Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

EXTERIOR PAINTING! Cost, scope, and finished product

I am soooooo excited to share about this project. We've had so many things on our wish list for this fixer upper house the past almost 2 years, and repainting the exterior was one of the most fun/big impact, but had to wait for a lot of other projects to get done first.

Historic Tudor revival home exterior paint update

Here she is--our 1937 home, with 1990's (?) paint job, freshly painted and taken care of!


The original blue color wasn't my fave but wasn't the biggest issue--as you can see in these close-up before shots, the paint was peeling (especially in wet areas and on the south and west facades) and even exposing some of the wood. We're glad our house has the original cedar siding and wood windows, and need to take care of them!

I took these photos for our grant application--I recently had our house added to our city's cultural resources inventory (list of historic/important houses), and we're eligible for up to $2,000 in 50% matching grants every two years for eligible exterior projects. (That means, since we spent over $4,000 on this project [paint and new gutters], the City will give us back $2,000!)

We still have some updates to do--landscaping of course!!!!, new address numbers, refresh that light fixture, do some styling like nice planters and doormat, and restain the door. But... it's soooo much better, right?!?

The front windows have leaded glass panes and we chose an almost-black (SW 6994, Greenblack by Sherwin Williams) for just the inside wood trim on these as an accent.

Another comparison. Oh, one other thing to do: we had the new gutters installed right after the painter finished, since some areas needed paint before gutters. But now we still need the downspouts painted. Think we'll do that ourselves.

This view will look much better once we have lawn here instead of black plastic. HA!!

Here's the view from the side street. That scraped up yellow door was really a bummer. 

I chose the white trim paint to match our storm windows to make them blend in as much as possible. Some are white and some, plus the screens, are aluminum. I chose a bright white (SW 7066, Nebulous White by Sherwin Williams) and I really like how crisp it is. Side door is also Greenblack.

I go back and forth on how much I like the exterior color (particularly next to the brick), but I do really like it with the crisp white!

We also recently had the garage door replaced... I'll share more about that, and the gutters, probably next week. I also owe you a post on the roof replacement! Coming soon.

This side had the worst of the sun fading. That corner at the bottom right had a shed and massive overgrown kiwi tree (?) in front of it when we bought the house so it didn't get the full sun like the rest did, and you can tell!

Also, we had a gutter added on this hipped roof because without it water sheet-flowed down causing damage to the window trim below, and lots of mud splatter on the house. It's asymmetrical due to the cable connecting at the top left corner, but I think still looks great, and of course is functional.

The lilac is in bloom right now, my favorite! The beige paint color (SW 7506, Loggia by Sherwin Williams) is a great neutral backdrop for bright greenery and flowers.

(Yes, we still have a lot of work to do in this patio area.)

We also had the gazebo painted. With the new fence and yard we're working on, this should soon be a pretty nice place to hang out! It's storing stuff from the garage currently, and window screens we still need to put back up, but soon it'll be getting some new outdoor lounge furniture and decor, I can't wait!

We also had a gutter added to this. It didn't have one before, and water would creep in around the edges of the concrete in heavy rain, and the dirt was eroding around the outside. Plus if you tried to walk into it in the rain you got hit with all the roof runoff!


  • Inside front window trim and side door: SW 6994, Greenblack by Sherwin Williams
  • Rest of window trim and garage doors: SW 7066, Nebulous White by Sherwin Williams
  • Siding and gazebo: SW 7506, Loggia by Sherwin Williams

Choosing exterior paint colors is really hard and honestly I am not 1000000% in love with the beige we went with, but I think it looks great with the roof and crisp white, and can only look better as we finish the landscaping.

Cost & Timing

Oh, the cost! I got 5 quotes ranging from $2,100 (I think) to $6,500 (not sure if all included the cost of the paint). All but one of those was for only one coat of paint. About half of those folks were not comfortable removing and replacing our storm windows. All but one quote was from Craiglist.

The painter we chose was a referral from my old boss, who's used him multiple times and swore he was very thorough and reasonable. He totally was!! Nicest guy, had no issues removing/replacing storm windows (even bought new foam strips to put back on them) or working safely with what is probably lead paint, and his quote was so incredibly reasonable. Only $3,400 and that includes paint.

We got the quotes last fall but had to wait till spring--after the roof was done, and after the weather warmed up enough, and our painter was not super clear on when he'd be able to start so it was a bit of an unknown for a while. When he did start, he and his son came out but both were recovering from some injuries and our window trim was in worse shape in some places than he'd thought, so it actually took him almost 3 weeks to do all this work. We felt pretty bad by the end of it since they were obviously working very hard and not making much money for 3 weeks of work!! We gave him a $400 tip and still feel like we got an amazing price and are very happy with the quality.

Phew! A huge project I am so happy to have off the list! Our home feels so much nicer already!

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