A Little Mascara and Some Lipstick

Author:  Spring (Jordan)

It finally happened! The outside of our house got a makeover.  Come along with me and enjoy the process.

House before in snow.

First of all, can you actually see the house here in the Syracuse winter?  During our first winter in the house we had record snow falls in Syracuse, and it was hard to actually see it sometimes.  It blended right in to its surroundings.

 Before we painted our house, our neighbors who have lived on our block for 50 years told us all white houses once were the trend.  Every house on the block was  white.  Then one neighbor got up the nerve and painted his house a color.  When that person decided to add color, most of the house owners on the block followed.  Our house remained white, though.  So, after being white for at least fifty years, we decided she deserved a change.


This is what our house looked like in the spring when we realized we had an overgrown shrub problem.

After with window boxes

We knew we wanted to add window boxes, and that is the first thing we did.  So, we were able to check it off our list.  But after seeing the window boxes, I have now learned I need to plant more in the boxes to make them fuller.  This winter we are going to build bigger/better boxes to hang next year.

Next up was a new paint color for the house.

House- Paint colors

When it was time to select a color for the exterior, we first thought we wanted a gray, but after walking Gracie around the neighborhood, we saw other colors we liked.  We headed to Home Depot to get some paint samples, and these are the first six we selected.

We knew this job was too much of a DIY job for us. While I have jumped out of a plane and love zip-lining, I wasn’t too crazy about the thought of being on a ladder, and neither was Mr. Spring.  We eneded up hiring a painter, after checking his references, and followed his suggestion for a paint brand.  He said to purchase Behr with primer already in the paint, and that is what we did.  We have used Behr with primer on some of the interior walls, and we really like it.

House color samples

We liked being able to test the colors on the house, and we could see how they looked in the sun.  After having the samples on the side of our house for a few days, we decided we were not thrilled with any of them.  Back to Home Depot we went for more samples.

House all paint samples

We decided to try four more samples of gray.  Let me tell you, it is so overwhelming with all the colors of gray.  If they just had four colors to choose from, it would have been easy.  But after thinking and looking for a few days, we came up with the perfect color for our house.

House after with new color.

Here is the house painted with  Sparrow by Behr.  Thanks, Adam, we love the color on the house! Now we can put a big check beside that item on our to-do list.  The house is painted!!!

Then we decided to add some shutters to get another color and give the house a little more definition.  Really, it is like adding mascara after you have done your make-up.

House Mr. Spring installing shutters.

You can see Mr. Spring installing the shutters.  I think this was the easiest quick fix we have done to our house yet.  But,  I was not the one up there on the roof.

House with shutters

Shutters on the house- Check.  It is looking even better.

House- door

Next up, we needed to add some lipstick paint the door.  This is the original door, and I love it. Unfortunately, it is not energy efficient at all.  We do have a storm door, but we have talked about replacing it with a more energy efficient door.  Don’t worry.  We would definitely get something that would fit the craftsman style.

House after

Front door painted- Check.


Just to show you again what it used to look like.

House after

We now think our house is cute.  Just think!  When we were house-hunting, we almost didn’t even get out of the car to go in.  Its curb appeal was that dull.  But the inside was already redone, and we knew that with some hard work, we could spruce up the exterior.

Now that we have the back yard and patio completed and the house painted, we are going to enjoy the little bit of summer we have left and head back out to the Adirondacks for some kayaking and camping.  We are also busy training for our first marathon in October.

 The project list for next summer has already started.  We are going to redo the landscaping in the front along with lots of other things.  I’ll be sure you to keep you posted.


I was not paid by any product mentioned in this post.

Linking to

linking to http://thriftydecorchick.blogspot.com/


  1. says

    It is amazing that a little bit of lipstick and mascara on a house would make it look like it had reconstructive surgery! What a difference. Not that the white wasn’t just lovely, but this beautiful grey and little extras make it so warm and welcoming!!! What a great post! I bet you are thrilled.

  2. says

    Wow! What a wonderful transformation. I really, really like everything you have done. The red front door is great…we are trying to decide on a door color here and it is just mind-boggling all of the color choices so I know what you went through with the house color. Really pretty. I will have to check back to see your new window boxes….are you thinking one big one for each set of windows? We are also going to put some in…we just have to find the right carpenter.

    • says

      Hi Kristine,

      As of now we are thinking bigger ones for each window, but that plan could always change once we start making them. Good luck picking a paint color.

  3. Ed Glassberg (Realtor) says

    Your home looks great. It is always nice to know someone is listening when I speak. I am proud of both of you.

  4. says

    It looks amazing! I love the grey you chose, very subtle but it really makes the trim pop. Wow! And I love shutters, too.

    We are really hoping to get our house painted before fall. Yikes! I am going to get it quoted, too, but I’m afraid we’ll be doing it ourselves. 😉 How long did it take him to do the entire house? Just curious.

    Everything is looking great. Love the flower boxes, too. I have never been able to make our boxes look full and lush. I gotta keep trying.

    • says

      Hi Kim,

      We had one guy paint the house without a sprayer and it took him 2 weeks. That included the garage and some days off due to rain. Hopefully we both will have luck with our flower boxes next year!


  5. says

    Wow, looks great! My husband and I have been gearing up to paint our house. Like yours our house has been white since built in 1939. We had talked about painting a different color and considered gray but wasn’t sure how it would look. We have also decided to replace the blue shutters with black ones and I have the red paint ready for the front door. I just recently posted on my blog asking for advice on our houses facelift. Please feel free to stop by and take a look. We haven’t started painting yet as we are waiting for cooler temps but that should be soon. Thanks for this post. Now I can imagine what my house might look like in “Sparrow”.

  6. Laura says

    Jordan, I had a chance to sit down and read your blog (a rarity these days!). I LOVE your house!!! You can’t beat that craftsman style. It makes me miss our Bham home. You guys have made it look so nice. We miss you, and maybe we can see it in person some day!!!

  7. says

    Your home looks truly adorable. I think you chose very well on the colors & adding the shutters. Now enjoy what’s left of your summer!
    🙂 CAS

  8. Michelle says

    How fun! i am always looking for bloggers from Central NY. I was born in Syracuse and raised in LaFayette. Living in North Alabama has removed the horror of s n o w and if I miss the terrain I can drive 20 minutes to South TN. Actually, the drive up 65N is just like driving US 20N or 81 either way.
    Great exterior update!

    Michelle Liquori-Ross

  9. Carolyn says

    Red door looks awesome and amazing what one pair of shutters did for the curb appeal. You all are certainly energetic!!!!

  10. says

    You turned boring on the outside into warm, inviting, and elegant. I love the window boxes and the shutters, but best of all, the lipstick! Dianne