Two and a half years ago we bought our fixer-upper of a house and have *tried* to tackle project after project as we turn it into our home.

Six months ago we bought some paint samples at Lowes and smeared them on the wall outside our front door.


Every day for the past six months those smears of grey and blue paint have taunted us. An unkept promise reminding us of all of the projects we’ve dreamed, planned, or set out to accomplish, but have ultimately fallen short of executing.

But, this week, we’ve actually made some progress. So, 20 gallons of primer and 10 gallons of paint later, the exterior of our house is somewhat painted! Now I understand why people pay professionals lots of money to do this…

The siding of our house is cedar board and batten. I’m sure when the house was built in 1978 it was beautiful. But now its dark and in pretty rough shape after years (possibly decades) of neglect.


This was Daniel’s first go with the paint sprayer! The first coat of primer.

We decided to rent an airless paint sprayer from Home Depot. I think after all was said and done we payed around $90 to rent it for 24 hours–not too bad. And I’m glad we decided to rent that thing because it was so dang efficient. It shoots out a ton of paint, but we got a lot further with our Saturday project than I had anticipated. Also, regular rollers wouldn’t fit between the boards, so it would have been a real pain to try painting our entire house by hand.

We went with Kilz latex exterior primer. We used the interior version to cover up a lot of ugly inside our house (like all of the ugly paneling in our living room; you can read all about that experience here) and it worked just as well on the outside! Those dry, old (okay, obviously not old but holy cow they could have used some love) boards just soaked the Kilz up. It was actually a bit disheartening to watch the primer react at first. All of that  in the above picture was almost an entire five gallon bucket! Aghh.

Also, If you look at the picture closer, you can see primer all over the window. We managed to get paint and primer on almost all of our windows. Fingers crossed that it will clean up okay…


First coat of paint (excuse all of the clutter). Starting to (somewhat) resemble what we want it to look like!

We made two trips to the hardware store that day. After we ran out of primer for the first time (and still had more than half of the house left to prime) we ran back, grabbed a few more buckets of primer, and grabbed two five gallon buckets of paint. Then got back to work.

The ugly of taking on these big projects all by ourselves is just how long it takes. Daniel and I are huge fans of First Time Flippers. It always ends up taking them 3 or 4X as long to finish their projects. But in that 30 minute clip, the four months it took to renovate their house doesn’t seem like a big deal. But it is. It’s disheartening driving up to a house that looks like this. I’m both dreading and looking forward to the next day we can continue tackling this project. Which will hopefully be soon!

Stay tuned. Something tells me that there will be a Part 2, Part 3, and possibly more to this project…

Running total for the project this far:

  • 4 five-gallon buckets of Kilz Exterior Latex Primer @ $65 each= $260
  • 2 five-gallon buckets of our exterior paint @ $98 each= $196
  • Spray painter 24 hour rental= $95
  • Total= $551

I’m really excited to see these two colors in action!


Two newbies and a paint sprayer: what could possibly go wrong? Pt 1

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