Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Not too Shabby Shutters (and Door)

I've been working on the exterior look of our house.
This post is the "how-to" part of last week's "Exterior Gratification" post.

In the past few weeks, the house has come from this:
To this:

Here's how I got there.

First I painted everything that was black to white.  
(door, shutters, railings and columns)

It was looking fresher already.
As I said my in "Exterior Gratification" post, I'm not crazy about the lavender grey paint color, but since we can't repaint quite yet, I am trying to do a few free fixes to make the whole picture work together a little bit better.  So I'm lightening up the rest of the house to give a lighter, shabby chic feel.  

I started with the shutters, because I figured if I ruined them...I could replace them.
First I painted them white...

B-T-dub, I could tell from the street that our shutters were not real wood...but I was shocked to see how cheapo they really are...
They are hollow plastic!  I certainly hope to replace these with real wood one day, but this project is all about $0.  

So, anyway...on with the step by step...

After painting them white, I made a mixture of half stain and half white paint.  

Since my paint is water based, and my stain is oil based...they dont mix.  But it still allowed me to grab a little of each with my brush when I dipped in.  It may have been better to have both water based, or both oil based.  But I was committed to using what I had on hand.

I started lightly brushing on the stain mixture.
I had a small brush, with loose (spaced apart) bristles.
Make sure all of your strokes are going with the wood grain (or in my case, faux wood grain).

I let the stain dry for a few minutes, then I went back and dry-brushed on some white paint.  "Dry brushing" means I didn't load my brush with paint.  I just barely dipped the tips of the bristles into the paint and VERY lightly brushed it on.  You want it to go on streaky, not saturated in any spot.  Again, brush with the grain of the wood.

I continued to alternate between stain and paint, until I had gotten the look I wanted.  The more layers of paint and stain you apply, the more authentic it will look.
They kinda look like real wood, don't they?

Much better, compared to this...

So then I had a little confidence to tackle my door.

First I painted it white...

Then I painted on the same stain & paint mixture with the same brush.
(stain with a little white paint mixed in)
This time, because our door is real wood and can take a little more abuse, I painted the stain on (in the direction of the grain) panel by panel.  I let it sit for about a minute, and then rubbed it in vertically with an old rag.   

Next, I brought in a little color, so that this door would have that "been painted 100 times" look.

First a little Aegean Teal, from our kitchen cabinets...

 Then some of the mysterious lavender house color...

So then it was looking a little watercolor-ish for my taste.  But it's okay, because I knew I wasn't done.

Next I went back over it all with more stain to dull it down...

But I thought it looked a little too chocolatey...

 So I went back with more white paint...

But then I had kind of lost my little hints of turquoise, so I added a little more turquoise...

 But then the door was too light, and blended in with the house too much...

So I added a little more stain...

And then hung the shutters...

And Voila!

Thanks for reading!  
Please try this at home.


  1. Love love love it! It looks so great!!

  2. hahaha, you are such a perfectionist. for some reason, the stain-restain sequence was really funny to me.

  3. hahaha you are such a perfectionist! for some reason, the stain-restain sequence was really funny to me! looks good though

  4. I am so going to try this! Aaron and I have been looking for a buffet/console for our dining room and want to incorporate some color! Should I sand the piece before painting?

  5. Yeah you should try it! There are probably more tutorials online about painting and distressing furniture. You should probably sand your piece down some to dull it down before you paint it. Good luck!



Related Posts with Thumbnails