paint, so I was pleasantly surprised when it only needed three coats. The last coat was  more of touch-up, the first two coats covered it pretty thoroughly.

I just need to touch up a little around the knob and deadbolt.

So later this week we have to scrape paint on the outside sidelights on each side of the door, add more caulk, then paint away the outside. I'm still trying to decide if I want to do white or red on either side of the door. I guess I'll prime and see if I like it white, if not then it also becomes red.



  1. LOVE the red door so much!!!

  2. Beautiful color! Love all the stunning house photo's on your blog!
    Thank you for your comment on my crochet-project! And i saw the Tornado photo's : YIKES!!!!!!!! How lucky you were to not have damage!

  3. That red door is beautiful! Are you cleaning up just for spring cleaning or to sell? Just curious, it's really looking good!

  4. seriously loving the red door!

    living creating & appreciating
    ~my blog

  5. We are not selling, we just refinanced actually. We needed to replace the trim around the garage because it was rotted, the shutters were faded, and the front door was warped. So since everything had to be replaced/fixed, I decided to change the colors. Stay tuned next Monday for more pictures after we try and finish up the outside this weekend.

  6. [...] posted earlier about how I spray painted the shutters. Here’s the post on [...]

  7. Oooh nothing like a red door! :)

  8. THANK YOU so much for linking me to your own vinyl painted shutters! I appreciate it so much. I will definitely try the rust-oleum - they look great! I guess since this is so recent you don't know how they'll hold up yet, but from the sounds of it, they'll work out. And I LOVE your front door - that is the perfect shade of red. Because of the pink brick color, I think I'll have to go with a darker red on mine, but I wish a bright red like that would work, because it is so awesome looking. Thank you again!!

  9. [...] & After and My Home Sara 2:25 pm When I posted about our outside house makeover here and here, I left out much info. on how I revamped our outside lights on each side of the garage. They were [...]


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