Renovation... exterior painting

There are so many steps that go into a renovation of this kind. Some large, some small. Some boring behind the scenes yet important things such as plumbing, electric, insulation, etc. Yet painting seems in many ways the most trans formative. In our last home we spent years working on the renovation, yet when we painted was when people noticed and said "finally you are getting somewhere". 

In this house though we still have many things both large and small to do  - HELLO- KITCHEN CABINETS, where are you! - we have gotten somewhere with the painting. The biggest change has been to the outside. The house was a buttery yellow when we bought it, and from what we can tell had been for most of it's life. I'm not a huge yellow fan to begin with, but Bob felt strongly that since it had always been yellow it should stay. Until I wore him down! 
The house was pretty but didn't feel like ours and didn't feel clean and modern enough for my taste. The first step was to do away with the shutters. Since we had changed all of the windows and the sizes no longer matched that was an easy desicion.
Once we agreed on the change we pretty quickly agreed that it should be a dark almost black gray. 
Although that sounded easy, finding the right shade took weeks and a lot of paint trials.
We narrowed the choices down to 8 shades and then painted large swaths on the side of the house after it had been primed. We then spent quite a lot of time sitting in our yard staring at the swatches and debating which one to go with. Our neighbors must have thought we were nuts. We finally settled on a custom shade from Sherwin Williams. It was not too brown or purple, yet not too cold and steely gray but warm and the color of slate. We left the trim white as we had used a vinyl trim around the new windows and painting that doesn't work very well.  I know the sound of vinyl trim sounds so cheap and cheesy but in this use you can't tell at all until you touch it and it saves lots of repair work later on. We matched the remaining wood trim paint color to the vinyl and you can't tell the difference.
We then left for 2 weeks of much needed vacation in Wefleet.
 It was only as we got a few miles from home that we started to panic. What if it was awful?? What if it looked dark and depressing, what if it was so bad the neighbors now all hated us?  It's one thing to repaint the living room, but the whole house exterior, especially after painting it such a dark color was an expensive mistake.
Normally we would not have left for vacation at such a crucial step but we had taken so long to decide that we had no choice. Our kids were not at all happy with the idea of painting the house and were very vocal in their thoughts. So we held our breath as we pulled up... and all exhaled in amazement at how beautiful it was. Our youngest (the most vocal naysayer in the project) exclaimed how beautiful it was. And it was, in an elegant, Scandinavian way and thankfully not at all halloween-ish. The paint covered beautifully and we ended up needing fewer gallons then we had estimated, which given where our budget is at this point is a huge plus.
The next step was to do away with the nasty tan porch floor. This decision was somewhat simpler and  Sherwin Williams Pewter Coast was a perfect compliment to the intense dark of the siding, just light enough to offset the darkness yet not show muddy footprints easily. 
The final step was the front door. It had been stripped down to it's natural wood and hid behind the old leaky storm door. But I dreamed of a lacquered, brightly painted front door like the ones I had seen in London, with shiny, simple, modern hardware.
I had seen the perfect blue on a door in Sag Harbor while on a shoot there. It was not too royal, not too turquoise yet bold and bright. After a bit of detective work I matched the color to Sherwin Williams Bluebood. It took quite a few days of sanding and filling it to get the smoothest surface I could so the door would look as sleek as I wanted. I find this part of the process time consuming and annoying but in the end it's always worth it. This also meant the door was off and in the barn and we had only the leaky glass storm door in place. As the temperature started dropping this meant it got rather nippy at times in the house. 
 Then I painted it in a gloss finish from the Emerald line  The trouble with a glossy finish is that it shows every mark and ding but in the end all the hard work paid off and it looks beautiful.
I found the modern wood and steel mailbox on Etsy at CeCe Works, Laura's work is well made and detailed and large enough for the quanity of mail we get.  Finally the new door hardware is sleek and modern yet doesn't seem out of place on the old house.
The ceiling light was existing and I simply spray painted the rusted fixture black to refresh it until I find something better. The ceiling paint is the only color we left as it was in good shape and went well with the changes.
This post is sponsored by Sherwin Williams, but all words and opinions are strictly my own.