Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Numerous Shades of Grey (and a Little Gold)

If the door is the "smile of the house", our porch was that one ugly black hair that sprouts from your chin that you always forget to pluck the night before a hot date or big job interview.

Gross, right?

Well, not anymore!

We were originally going to strip the brick to match the foundation, but after consulting various sources (and trying our hand at a couple) we realized that it would never fully be paint-free and so we'd just end up painting it again anyway.


Score one for rational laziness.

It took us some deliberating to decide on a color, though. Gray (if you haven't noticed by now...which is impossible) is our go-to "paint all the things" color, but because the cracking, peeling paint was a shade of gray (fine as a color, maybe, but looking at it on our porch made me want to get a tetanus shot), I wasn't feeling very pro-gray. 

Joseph suggested a nice, lighter gray. Specifically Pearl Gray in Behr's Masonry, Stucco, & Brick Paint. (side note: we actually got the guy at Home Depot to mix us a gallon of Pearl Gray in the Behr Porch and Patio Floor Paint since he said the other was meant for exterior walls and not high traffic areas.)

Well, this gray, which looked like a lovely pale shade on the sample, appeared blindingly white once we applied it to the steps.

It actually hurt to look at. 

No kidding. 

I tried to take a picture but it just came out looking like the surface of the sun. 

We packed up the remaining 3/4 of a gallon and went back to Home Depot. Thankfully we previously learned that Home Depot will tint your already purchased paint fo' freeee, so we asked them to tone it down a little. I think we used a swatch of French Gray (pic) for color matching. 

Much nicer. 

The stoop is the original blindingly light color (we decided in small doses it was alright), while the steps got a fresh coat of the new, more muted gray. Which, let's face it, is still pretty bright. 

Then....I decided the top needed some pizazz. If you know me at all, you will know that I am not a pizazz person. (I raise an eyebrow when people add those "cha-cha-chas" into "Happy Birthday". My favorite color...is gray.) Pizazz and I are not friends, or even acquaintances, but I've been spending a lot of time stalking reading Mandi's blog Vintage revivals and she has pizazz in spades! Some of it must have rubbed off on my brain because our front porch all of a sudden seemed to be crying out for something bold! Something exciting! Something that could be done in an afternoon with a paint pen! 

So, I straight up stole Mandi's wallpaper sharpie idea. 

Because Joseph says we should have more pictures of "us doing stuff" on our blog, here is a picture of me, in what I call my "sexy outfit", using a yard stick. It's crazy up in here. But back to the porch...

And I am not sorry. 

I love it.

So much. 

The only thing I changed from her tutorial is that mine are based on a spacing of 7 inches

and 10 inches

(instead of 6 1/2") because...that was easier for my math-hating brain. 

(Also, in case you ever read our blog and go, "Hey, where are their kids while they're doing this stuff?"

They're right here! Helping...in their own way.)

How it will hold up outside remains to be seen. The paint pen I used is oil-based (not water-based) and says it can be used on concrete, but doesn't say anything about outside projects. Or foot traffic. Probably because who draws on their porch??

We do. 

And we like it that way. 

Confession: I am now a little paint pen crazy. I'm thiiiis close to using it for an accent wall in our bedroom... My cautious self is trying to talk me down. "Too trendy," it says. "You'll hate it in a year." 

My new-found inner pizazz (who sounds a lot like Ms. Frizzle, now that I think about it) is encouraging me to "Take chances!" And "Make mistakes!"

Hmm...we'll see how this goes down...

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