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Soul Searching


From the moment we moved into this house (almost 2.5 years ago) I knew the exterior paint scheme had to change. It’s not awful, mind you – the paint is not peeling or blistering. And it’s not neon orange – the main color is a robin’s egg blue that is almost (but not quite) charming and the trim is white with maroon accents. The problem is, it’s just not US. It’s not the color scheme we imagine when we close our eyes at night and picture our house as it will someday be.

house 013

It’s also not particularly flattering to the house’s architecture. A great paint job should make all the great details pop; right now, your eye jumps around from bit to bit. There’s no balance. When it is painted with a more sophisticated color palette, it’ll be so gorgeous that we’ll pull around the corner every day and feel our hearts flutter. All sins (and credit card debt) will be forgotten. The crush we had on our house, that love-at-first-sight feeling, will no doubt return.

But we might have to wait a little bit longer for that feeling.

Picture 108
We’ve been doing some serious soul searching as of late, wondering if our plans are just a bit too ambitious. Restoring all of the exterior woodwork, scraping and prepping, priming, and then painting the entire exterior and all of the trim within Central New York’s handful of decent weather months will be tough. Impossible, maybe, without some serious sacrifice both mentally and physically. And even though we both desperately want the house painted, neither of us are particularly enthusiastic about doing it. Sigh…… if only we could stumble across a secret tin of money somewhere in the basement, we’d hire a pro in a heartbeat!

So, we’re at a crossroads. We haven’t officially decided one way or the other. But if we’re this hesitant to jump in, I’m pretty sure we’re not ready for the whole shebang.

Yesterday, we came up with a new (less intimidating) gameplan. We decided we’d tackle things that’ll make the paint go quicker next year, and maybe make a few fun upgrades we’ve been putting off. Our short list is:

  • restore the exterior woodwork
  • remove the rotting exterior entryway to a door that no longer exists (not original to the house)
  • create a fenced in area for the dogs to run in
  • build a small deck out back to entertain and relax on
  • put a ceiling in the porch (nothing there now), add trim and detail to the columns, possibly replace the floor

These things, along with the many interior projects we’ve got half-done at the moment, could keep us plenty busy. And after 2+ summers of intense, work-filled, no-fun weekends we both feel like it is time to slow down and just ENJOY the house for a while. Time to do the things we haven’t done much of since we bought it, like camping and kayaking and reading books and sleeping in. We’re finally (maybe?) ready to give in and let ourselves slip into a less taxing pace. At least for a little while!

Who knows – our minds could change 12 times in the next 2 days – it’s very hard to let go and resign to slow progress even when it means more FUN. But for now, I think we’re going to take the road less chaotic.

Comments, Thoughts, and Feedback

Victoria had this to say on 03.30.07:

I think the two of you deserve a bit of a break and should downshift into a bit of a slower gear for the summer. You’ve truly earned it. The house will still be there next summer and with the plan you’ve laid out you’ll find the task of painting it easier.

Have some fun, sleep in, read books, watch the grass grow…you won’t regret it :)

Jenne had this to say on 03.31.07:

The details of your home are beautiful. We keep thinking about repainting also, but it seems like such a huge task. Add to that the fact that our house has been painted over and over, and never really scraped, and it just seems impossible to ever get it back the way it should be. Maybe someday :)

colleen had this to say on 03.31.07:

i agree with victoria, actually i think the blue and white is very crisp and purdy, and if the paint is in good shape you’ll be buying yourself a lot of headaces and expense that can be put off until it really is neccesary. so garden and build another closet [ cannt have too many of those!!!]

Jocelyn had this to say on 03.31.07:

If you don’t take a break, eventually you will wear down and burn out and it’s better not to let that happen. I myself and feeling burned out and I haven’t even been working on the house this winter! But it’s that mental pressure that gets to me of feeling like I must do something.

That would be a really big project. We are not taking on major construction this year, but opting for projects like you listed- new fence, garden planting, pantry hopefully!

Just thought I’d say hi too as I haven’t been around as much as usual. Happy Spring

purejuice had this to say on 04.01.07:

i agree, i think you all should not increase the burnout. i do think that your ambitious plans for doing the repaint right are the right thing to do to keep the house in good shape for another hundred years.
i’d take as long as two years to prep it for a thorough repaint, and incorporating some quality of life improvements (doggies!!!! deck!!!!!) will help you with your stamina.

e r i n had this to say on 04.02.07:

I dont know any fixeruppers more deserving of a break than you guys : )

Heres a potential painting solution?? Maybe you could find a paint company that will let you do some of the prep work to cut costs? Thats what we did with our Victorian and it cut ALOT off the price… Especially opting to paint the decks yourselves… good luck!

Kristin had this to say on 04.04.07:

Mmmm, I adore your house even more now that I’ve seen close-up shots.

Our house needs to be painted to show off the details better. It’s solid white with dark green shutters, so the gingerbread and fishscale shingles blend right in. And yet, I’m sort of attached to the all-white, wedding cake look. :) Guess that’s me hating/fearing change again.

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