Our budget for making improvements is pretty small to begin with. There are some major ticket items that will have to wait; new materials, vanity and fixtures in the bathrooms, new cabinets and appliances in the kitchen – there’s no dishwasher which is an adjustment – completion of the sauna and replacement of the carpeting and wood stove surround in the downstairs to name a few. For now though we have to start with the superficial basics like paint. The exterior of the house is clad in cedar siding which we love. The boards, however, have faded and changed colour over time, particularly on the sun-exposed south side of the house. So what to do with it? No discussion needed, J and I both wanted it painted black.
In this photo you can see the sun damage to the south facing side of the house, the boards are bleached and uneven, and the metal window frames are faded to a rusty red colour. Also note the bare bulb light fixtures outside the lower sliding door, we replaced those with proper fixtures during the paint job.
We used a Woodcraft Siding and Fence Stain in “Ebony”, which applied solid colour into the woodgrain with (thankfully) only one coat. The grain is much more pronounced now, and it looks much cleaner. The balconies that were painted red/brown to match the wood will need to be painted as well. By painting the house ourselves by hand we saved a lot of money; each gallon of paint is $35, and so far we have used roughly 10 and are very near completion. $350 give or take to paint the exterior cladding of a whole house? Not bad. The previous home owner left behind a couple of ladders which helped tremendously in reaching the higher points of the house, though we did need to borrow the extendable ladder pictured above to reach the apex at the front of the house. The previous owner also left behind some black heat resistant paint which had been used to paint the wood stove chimney pipe, and we used the rest of it to paint the window frames.
Progress shot of the front. During our work around the exterior we cleaned up collections of driftwood, oyster shells and stones, and removed the wooden planter boxes that were attached under the kitchen window. The north side of the house is pretty shady, so we would have trouble getting anything to grow there, plus it looks a lot cleaner with them gone.
We also removed the bare bulb light fixtures around the outside (7 total) and replaced them with a caged marine style outdoor specific fixture. These are from Home Depot, around $16 each. My Dad came to visit the other morning and liked the black so much he has commissioned J to paint the exterior of his cabin on Decourcy black as well. Ha!