painting questions answered



Our house from our neighbors backyard.


Good morning.  I'm laying in bed with the laptop and after 11 days straight of prepping and painting my body is really feeling it.  My tendinitis is screaming for relief.  It's so hard to not use your right arm and so I'm paying the price.  But anyway I thought while laying here enjoying this slow morning, I'd answer all the questions you guys have about the painting and the color.  First off lets start start with my inspiration ideas...




Way back on my Garden Tour trip to England, when I first laid my eyes on this gorgeous office addition that Ashley Hicks made to the family home, The Grove, it took my breath away. If you have a few minutes and want to transport yourself back to England, click here. It was a long, freezing cold wet day and it was getting close to dusk but when we rounded the corner and saw this I lit up.  I was walking with Faux Fuschia  and Romy and said, "That's it, I'm painting my house black."  That was 2 years ago and in the interim I have flirted with white and pink but I'm so glad I stuck to my original inspiration.




This is a house I found on Pinterest and I wouldn't be surprised to find out that it is painted Black Bean Soup too. This is really close to what ours is now.  I adore it.




When I showed these pictures to Dave at Redlands Paint, he said, "You realize these are not pure black houses right?"  I didn't.  He recommended the Black Bean Soup right away and we took a test pot home and loved it.  He was right.  A pure black house would be a bit too harsh for me.





Lots of you are wondering if the floor is painted or if it's a rug.  It's paint.  I painted it several years ago and would like to change the paint and pattern, but am not sure what I want.  Besides I have bigger fish to fry right now (getting the house painted!) so that can wait.

Also my dear friend from Australia, Pammie has asked if us American's really do use our porches. For me the answer is a most definite yes.  This little porch gets used almost daily.  It's perfectly situated to watch the sunrise.  On cold winter mornings I'll bundle up in my comforter too.  During the spring and summer we almost always eat lunch here. Almost all my neighbors use their porches too.  So you may want to ring in on that in the comments.  And speaking of neighbors, so far no one has complained but I'm not sure they have noticed.  We are somewhat tucked back off the street so it may take some time.  But the walkers who have passed by have shouted out their compliments so that's been exciting to hear their reactions.  So far so good!




my friend, GSL wanted to know how many man-hours we have into it so far.  Larry estimates between the two of us, somewhere around 50ish.  We are still not finished but probably will be in 2 or 3 days.  The hardest parts are done.  And by hardest parts I mean the shingles.  As you can see in the above photo, each shingle has to be brushed on each side, top and bottom.  It's tedious work for sure.  Larry has worked tirelessly in the prep and painting.  The prep involved scraping, sanding and a good wash.




My job has been to paint everything low and keep us well fed and hydrated.





Also, there was a question or two about the cost of the paint.  I thought we were going to come in at around $300 total but yesterday I went back to the paint store and got another gallon of the Black Bean and one more gallon of Simply White for the trim.  If you buy 5 gallons at a time the price is significantly discounted.  Individual gallons cost a lot more.  So in the end it will cost almost $400 for supplies.  Which is still a great savings.  Plus, to be honest, it's been really good for us to do a big project like this again as a team.  It's been good for our marriage. :)

In a few days the roses will be open and I'll take some pictures of the house as it relates to the garden now.  See you soon and have a peaceful Sunday.  x  

55 comments

  1. It looks so beautiful, LOVE the color!!!!

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  2. It really is a stunning colour and you must feel a great sense of accomplishment. We are planning to have our bungalow painted in the next year or so and the cost is going to be well over $10,000. My husband has a phobia about climbing up ladders so we will leave it to the professionals.
    We have a porch too Janet and use ours in the Spring and Summer....
    Your roses are going to positively pop and stand out against the black background!
    So happy for you!

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  3. It works so well with all the texture of the shingles. I think it suits your house even better than your inspiration photos. Can't wait to see it with all the blooming roses.
    I use my patio all the time. Even in Ohio with our usually unfortunate weather!

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    1. Or the original pink??? Lor

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  4. The color is Fabulous - I love it!!!! What a great choice but then you always do make great choices.

    As for the porch, we live in South Texas. We have a front porch as well as a patio/fire pit area in the back yard. We use the front porch in the evenings as the sun sets on the back yard area. And we use the fire pit and patio area in the evenings after the sun has gone down. Coffee in the morning or a glass of wine are always outside on one or the other for us. And with the weather here Spring, Fall, early Winter and early Summer are all perfect for these areas. Really only a few weeks in the winter is it too cold to use them and about three months of the Summer is it just too hot.

    I can't imagine ever being without a porch. Have a lovely day!

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    1. Many thanks for your kindness in answering my question about using porches, Janet. So interesting to read how older houses in the US have front porches which, I guess, are more community centred and so good to know that people still use them for relaxing in their neighbourhood. Here in Oz most houses have back or side verandahs, decks or terraces. I guess because it's more private and family centred. Some of the old wooden Queenslander houses had front porches with wooden lattice decoration which provided shelter from the sun and allowed breezes and a little privacy - they were originally really charming but often later closed in completely to make another room.
      You've done a great job with painting the floor Janet, it's stylish and beautiful - I love the blue and white cushions and china too. Instead of changing the floor you could think of painting the old cane chair the same blue as the china - and in the cushions for that chair add maybe a striped fabric or other geometric pattern that includes small subtle touches of hot pink or fuchsia in a white/dark blue/lavender background. But that's just me - as you know I'm mad for colour.
      Wasn't Ashley a sweetie! Despite the miserable cold wet weather that day at The Grove and Highgrove was magical! And so lovely to see the comments from FF and Romy - your pictures bring back great memories. Best wishes, Pammie xxx

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  5. I can't believe it, I love it more and more! Looks great with any kind of greenery in front of it too. Truly a perfect choice.

    We use our front porch all the time, though it's only warm enough maybe four months of the year to do so. We like being eyes on the street, it really gives a sense of community to see people on their porches relaxing with wine or tea. I've made a few friends this way too, just chatting to people walking by.
    I hope that tendinitis clears up Janet, that's painful, take care of yourself. xo

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  6. Oh Janet it's looking gorgeous. So classic. I can't see that you'll ever regret your colour choice.
    Hope the tendonitis eases up soon. Ouch.

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  7. Looks fabulous Janet and never would have thought Black Bean would work so well!

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  8. I want to move to a shaker shingled home so I can do exactly this to my home. Every inch of your cozy cottage home is grand in presence. It's the perfect back drop to your landscaping and all the colours work perfectly in the right rhythm.
    Janet you must feel that you truly are living right where you want to live the rest of your life.... I know I sure would.

    You need to do a do over wedding now with your vintage black and white feel, perhaps another occation will come along to share your home and it's beauty.

    Xx
    Dore

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  9. I think you made a good choice. Should always stick with the one that takes your breath away! Hope you doctor has recommended a pain reliever for you!

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  10. I love it, it looks so elegant and I agree with Stephen....your house looks even lovelier than the inspiration snaps. What hard graft for you both but so worth it for the savings and the sheer satisfaction of accomplishment.

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  11. Ouchy I got tendonitis a few years ago after a particularly vigorous weeding session. I couldn't believe how painful it was. I got a kind of sleeve brace from the drugstore and wore it all my waking hours. Eventually it went away and I could go back to life as I knew it. If I got it again I'd hop right over to physical therapy. Have you thought of this, well, after you finish muscling through the pain and finishing the job, obvs.

    And I repeat, I love the color BIG time.

    Now, take care of yourself missy. I mean it.

    xo J

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  12. I have been quietly following you for years and just had to finally comment...LOVE LOVE LOVE the color choice and your porch is perfect, as is. Floor and all. You are a true inspiration to those of us "on the other side" of raising our families...keep it up!!!!!

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  13. Your home is made for this paint combination. When it is right, you just know it and you did! I completely understand about the shade of black you chose. It does suit you and the cottage. And, I love what you have to say about big projects with your husband. The hard work as a team is good for a marriage. That could use its own post! I hope you get a day of rest and your tendinitis improves greatly!

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  14. I absolutely love it and would seriously consider painting a house that color in the future. Our association wouldn't let us paint it that color in this house...mixed blessing, these associations.
    The white roses of your neighbor's yard are impressing with your home as a backdrop.
    Karen

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  15. I wasn't sure at first about the color but now I am loving it! when I downsized several years ago I knew I could not live in an
    apartment,I needed to have someplace to be outdoors. I love my birdfeeder in the front of my unit and when the weather
    permits I am out on my patio. in the mornings I like to watch the sun come up,maybe meditate. I plant flowers in containers and several kinds of herbs. when my neighbors moved out in the Fall they left a couple of buckets with tomato cages,
    so I might give this a try. until recently the patio has been under a blanket of snow but there are signs of Spring in the air.
    hope your tendonitis improves, feel better!
    Darby

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  16. Well done! I love doing most of our own work; it is very satisfying! I think your home looks smashing!

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  17. As a fellow red house owner, I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about the change but I LOVE it. Like, L_O_V_E it. And I can totally see how this whole project would be great for your marriage. Funny how that happens isn't it?
    We don't have a front porch, but we have a deck that I live on all weekend long in the summer. Mosquitos permitting. ;)
    Feel better sweet Janet! xo

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  18. you are amazing it looks beautiful. Wasn't the Grove perfect? Wasn't it COLD? I love your home xxx

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  19. It looks amazing. I picture the floor in a sort of simplified, large scale suzani pattern in magenta, lilac, black and white.

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  20. Janet it looks utterly wonderful! Am so glad you went this darker colour....all those associations! It's difficult making such a radically different decision yet it has so totally paid off! Rx

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  21. I second Stephen Andrew's suggestion of lavender. It will retain the sense of peace your house provides, compliment the blue and white decor, while being unexpected. It will seem like your house is greeting you with its blush of color. But, of course, your final choice will be just right. The best thing about your blog is that it reminds me that living simply is a matter of choosing wisely and with authenticity. Even something as seemingly mundane as paint color can be meaningful. Glad you're back! --Esther

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  22. Janet, amazing! My husband and I have been talking about painting our house a dark grey and I think now it will be a total go! Yay! I love the color of your home and I cannot wait to see even more of it, especially from the front! As always you are an inspiration!
    Brandi

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  23. Ahhhh! The roses should look quite remarkable against your newly painted cottage! Can't wait to see them.

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  24. Stunning! You continue to inspire me!

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  25. I love the color! It's different from what you usually see which is nice! I can't wait to see more pictures!!

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  26. I have got to say I really love the color with the white trim ! I have cedar siding and had a clear stain on it and finally had to redo many years later with some color. I picked a color called cedar and at first I thought it too mustard yellow. But once it was done I loved it ! Maybe in several years I'll change mine to black bean soup !

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  27. I love the red on your house, but there's something so elegant and polished about the Black Bean Soup. Like someone else noted, the color really makes your flowers pop. There in Southern Cal, you should have enough green in the winter for everything to still look good. As for my patio, I would use it a lot if it weren't for my indoor kitty who wails whenever I sit out there because I'm excluding her.

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  28. You are doing this yourself??? To say I am impressed, is an understatement. You will beam with pride when it is all done! It's exciting to read and follow along. Thanks Janet!

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  29. Oh, I love it. You two are amazing. What vision. It looks stunning! xxx

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  30. I'm surprising myself that I really like this, a lot. I am happy for you that you had this vision and went with your gut. I also love that you treat us as friends, include us in your journey, answering our questions and also sharing with us your personal asides, like the tidbit about your marriage. Thanks for letting us visit. <3 Lor

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  31. I love how it came out! Living in Maine we have a short summer, so I use my porch and deck as often as possible. I just had my house resided in a medium gray with white trim and painted my front door turquoise.

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  32. I really like the first photo you posted from the neighbor's vantage point! Looking forward to the "after" photos. I hope the inflammation in your elbow calms down quickly.

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  33. Love the color! I am so impressed that you can do it together, that's a lot of money to save, it will feel so good once you are finished!!!

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  34. I love the color, so much better than pure black which would have looked like burnt charcoal. As far as the porch goes--yes, yes, yes! I call it my "napatorium." I love to relax and read and eventually nap. Those people who built sleeping porches on craftsmen houses at the turn of the last century had the right idea.

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    1. "Napatorium" that's so funny!! I can't wait to borrow the term!!

      Renee in Northern California

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  35. Janet,

    Hope your tendinitis is feeling better...I had it a few years ago in my finger after weeding one day, I don't think it was the weeding as much as moving all of these somewhat large river rocks around to get TO the weeds. My finger looked like a little sausage. The only that helps is stopping the activity that caused it. (and ice and ibuprofen) :/

    You've really got me thinking now about what color to re paint our house. It's currently a beachy blueish color. But blue fades so don't really want to go that route again. I might try to convince my husband to go a dark slate or who knows? Maybe something close to your color.

    You and your hubby make a great team! :)

    Linda
    xo


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  36. Well, you answered my question about the prep. It's A LOT of work, isn't it; what a challenge and commitment for you two, to get all that done yourselves. I think it's so interesting that you're painting your house at the exact time we're painting ours! I can't help out my husband like you're doing, so my husband has the bulk of the work and he has an away job, so this is taking forever. One good thing about that, though, is that it gives you time to let things sink in. We were sure that our shutters could be a certain color as contrast to trim and the main body...do paint cards lie? With the pre-established go-together colors? Well, in this case, I say yes. Maybe what they say works, say, for one room...but for a whole house, not always. We painted the one set of shutters and I've been staring at them for a week and I've decided, no, they just are in too much stark contrast with the main color, so I'm going back to white. We're pea-soup-y green with white trim and that's all it will be; I'm leaving this third color for the exterior doors only.

    It's a big responsibility, isn't it. If you're painting the inside, it's for you and you don't have to hear from anybody else about it. If it goes wrong on the outside, you'll eventually hear about it. My neighbor painted her exterior a dark lavender and she's been hearing about it ever since. Actually, I learned from studying my city ordinances and rulings last summer that, at least in my town, you can be in violation and against city ordinance if you do anything with your property to negatively affect a neighbor's aesthetic. One example they cited on the official city paperwork is if you paint your house color something other than what 'goes' with the rest of a neighborhood. We're in a subdivision, a tract, but with no homeowners' fees or CCRs; so much is left to interpretation, and aesthetic is so 'individual,' I didn't think something like that could be enforced, but they enforce it. I know of a black-brown house...two, in my town, right off the top of my head...which is on a corner, somewhat separate from their tract/street, to where it's almost stand-alone. Another is a 'mansion,' turn-of-the-last-century estate, and it is shingle like yours and painted the similar brown-black which I believe was its original house color as it's been that way my whole life and I'm getting pretty old; again, it's kinda set apart and not really part of a neighborhood per se. So, it sounds like this is you, and you'll be less likely to catch any flack. But really, what's the flack anyway? We need variety in this world! And it's obvious already that your house is well-defined now and is looking terrific. (Neighbors need to embrace change!)

    Side note, you're lucky you could wash off your house during the prep. We've been forbidden to do so since November, due to water restrictions. We can't even wash off a driveway.

    Can't wait to see your 'after' photos! Hope your arm gets better soon.

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  37. Janet,
    Looks beautiful! I think black is a perfect and dramatic backdrop for gardens. I love working on a big project and am so much more productive when I'm working as a team with Brent. I can't wait to see it all through the seasons.
    xo
    annie

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  38. oh.my.gosh. ~ I just LOVE it! I too painted my house dark charcoal....maybe 2 years ago now and I haven't gotten tired of it at all. And whoever said that it makes a difference in how it relates to the inside of your home is spot on. I love how my house seems content now....I think the same about yours tooo....seamlessly flowing from outside to in....just lovely Janet!
    ~ Pam Atk

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  39. I totally love this color. The prep takes longer than the painting sometimes, lots of work and so worth it. I did like the red (my favorite color) but this is perfect.

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  40. The house looks gorgeous with the new paint on it. I personally love dark colors, & I think this one with the brown undertone is perfect.

    Regarding porches.....I have 2 very long, but shallow porches. The front porch runs almost as long as the cabin & overlooks the only actual yard I have. In nice weather I am out there every evening so that my goldens can relax in the yard. My back porch runs the whole length of the cabin & is elevated because of the walk-out basement. It also overlooks the creek, which is a rapid running trout stream. My favorite is the back porch for relaxing, reading & eating every meal possible there. It is private & relaxing. Both porches are covered so that I can use them even when it's raining. Like yours, Janet, they are decorated almost as though they are rooms. So, yes, my porches are used every day possible here in northeast PA.

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  41. The house looks gorgeous with the new paint on it. I personally love dark colors, & I think this one with the brown undertone is perfect.

    Regarding porches.....I have 2 very long, but shallow porches. The front porch runs almost as long as the cabin & overlooks the only actual yard I have. In nice weather I am out there every evening so that my goldens can relax in the yard. My back porch runs the whole length of the cabin & is elevated because of the walk-out basement. It also overlooks the creek, which is a rapid running trout stream. My favorite is the back porch for relaxing, reading & eating every meal possible there. It is private & relaxing. Both porches are covered so that I can use them even when it's raining. Like yours, Janet, they are decorated almost as though they are rooms. So, yes, my porches are used every day possible here in northeast PA.

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  42. Your house looks fabulous, well worth all the effort! Our small conservatory performs the same function as your porch, able to enjoy the outside with shelter from the elements. Porches are generally not a feature of British houses because the weather would rule them out of action for much of the year, but I always think that they are such an attractive space, linking the house to the garden.

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  43. Check out this black house with pink door
    http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/roger-chris-bold-eclectic-vivacious-160-year-old-victorian-house-tour-217168#gallery/49267/0

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  44. Janet,
    I am in awe each and every time I can pop in here and see what's going on there in your world.
    Love the black bean soup paint and can't wait to see it all done. It will be quite the back drop for your roses and you.
    pve

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