When in doubt, go with a food name.

The bathroom is not the only thing on our minds. We’d really like to paint the exterior of our house BEFORE next year. We’re not doing it right now. It’s too hot. And we leave for vacation in one month and when we come back from that, we’ll only have two weeks before we start school, and that time will be devoted to painting and organizing the classroom.

I seriously just teared up over that huge run-on sentence. No, not BECAUSE it was a run-on. 😉 Why do people wish away summer? I’ve never understood that. I never will.

Anyway, we won’t get around to painting until early fall, when we’re finished with the bathroom, the classroom, and it is a bit cooler. I love the heat, but even I don’t want to be up on a ladder for hours in 100 degree weather.

But, Lowe’s had a $40 rebate on paint that was ending the first week of July. We had already been looking at paint colors; I started the selection process when I thought there was a slim chance that we’d get to it in the spring, before we started the bathroom. But then it seemed to rain every time we thought about it.

We wanted to go ahead and nail down a color before the rebate expired. We won’t be painting until the fall, but I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t leave my garage door looking like this until then…

painted garage

The entire house will have to wait a few months, but I’ll go ahead and paint the garage door so as to not be those neighbors who leave paint samples up for two years. Not that I’ve ever had neighbors do that. Heck, I’ve rarely even had the same neighbors for two years. But you know what I mean. Just trying to be courteous.

I don’t stress too much over interior paint colors. In fact, I often mix my own. If I have black and white on hand and I want gray, I’ll just mix some up. If it’s horrible, I’ll buy more at that point. I don’t mind mixing three different beiges together to paint a bathroom. I figure it’s always worth a shot. Many, many times I’ve avoided buying more paint and used up some of the assorted almost-empty paint cans we already have. If I want a bit warmer, I’ll add yellow. Or red. Whatever I have. If I want cooler, I’ll add blue. It doesn’t always work out. Most of the time it does. With neutrals at least.

Exterior is a totally different story. Sunshine is tricky. And no one wants a pink house that was supposed to be beige. And who has an extra ten gallons of exterior paint just sitting around? Not me. I have some dark brown and some white. A little bit of tan. Not enough of anything to use.

Also, it’s a pain in the butt to paint the exterior of your house. It’s not like going to the bathroom at 2am and thinking, “I hate this color. I’m changing it first thing tomorrow.”

I’m probably too careful in my selection. If that’s a thing. I’m going to have enough eight-ounce paint samples that I could probably mix them all together and paint a shed or something. I wish we had a shed.

I grabbed paint chips when I was at Lowe’s once. I didn’t know anything other than that we wanted to pull the color from the brick and/or mortar. So I got several. I really wasn’t even sure what all colors were in our brick, and I couldn’t remember if the mortar was more tan or gray.

paint chips

People have differing opinions on this matter. I personally think there are enough colors going on already if you have brick. I like the trim to be pulled from the brick and then maybe a punch of color on the front door.

Some people believe you should just pick a color that you like and go with it. I guess I just don’t view bricks like I do jeans, and I don’t think that always works. But it’s your house. Do whatever you want. Unless you have an HOA of course.

I narrowed my paint chips down to a manageable group based on the fact that we decided that we wanted to match the mortar, since the color we liked best in the brick variation was charcoal. That’s very dark. Nope. Not happening.

dark brick

I took my group of potentials outside and held them up to the mortar at several different spots around the house (with different amounts of sun).

I narrowed that down to three and bought samples. Then I painted them at a few different spots. The porch, the garage door, the gutters, some trim.

From there, I made assessments about each option…maybe a bit darker, a bit less pink, a bit grayer, a bit less olive, etc. Then I’d go back to the paint chips and select a couple more samples to buy. And I’d paint those next to the others and come up with a couple more colors to try.


test paint

This was all just to be careful. I liked Elegance by Allen and Roth (a Valspar Signature color) from the very beginning. But I needed to proceed with caution. This is too much work and too much money to get wrong.

This is much harder than holding a towel up to a bathroom wall and making a decision. The mortar looks cooler in some spots, and warmer in others (depending on what side of the house or how the sun hits it). And then there are spots, like the fireplace, that need power washing. I don’t even know what that will look like when clean.

fireplace power wash

Plus, there were colors that we really liked in a small amount, but worried would look too green or too pink or too orange in a huge chunk, like on this spot of our second story…


I really liked Stone Manor, also by Valspar, and wanted it to work badly because I loved the name. But it was too dark.

stone manor

So we gave this what some people would call way too much thought. And had a tacky garage door for a couple of weeks. Finally we made a decision on the last day that the rebate was available. We checked out at 20 minutes til close. Woohoo for saving FORTY BUCKS!

The color is Smoked Oyster by Valspar. Elegance by Allen and Roth (my fav from the beginning) was a very close second. It’s actually probably still my favorite, but I was scared it would be too olive in a big mass, so I went just a tiny bit cooler and landed on Smoked Oyster.

smoked oyster

I’m painting the garage door today.

And of course that will open a can of worms. We need a lighting update. And shutters. And a new mailbox. And the landscaping still needs a lot of work.

need shutters

Not to mention we have two more bathrooms to update, a kitchen to overhaul, a bonus room to add, a laundry room to change, etc. I really do think we’ll be here at least three years just to complete the current to-do list. We’ve been here nearly nine months and it’s like we just moved in most days. How in the world have we completely renovated and flipped a house in twelve weeks before? Did I dream that?

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