Sunday, February 19, 2012

Inexpensive and easy curb appeal

My sister and her husband have decided to sell their house and upgrade.  They have lived in their home for several years and have just outgrown it with their kids.  I've spent a few days at her place these past few weeks trying to help her make some simple improvements that will help them to sell it faster.  As a huge fan of HGTV's Designed to Sell, this kind of challenge was right up my alley. 

When I first pulled up to the house I knew that regardless of what she had on the agenda for us that day, I was going to try and help her spice up her curb appeal.  After all, if you don't like what you see on the outside of home why on earth waste your time even looking inside? (Or at least that's what the majority of folks think... and I can't blame them)

So, here are a few shots of what my sister's house looked like when I pulled up.

As you can see, the house is screaming for some color.  The front door hadn't really ever been painted but had what looked like an attempted first coat from back in the day that still showed brush marks and was just so wrong in color (or lack thereof).  It just looked dirty and dingy. The doormat was old and faded, the railing was chipping and completely the wrong color.

Another big problem to me was the chipping paint on their front door and garage door trim.  It needed some TLC in a big way.

Also, the trim paint around the garage was a different shade of brown than the trim around the front door and the rest of the home. 

My sister and I decided on a new color for the front door that would give this house a much needed "pop" and ran off to Home Depot.  After coming home and realizing we had left our purchased items at the store (yes, this is what happens when two tired mommy's try to go to a hardware store with 3 very little children), we headed back for the goods and quickly got to work.

Amidst the chaos of trying to keep the kids away from the paint, razor blades and electric sander, I didn't take any pictures in the process.  Forgive me please.  Just try your best to imagine what a pregnant lady on a bar stool painting a wide open door looked like while three kids chased each other inside (and outside) of the house as it began to snow. But, I can tell you what we did. 

My sister started scraping away the chippy pieces of paint from the door trim with a metal putty knife and I followed her with an electric sander to smooth down any rough areas.  Then, we cleaned the door really well and removed the doorknob.  With the door still on it's hinges and wide open I began cutting in carefully with a paintbrush around all of the edges and on the door panel recesses that the roller would not be able to reach.  We chose Behr's Ultra exterior paint and primer in one to save the hassle of having to prime the door first.  Then, I rolled the paint onto the door while my sister brushed on the new and fresh paint on the door trim.

By the time I left that evening, the door had received its second coat of paint and was still drying before the hardware could go back on.  Since a new door handle wasn't in the budget, she took the old and dated brass one off and hit it with a few coats of black spray paint. 

The next day, my mom went out and together they finished the other items on our agenda.  She repeated the same process around the garage door with the trim, and together they spray painted the dingy looking railing black. 

With a new wreath, doormat, and a few accessories here is my sister's fabulous front porch now.

***note- we also added a cute mustard yellow and white polka dot ribbon to the wreath for more lively color.  You can't tell in this pic, but her doormat has some darling red poppies with yellow accents so it works fabulously together. ***

Here's how the house looks from the street now. A bit more inviting, right?

In case you have forgotten what it looked like before, let me remind you.
And here she is now!

Isn't it amazing how much a little paint and some TLC can change things?  My sister's only regret?  Wishing she would have done this all sooner...

Total cost for this transformation: $116
$36 for 2 quarts of paint, red for the door and brown for the trim
$80 for wreath, doormat, and lantern
already on hand- black spray paint and all other supplies

My dear friends remember that your home is your castle and should be a place that is welcoming, inviting, and makes you feel peaceful.  You don't have to break the bank to create a place that you will love.  Go for it!  Make the change today...



  1. Well worth the money! It looks so, so much better. And I think it's true, about the curb appeal thing. Who wants to buy a house that look like it hasn't been maintained?
    Awesome job miss!

  2. That red door really makes it an inviting space now! I love the changes and updates that you made. Good luck with the sell to your sister and family.

  3. Thanks Jen for all your help!

  4. Looks fabulous! I've been wanting to paint our front door too but can't decide on a color. :) Loving the red.

  5. You did all the right stuff. Good call. Your sister is lucky, and I hope you can have fun helping with the interior as well.

    I wrote about your chevron chair slipcover on my blog today. Because it was so beautiful. Thanks, even though I did not ask first for permission.

  6. This looks GREAT! I plan on painting my front door red as well - changes the whole look of the house! :-)

  7. MUCH better! Good luck with the sell!

  8. I love the color you gave the door. It's amazing how one nice color can make all the difference to the overall look of the house.

    -Zane of ontario honey


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