Our exterior painting secret

I have a confession.

It's a dirty little secret that our neighbors on either side of our house have probably noticed for over a year now.

One I've avoided for way too many months.

One I hate to even admit to.

But before I divulge my imperfections, let me start by telling you the whole story for context.

Last summer, we painted the exterior of our house. We had to. Because we used the first time home buyers load to fund our purchase six months earlier--in December 2009--the house had to meet the loan's standards. Our inspector said it needed to be painted, but we obviously couldn't do it during a North Dakota winter. So, we had a licensed contractor give us an estimate on what a DIY painting job would cost. That amount was put into an account by the bank and would be returned to us after the inspector had returned to see the house had new paint. We had to have it done before the fall of 2010.
A few short weeks after closing, Dec. '09. Chipping paint, plastic shudders, broken screen door and all.
We got married in May 2010, so the project didn't begin until mid-June. What can I say, we just were in no mood to tackle the huge project before or immediately after our wedding and honeymoon. Unfortunately, this meant we'd be painting during the warmest month of the summer. Yuck. And the summer of 2010 was long and hot. Double yuck.
We scraped. 
We power-washed.
We primed.
We scaled tall scaffolding to reach every nook and cranny.
And of course we painted. Mike was in charge of spraying two coats of color onto every surface. I was in charge of doing all the brushwork on the trim. I can't remember how we ended up with this arrangement, but I've regretted agreeing to it ever since it was in place. I mean, everyone knows who got the better end of that deal. :)
Mid-way through painting the trim on the front.
The job wasn't fun. I was often hot, often smelly, often sun-burned. Dreams of swimming and jet-skiing swirled through our heads the entire time. Often we'd wake up early on a weekend and paint until noon and then head out for an afternoon of fun. It was too hot to paint anyways, the paint wouldn't have adhered properly.
It wasn't glamourus. I wore ugly painting clothes, ugly painting shoes, ugly paint all over any exposed skin and hair.
But it was worth the effort. By the end of August we had every surface covered with paint and ready to be inspected. 
And in the process we learned more about ourselves. Hubby and I've always worked well together, but we learned how to better lift each other up--sometimes literally--when we needed it. A valuable lesson for newlyweds.
Note, I said every surface was covered in paint, but I didn't say we were really done. The inspector didn't care if the end result was ugly, she just wanted to see that the siding was given a protective covering. We passed the inspection, and from the front, our home looked done.

Here's the dirty little secret: I never finished painting the trim on the sides and back of the house.
One side of the house: blue splatters all over the trim. Messy, messy, messy!
And I still haven't. 
(Picture me cringing as I type, because that's exactly what I'm doing.)

What can I say, I just never felt too motivated. It wasn't my favorite job, and we rarely used our backyard--it could've almost been classified as a jungle when we moved in. We rarely host anyone in the back so the only people who regularly saw it was us and our neighbors. Sorry neighbors!

But--and that's a big but--I promised Mike I'd get all the trim painting done before the weather got too cold. 

The time has come. 

We're through the hottest part of the year and fall is quickly approaching, which means I've been spending some quality time with the ladder and paint brush recently.

And I have to say, it feels reeeally good to finally be tackling the project. The nagging sensation I get when I think about working on it (almost everyday for the last year) has been like a pesky fly that won't leave me alone. It's time to kill the fly!

LaLaLand isn't perfect, and life here isn't perfect, but, it is ours; which is always a lovely thing.

I'll post some photos of painted trim soon!


  1. Feel better. I've done the exact same thing. My place had to be painted (although just the trim and some accents, since it has vinyl siding...) by the end of May 2011. I scraped and put primer on all the bare wood. Within a couple months, I painted the windows that faced the street. And within a couple more months, I painted some basement windows. And now, three of my upstairs windows are still not painted. They're just an icky pattern of brown and gray. Just yesterday I finished all my basement windows. This weekend is the weekend I'll finish. :)

  2. You go girl. You will persevere and finish!! Can't wait to see the final trim photos!!

    R and "boys"

  3. Wow, you are brave with the ladder and the scaffolding! I'm not afraid of heights, but I don't know if I would have it in me to do so much work so high up. I guess if I did, my house trim would have been painted already!

  4. I loved your last sentence! so true! and i think you house is lovely!


  5. Looks like a huge job, kudos to you for taking it on! I love your bold color choices!

  6. We have to take this project on in October. (Hopefully.) I'm dreading it. How long did this take you, if you don't mind me asking?

  7. Thanks for the comments, everyone!
    @Kim, the project took a long time...too long I'd say, but for the sake of keeping our sanity we decided to not rush ourselves too much. We started scraping and power-washing mid-June and finished enough to have the inspector approve it by mid-September.

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