Hi, friends. We're Alex & Haley. Your photo & video duo for people that are cool with keeping it real. When we aren’t documenting families and weddings you will find us at home in comfy clothes, chilling with the dogs. and a coffee in hand. Learn more about us.
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The very first day we stepped foot inside this cape cod, we knew it had all kinds of potential. We scheduled a visit with our realtor, Ashton Guthrie, and our friends/contractor Emily and Scott Burke. All three of these folks had experience in flipping houses and home construction. They were the perfect people to help us make a decision if this was the right fixer upper for us!
The first thing I noticed and loved about the home was the cape cod style, the second thing was the giant windows with dark brown grids, and the third was the huge oak trees. We fell in love, made plans for removing walls, refinishing floors, and …one day… painting the exterior! We put an offer in that same day!
We had always been careful to not lean too far into trends or everything Chip and Joanna were doing on tv. Especially on the foundational items in the house. That means concrete counters, farmhouse vibes, and super modern lines were a definitely NO. We stuck with classic medium brown real wood flooring, kept the original molding/trim, and were careful to stick to the style and integrity of the 70s cape cod (just slightly updated). You can see more of our interior transformation here.
4 years and several improvement projects later, we were ready to reconsider the brick exterior. I’ve always said that this house was begging to be a quaint cottage with the big trees and cape cod adorableness. One thing I never loved is that the brightest part of the exterior was the siding. It stood out and I wanted to minimize this. We did a ton of driving around looking at older homes off Lexington Rd. and noticed that when you paint the whole house one color, the siding and brick blend together and the whole house appears to be brick. Yes! Let’s do it!
First we needed to decide if we would paint the house ourselves or pay someone to do it and how much we should budget for the project. One of my favorite bloggers is Sheri and John from Young House Love. I had followed along while they made similar decisions a year or so prior. Luckily she did a lot of the research for me and blogged about it. We decided to reach back out to Scott Burke. He owned a painting company and was an expert compared to us. He came over and talked us through options and gave us a quote. We decided we had the budget to go ahead and work with Scott again.
Our quotes came back between $4000-$6000 depending on paint choice, labor, and what parts of the house we decided to paint. I was so sure that I wanted to use Romabio masonry paint because I liked the finish of it, I knew it was breathable, and had a 20 year warranty. However, this paint was made in Italy where COVID-19 had hit hard and the paint was on back order with no promise of being available soon. In the end we landed on painting the whole house, the gutters and trim, and using Sherwin Williams Loxon Self Cleaning Masonry Paint. Scott was able to show us a building he personally painted with this product that was still looking fresh 10 years later.
Now to choose the colors! This was honestly the hardest part. Once you paint brick it’s not exactly easy to go back or change your mind. I’ve always been very visual and I needed to be able to SEE it and make sure the colors would work together and look right on the house. I started with pinterest, searching for white painted brick homes with dark window grids like ours. I paid attention to their trim colors, their gutter colors, if they had shutters or not, etc. Because we did not have shutters, our home needed some added contrast in my opinion. This is why I didn’t want to paint our trim too light. Next I built my trusty collage. I used a photo of our actual roof plus the paint colors we were considering and put it in one collage to see if we were headed in the right direction.
Once we were closer to choosing paint colors I had Alex work me up a photoshopped image of our actual home with the colors we were considering. I also searched Google, Pinterest, and Instagram for homes painted with the exact same colors to get a glimpse of how they looked in real life, in real sun and shade. Again, this stage took a very long time. We were nervous about making the wrong decision and wanted to be certain.
With our photoshopped photo we were set on white, and doing the gutters and trim in a darker color. Everything in and out of this house had felt very brown and we wanted to change it up. We chose a greige (brownish gray) that would not clash with the roof, windows, or garage but would add some coolness with the gray tones. The trim and gutters are SW Gauntlet Gray. The white was a little harder to choose. Have you ever looked at how many freaking white paint colors there are!? Decision overload. Using my Pinterest skills I made a list of white paint colors that people said were good for houses. I then went to Benjamin Moore’s website and examined each of them. I narrowed it down to 4 options and ordered samples online (#covid19)
Okay all of the whites looked almost the same making our decision much easier! I had called and talked to Romabio a few weeks prior and they told me that their Richmond White basically an exact match to BM Dove White. We liked that it was soft and neutral without yellow undertones. Dove White it is! And painting began, only to be delayed by weeks of rainy days leaving our neighbors to wonder if we had gone crazy with a partially painted wall and some sloppily painted trim. Little did they know… we had a plan!
Throughout the process I walked outside 20 times a day just too look at the house and confirm for myself… yes this is going to be okay… yes you like this color… no your neighbors won’t hate you (fingers crossed). Even still I was nervous about how it would turn out and if we would like it.
Y’all the end result was sooooooo worth it! All of the overanalyzing and research paid off because we love our adorable painted cape cod that has now turned into that quaint cottage I always knew it wanted to be. (Now I am pretty sure it is begging for some climbing greenery growing up the side of the house).
We are in love and can’t wait to keep making this home our own. (I see some backyard projects coming in 2021). What do you think? What questions do you have about the process? Leave us a comment and I’ll make sure to respond. I’ll leave you with a nice before and after (because that’s what bloggers are supposed to do, right?)