Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My Cottage Before the New Paint Job Begins

This photo was taken 2 years ago. The curved bare tree on the left is the one that smashed on my house during Hurricane Sandy. When my house was painted in 2003, the front and sides matched. Now the shingles have faded, mildewed, and most of the color has washed away with some remnants of the semi-transparent Cabot oil stain remaining. The wooden front boards were painted with latex in a Cabot color called Milkweed.

The black mildew on the front is not apparent in this old photo. I had the house power washed once and this photo might have been following that job. All of the weeds around the birdbath were replaced with wood chips, my spring project this year. I'm so glad I did it and it still looks fantastic.

Winter view of the front.

Fallen tree after Sandy. No real damage to the back of the cottage...just scratched singles. The back gets the harsh morning sun and all of the stain has washed away and the shingles have weathered a dark gray. The bottom is a dark gray stucco applied over the foundation.

A good front view. I think the white paint with white trim and white shingles will look very nice with my brick walls and chimney and slate-blend asphalt roof shingles. Shutters will be black or dark green.

My barn garage with upstairs storage loft is red vinyl but the wood trim needs a good paint job. Look carefully under the roof overhang and you'll see the mildew.

I am exhausted from all of my agony in making a painting decision. You really do have to be your own general contractor to get a good job. It's sort of like the lion tamer at the circus coordinating all of the animals so they don't trample each other. This week alone, I've had a refrigerator repair man, an electrician and a painter and it's only Wednesday. I still have to call my plumber for some drippy faucets and furnace service before the winter. Sometimes I think home ownership is extremely overrated. Does anyone know of a retirement village with individual Airstream trailers? Sign me up, please.

I can't wait for BROADCHURCH, episode 4 tonight on BBC America. It will help take my mind off home repair issues. See you in the morning
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tammy j said...

you picked the PERFECT choice!
oh oh oh! i cannot wait to see it completed.
so fresh. so beautiful. it will sparkle like the little jewel it is.
ok. i have a serious case of gushing always don't i.
i hate that about me.
but apparently i don't hate it enough to change it! LOL.
thanks for reminding once again about broadchurch!

JudyMac said...

Thanks, Rosemary, for the "before." Now I'll be looking forward to the "after." :-) I'm sure your hard work will pay many dividends.

Jean said...

I agree - there's always something that needs fixing! We're in need of a new dishwasher, and I've been dealing with that this week.

And I can't wait for Broadchurch either - it's a real mid-week treat!

Catherine said...

It is a darling cottage. I think everything you have planned will look terrific!

I just had two drippy faucets fixed. One sink had to have the faucet replaced. So what was the grand total for that and a inexpensive new faucet... Over $400.00 OMG!!!!

Stella Levy said...

Hi Rosemary,

I enjoy reading your blog. With a hectic schedule I am very selective on what I have time to read on the internet and your blog is one of my favorites.

After owning a few homes and each one a project in itself, I agree that finding the right paint colors is downright vexing. It took me about 6 mos. to find the right shade of navy for our dining room.

Your Cottage is lovely from the pictures and I think it will look very beautiful with the white siding/trim and green. Green front doors and shutters on houses are so lovely.

Good luck with the paint job and hang in there!

Donna said...

What a good home owner to take care of the house! I will be first in line for your garage sale if you simplify to the Airstream!

Candice said...

I eagerly anticipate progress pictures.

Anonymous said...

It will look great when it's done. Hang in there!
Have you given any thought to Artillery Fungus from the wood chips?

Gail, northern California said...

I'm glad you posted pictures of the garage with the upstairs storage loft---otherwise I'd still be wondering, "Where the heck did I get the idea her home was barn red?" An assumption made on my part. I don't think I ever zeroed in on the fact that your cottage is cream.

You certainly don't need anymore kibitzing from the peanut gallery but I'm going to do it anyway...I think the shutters should be painted black. (The devil made me do it. ;-)

Oh, and thanks for the reminder about Broadchurch!

elizabeth said...

If you find that airstream village let me know! I won't be far behind LOL! You are so right, home ownership is highly overrated, and it seems when it rains it pours. I think your lovely cottage is going to be so pretty with the white paint, can't wait to see your pictures!

Sue said...

All the maintenance may be a nightmare, but it's still the best feeling on earth to OWN. If I were always out and about , I might feel differently, but I'm a real homebody, so I love the feeling that it's mine, ALL mine!!
Your cottage is so lovely. It's always wonderful to see something lovingly cared for.

cardinalkay said...

A retirement home with Airstreams.
I'm in!
KAY from

Southern Lady said...

Have you tried spraying the mildew on the trim with bleach? It works wonders and makes it look like it's been painted.

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

I could not agree with you more about home ownership being over rated, and the lion tamer at the circus comment.

At least your contractors call you back! We are trying to gut/remodel three baths and have not heard back for 4 contractors. I think the jobs are too small.

I love your choices, it is going to look fabulous!

Content in a Cottage said...

Elizabeth....I hear you. I have had the same problem. My new guy is a jack of all trades and can help me with the carpentry too. The carpenter I thought I had hired seems to have evaporated into thin air. He's in for a big shock when and if he ever calls me back.
My painter/contractor has done work for friends and comes highly recommended. He has an iPhone and I have his cell number so we can text and email. He was very prompt with my estimate too. He has been to my house 3 times in 3 days and I have drilled him enough to realize he is going to be just the guy I have been looking for. I hope you will be lucky enough to find a similar person. Stop and talk to workers if you see signs out in your neighborhood. That's how I found my new best friend/home fixer.
xo, Rosemary

Anonymous said...

Gail in NoCal is exactly right, you've made a good decision, so you don't need any more input. So please consider my ramblings less suggestions than reflections upon your earlier inspiration photos.

Earlier in your quest, you seemed to be responding soooo positively to the idea of slight contrast between siding and trim. Even though those inspiration photos featuring contrast were of "stained" siding [rather than the Duration solid cover you've decided upon], I wanted you to be sure you hadn't overlooked the affection you were showing via those photos you posted.

Had you considered painting your cottage this sliiiight contrast combo you showed earlier in the week?

I'd not seen your cottage from the front until yesterday! It is so PERFECT! Since I've beeen a reader, I'd only see it from the rear, indeed I wondered why you called it a cottage when it reads so large from behind, but now that I see the front I completely understand:

With a gem of a house this classic, you can't make a mistake. I agree that the move to the Duration was inspired. And hearing you speak just now of your painter, even more so.

This is a triumph before the contract is even signed! Congratulations!


LANA said...

We are in the same situation ourselves, just moved in two months ago and it seems everything needs fixing! There are workmen here every day! Can't wait til it is all done and we can just relax and enjoy the house for once. We feel your pain.

Content in a Cottage said...

Lana...It is such an intrusion having workmen around on a daily basis. I hope yours leave you with a perfect house very soon. You'll certainly be all set for the holidays. Mine are coming in two weeks. Hooray!

Karen said...

I love your paint choice. I can't wait to see it. You have such a charming home.
Finding reliable workers is such a challenge, but once you find a team, it makes work on your home so much easier. We have been using the same plumber for 20 years...he's fair, honest and always returns my call. Sounds like your painter and new jack of all trades are that kind of person.

Anonymous said...

ps, at our Sherwin Williams store, they will stir a mold deterrent into your cans of paint if you ask for it, admittedly I'm in Florida where humidity/mold/mildew is fierce, but since you've been having mold/mildew problems, you might get your painter to request this additive when he picks up your paint for your job.


Karen in CT said...

Hi Rosemary ... just back from a wedding in Birmingham .. saw your later post re the white on white decision ... I had the same trouble with two former houses.

Finally settled on white with very light taupe shutters/door. You can barely tell the difference in the two colors, but just enough for interest. It seems that White on White looks great with a fair amount architectural details.

Your cottage is darling .. I loved buying houses and making them "mine" ... this last move was a promise to live more simply and that meant "call maintenance" ... but I found a special place.

I can tell you love your home, which is heartwarming. The results will be well worth the efforts.

Good luck,

Karen in CT (but now Virginia)

Anonymous said...

We have a cottage that we've remodeled extensively for over a year, including replacing vinyl siding with cement composite shingles. It's now white with black shutters and a cheery blue front door. People say the door color is one of their favorite things about the redo. It makes me happy every time I see it.
Have been enjoying your blog for a long while.

The Queen Vee said...

Home ownership = love hate relationship.

I'm excited for your big repaint reveal. Come winter you'll have gotten everything ship shape and you will be able to nest by your fireplace....something to look forward to.