Thursday, July 10, 2008

Painting possibilities

So my epiphany has turned into another epiphany entirely-- I had mocked up the house with its usual red trim along the eaves, adding red porch columns and white architectural detail. I knew the red was too bright, but it looked really whorish-- just vulgar. I had to avert my innocent eyes.

And then I tried it with the red eaves, warm grey porch columns and white detail, and I thought it was a little boring, but an improvement and, frankly, very grown up looking. I was very happy.

I got home and Adam wasn't opposed to the grey, but was still holding out for a good red color.

Now, I could have simply browbeaten him into agreeing with me. In fact, when I told him I wanted to show him some colors, he said, "Is this something I have to like, or should I tell you for real?" I was mildly offended, but told him to tell me for real, and he did. So I went and tried again-- with a new picture of the house that included our new roof, and not one that I photoshopped in--
(House as it is now)

and found a much more brick red color. And what d'ya know?! Deja vu all over again. I really think I like it.

Stephanie from Bungalow Insanity suggested this (painting the porch columns and horizontal trim, preferably red) a long time ago, but I've only just now gotten around to mocking it up. And, as usual, I am once again ever so grateful for an awesome suggestion through the blogosphere. Other thoughts, guys?

Now the real question is finding the right red-- one that isn't too brown or pink or purple. I did have a plan at one time. There's a house on the market, a few blocks down, that appears to be a typical red brick bungalow...that is, until you're snooping around sale houses and realize that the mortar and brick are the same color. I was planning on taking some color swatches down there and matching them to that house-- it's just such a great brick color match! And it's empty, right, so who would care? Well, the neighbors are friends of ours and they told us a few days ago that the owners moved into the house after it didn't sell to cut back on costs.

Would it be weird if I knocked on their door and asked if I could stand outside for a while with some paint chips?


Jennifer said...

I totally asked the owner of a cute little brick cottage like ours what paint colors they used... she was out in her garden as we walked by with the dogs! She was more than happy to share

Personally, I might do the white areas in a browny cream? For less contrast but still visual interest. The brickier red is definitely the way to go.. you could get REALLY fancy and faux paint all the bricks and mortar lines to look like they were never painted! My neighbor did this... it fooled the masons we had give estimates!

B. Williams said...

I've always had a knack for picking paint colors. In our previous bungalow I picked an olive and khaki scheme that suited the house. And MAN did it look good. Since then there are now 3 green houses on the street and one street over there are 2 more. I'd confronted one of the painters about it on the house directly across the street. He told me that when he asked the homeowner what color she wanted, that she told him to paint it like mine. Ugh. So honestly if someone showed up on my doorstep with paint chips the first thing I would do is ask how far away they live, if it were down the street I'd sure give them an earful. People take pride in taking the time to pick just the right color.

Anyway, I'm going to go with Jennifer on this one I think cream is the option. Here is another option, don't paint the bricks, strip them. It would be A WHOLE LOT of work but wow would it look good. Also I saw a fairly recent issue of american bungalow that had very similar house to yours. It had a fabulous paint job. I'm actually considering it for our house.

Amalie said...

I'll investigate cream-- I'm mostly worried that it will look funny with the grey roof. And I'm also not sure I'm ONLY looking at painting the porch columns, not the rest of the house; cream might necessitate painting the whole house. And I'm not ready to do that yet.

I'd love to strip the brick, but it looks like it would be more than I can take-- there's indications that the paint was done to cover up some bad masonry patching, and I'm not prepared to open that can of worms. In fact, I wasn't even going to paint, but the insurance settlement will pay for it, and I don't like how stark the front looks, so I'm trying to take advantage of the opportunity.

The house I'm looking to match is about 6 blocks away-- It's got a green roof, and very beige trim, and I wouldn't be looking to match the whole scheme-- only one color for one small portion of my house. I'll just cross my fingers that they'll help me out!!

Amalie said...

Sorry-- I am wanting to paint ONLY the porch columns...stupid. I didn't proofread my own response!

Stephanie said...

I don't think it would be weird to ask. I was always flattered when people would ring the bell at my old house to ask for our paint colors. (It never happens at our current house because we have the same disgusting baby blue paint we had when we moved in and it will probably be at least another year before we can paint over it!) But it can't hurt to ask - the worst thing that can happen is that they say no.

One quick comment about stripping paint from brick. I agree with b. williams that natural brick would look wonderful, but stripping brick isn't always so simple. The face of the brick can come off along with the paint, which destroys the brick. The face is what keeps moisture out and if the middle of the brick is exposed to the elements it will dissolve/crumble. That's why it's always suggested that you test out your stripping method in an inconspicuous spot - just in case chunks of brick start coming off with the paint.

There are some great brick-colored paint colors out there. The exterior of the Rejuvenation retail store in Portland is painted because paint-stripping didn't end up being an option for them. It still looks lovely though:

Happy painting! :-)

Amalie said...

I think I'd be flattered, too...

I took a lovely evening walk by that house last night, but it looked like no one was home. I'm hoping to see them out and about working on the place or something so I can ask... That, or ask the neighbors to call when they leave for work! (Just kidding! Not a paint stalker! I'm adult enough to simply ask. Maybe.)