The continuing adventures of life in the money pit

the new colors!
the new colors!

When last we left our intrepid home improvement saga, we were gearing up to paint the house. Well, here we are a couple of weeks later and we are still gearing up to paint the house. But we’re getting closer!  Selecting colors proved more arduous than certainli I had expected. First, there was our own indecision, then there was the unexpected fact that we had to get city approval for said colors (hearty thanks to our neighbor Kurt for letting us know about this little fact – failure to get approval can mean the city can make you repaint in approved colors – at your expense!). We spent a good week going over the Sherwin Williams color swatches that Student Painters left for us. After much hemming and hawing we settled on a couple of shades of green – a light green for the base, and a darker green for the highlight. Then we’d use white as the third accent color.

When we went to the city for our certificate of appropriateness (seriously, that’s what it’s called!), they made us choose another accent color – white was not acceptable. So we ended up choosing an adobe brick red called Fireweed. That color will be more noticeable on the front house (the historic house, built in 1912) but we’ll get a few touches in the back as well. This process took well over an hour – I really thought it was going to be like getting a garage sale permit, in and out. But we actually went through a book called Bungalow Colors Exteriors and had to find examples of our house (it is, if you are curious, an arts & crafts bungalow with a shed roof) then had to review color choices. Browns, grays and greens were the most common color choices (happily for us, as we wanted to go with green). I found a historical color chart on the web before we went to city hall, and it turned out the same sheet was in the book. Here’s an updated version of the most common colors. That green is very close to what we are using.

So we have the colors chosen and approved, and we’re ready to go. But here’s the thing: the Student Painters are, well, a bunch of students. They’re supervising themselves and so far, it’s not pretty. Don’t get me wrong, they’re hard workers, but they seem a tad scattered and could really use a firm hand. Unfortunately for them (but fortunately for us), Chuck has assigned himself the job of supervising them. The look on their faces when they saw how big the house was was pretty comical. And when Chuck told them they’d be using brushes and rollers – no spray painting, thank you very much – their dismay was palpable. They settled into the prep work pretty well, though, and have been scraping and sanding quite industriously for a couple of days now. Their supervisor is meeting with us tomorrow, and that should be interesting. The students think it’s going to take a lot more paint (a variation on “we’re going to need a bigger boat!) than the original estimate, uh, estimated and it’s going to take more time. One of them said, in a very plaintive voice, the other day, “this is a really big house!” No duh, kid.

I remain optimistic that things will work out and we’ll have a green house within the next week. Here’s hoping! For comparison,here’s a pic of the house before painting:

the house before repainting