Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Renovation Diary: Painting Doors

I did it.
I painted the garage doors.
At first, I loved them, but now something feels..."off."
No, it's not my dented middle door.
A rubber mallet can knock out some of the damage.
The inspiration photo on Houzz has a shiny black door; mine are less glossy. Hmmm. This is easily fixed, right?
The inspiration photo also has a dormer window--and the trim on that window is the same color of the painted brick.


Uh-oh. I forgot the rules.
Forgot a fundamental matching rule.
Be consistent.
Damn, I always forget something.
Why didn't the designer of this house forget? :-)
This trim on this house is consistent, too.

Let's take another "before" look.
White dormers. White doors.
Classic look.
And the "after."
Some people love it, some don't.
My husband pretty much loves the doors. A few family members made no comment. One offered a strained, beat-too-late, "Yeah! Looks good!" :-)
As for me? Truthfully?
I'm not loving the dormer. It sticks out like a temporary dental cap--a blinding expanse of whiteness in a dingy mouth.

 So now the "rules" are running together.
Do I paint my no-paint siding?
Start looking at grayish shingles?

1. Paint the siding.
2. And use a glossier finish on the doors.
3. Put shingles on the dormer.
4. Leave it alone and wait for a bigger dormer.
If I choose option 1 or 3,
do I apply it to the garage dormer only?
Won't that look weird?  What about design consistency?

I will not paint the dormers on the front of the house!
True, I have a dark gray front door, but the creamy trim works with the dormers (well, it does now...but I don't have an updated photo).

Is my little garage dormer a big faux pas problem?
Is it big?
If I don't give a flip about a dented garage door, why fret over a dormer? Why worry about an inconsistent exterior color scheme?

Well, I care because I'm design obsessed.
I would not be "me" if I didn't care a little. But just a little.
I mean, it's not a stomach virus or broken power lines. It's paint.

Sure, mistakes happen; when you start painting, one thing always leads to another. Blah, blah, blah.

The only problem is, these mistakes/changes usually empty the coffers.

But I am thinking ahead.
I'm thinking about the room inside that dormer window.  If you peeked in, you'd see a bonus space, a small window, and another dormer. Off to the side is a 1/2 bath.

The roof's pitch makes it difficult to use the area if you're taller than 5'2". So my plan is to blow out the dormer and add more windows. My contractor, Mike, will figure out the roof line and structural stuff.

I am envisioning a bigger dormer. 
The small, unusable bonus space
could turn into something like this:
 Source: Marvin Windows

Of course, we won't be blowing out dormers soon. I've got to get those visions of sugarplums out of my head, because we're still working on the kitchen (and that project has moved along effortlessly, thanks to Mike and his team). 
You can read about the kitchen renovation HERE.
My plan for 2013 will be:
One project at a time.
One mistake at a time.
Whatever a woman breaks or messes up, design-wise, man can fix.
That concludes another episode of Renovation Diary.
Thanks for stopping by Rattlebridge. Our adventures will continue.
Happy New Year..and Happy Decorating!

A contribution to 
Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch.

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  1. This is just my opinion, but I think painting the siding on the dormer the same pale greyed color as the house would solve the problem. You could take a picture, print it on regular copy paper, and color it in with colored pencil to see if you like it before you do anything. I agonized over exterior paint colors on our last house. Printing several pictures of the house and coloring in different shades helped me decide before we did anything permanent.

  2. A great idea! I've had no luck with online color visualizers--I like the idea of coloring the shades on a printed photo! Thank you!

  3. I think, other than empty coffers......painting the dormer like the house is a good solution...consistency prevails I find....currently my dilemma is what colour to paint new shutters, white like all the trim, windows, garage doors and front door and surround , or totally different, Willow by BM.My house is red brick, Federal Georgian....still have not made a decision....will be posting this soon as garage doors are installed....love this brain storming here! N.xo

  4. I prefer garage doors to blend in more and not take center stage, although I don't find your painted doors offensive at all. I think that Katrina has a very good idea about painting the dormer the pale grey color, as one of your inspiration photos showed (third pic). And what about gorgeous iron lanterns above each door, also pictured in that same photo? But just as a temporary fix, until you can build that bigger dormer! What a beautiful space that will be! Regardless, please don't stress -- your home is lovely as is!

  5. Sorry - I am of no help when it comes to paint colors, as you know by now as I can never offer advice. My projects are a drop in the bucket compared to yours and I can't get to moving or make the simplest decision.
    But did want to wish you and yours a Very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!!

  6. Would shutters on either side of the dormer windows painted the same shade as the garage doors work? I don't remember if the front of the house will have shutters or not. Just a thought.....or a temp solution until that small dormer is enlarged.

  7. I love the color of the garage doors, but know what you mean about the dormer...you made me laugh..."temporary dental cap"...ha!...I think that a larger dormer would look great...we put a larger dormer (3 windows on the opposite side of the garage doors...really gave it more space...i think the builder called it a "shed dormer"...We have two garage doors and 2 dormers over each one...Truly love seeing the kitchen evolve!...gorgeous!

  8. For what it's worth, I think you should paint the dormer the same as the siding in the Spring. That gives you time to think on it and if you are waiting a long time for the renovation up there it will make you feel better in the mean time. Sounds like you are a bit like the Princess and the Pea story and that Pea is keeping you from getting some good sleep! Ha! So remove the "Pea" by temporarily painting the dormer siding to match the house. Or can you wait until a new set of windows are installed? THAT will be gorgeous by the way!

  9. Thanks so much for the kind words, great ideas, and emotional support!
    Lighting will really make the garage look prettier, and painting the siding will be an instant cure for that "dental" temporary. LOL

  10. If you're going to eventually expand the dormer I'd go ahead and paint the no-paint siding, as it won't have to last too long. You'd be happy in the short term, and it will be less expensive than shingles - savings to go toward the new dormer/room!
    Have fun!

  11. Your house looks great, and I like the doors. You can gloss them up or not, but I definitely think you need to just bite the bullet and paint the no paint siding. Surely there's something you can paint it with... that vinyl paint they make??? And I think that would solve it. Leave the molding white like you did below, but paint the siding to match the brick. I think that would make you a lot happier. The doors look very sophisticated. It all looks good. But try that, and see if that will tie it together for you. And if you want to go glossy afterward, then you can, but paint that dormer first. I think it will make the difference, truly.

    You're on the right track, and your house is just stunning.



  12. Ok, I'll throw my thoughts into the ring. How about shutters on the dormer? And, maybe it's the photo, but is the paint color black or a deep gray? They look a bit murky.

    Good luck!

    - The Tablescaper

  13. Hmmm that is a tough one. The dormer does look kinda in your face but I love the black doors.

  14. a bit darker on the doors in a glossier finish and paint the dormer a shad between the lightest shade of gray and the shingles on the roof. Just a shad lighter and you are good to go!! IMHO