Favorite Project- The Flipping Couple

Today's guest is Cindy from The Flipping Couple.  Cindy and her husband are fixing up a lovely home up in Minnie-sOta (that's how I like to say it).  An alternate title to this week on the blog could have been "Young Professionals That Are Obsessed with Their Furry Children and Making Their Homes Pretty on a Budget"....but "My Favorite Project" works too. 


Hi! This is Cindy from The Flipping Couple, which I write with my handsome hubs, Nick. When Michelle asked if we would be willing to write a guest post we were absolutely thrilled to do it! I've been drooling over her kitchen ever since I found her in the blogosphere and am completely impressed with her knack for decorating. 

Michelle asked us to write about a favorite project. Well, narrowing down a favorite project is tricky, but Nick and I agreed that painting the exterior of the house is definitely one of our favorites to date. 

See, our house was pretty ugly when we bought it. Curb appeal was definitely lacking. Or nonexistent. In fact, when giving people directions to our house I would refer to it as “the ugly little white house.” Endearing, right?

Last summer we pulled out the paintbrushes and decided to work a little magic on the exterior of the house. Picking paint colors actually didn’t prove to be as tricky as we thought it would be. Maybe because we had so much room for improvement.

We used Hirschfield’s Platinum Exterior paint. It came highly recommended by a friend who has had the stuff on his house for about 20 years and it still looks fantastic! The only downside of the paint was the price tag, but we’re hoping it’ll last us a good 20 years for us, too. Or at least until we move out of the house. Because while painting the exterior might be one of our favorite projects, it's not exactly one we want to repeat anytime soon!

I had no idea how much prep works goes into this kind of painting project. Turns out you have to clean the entire exterior of your house first. We used a power washer very carefully. Our house is stucco, and we've heard horror stories about water coming into the house and ruining the walls if you use too much pressure with a power washer. Since re-doing every wall in the house wasn't at the top of our priority list we tried to avoid that at all costs.

One preventative step was to caulk all the cracks in the stucco. Fortunately, we have very few, but there are several doors and windows that were filled in at some point in the past. The cracks around the border are pretty obvious, so we used caulk to fill those babies in.

Then came hours and hours of scraping and sanding, trying to get every surface as paint-ready as possible. And then. FINALLY, it was time to paint!

We used a sprayer for both of the main house colors. This was an absolute lifesaver. Had we painted by hand we would probably still be painting (now. a year later) and there's no possible way it would make it onto our "favorite project" list. Our stucco is very textured which makes it hard to get into all the cracks and crevices with a brush or roller. If you do paint stucco/brick by hand we recommend finding the thickest nap roller you can. It'll help a lot!

But really, we just recommend using a sprayer. So much easier. Especially handy if your friend's dad owns one and let's you borrow it for weeks on end. I had never seen one of these before, much less used one. Fortunately, it's pretty easy. You just set the suction hose into the bucket of paint and you're off and running. It does take quite a while to clean out, and you have to clean it promptly so dried paint doesn't wreak havoc on the machine. We quickly learned to factor clean-up time into our painting days.

We opted to go for a three-tone look. We used a dark base on the brick, a really warm caramely neutral for the stucco, and then added a pop of color for the trim.

About halfway through said trim I was thinking we should have left it white. Thanks to the sprayer we flew through the brick and stucco but the trim was painstakingly slow. By the time we were done we agreed it was definitely worth it in the end.

And in the end? A not-so-ugly, no-longer-white house.

Here's a little before and after action to save you the trouble of scrolling up and down (am I the only one too lazy to do that??)

We still have some projects to tackle to amp up the overall curb appeal (new door, new light, landscaping that grows) but we love what a coat of paint did for our house!

Now Cindy and Nick can tell people....look for the really pretty house that we painted ourselves!  Be sure to stop by The Flipping Couple to see what Cindy and Nick are destroying with a sledge hammer...it's pretty cool. Trust me.