It all started with a can of paint, actually it was 2 cans, the right color and the wrong color. This project is an example of how one thing leads to another and how things can evolve while you are in the process. Before I share the story, take a look at how the door looked before…
Definitely time for a spiff up and honest to goodness, I only planned to paint this door and add a wreath. I debated between a charcoal gray or the maroon color of the shutters. I brought home some paint chips and found one that matched the shutters perfectly, that is until I had the paint mixed. I put one coat on the door and it was fuchsia. So, I took the shutter off the house and with me to Browder’s Ace Hardware in Kingston TN. There I received amazing service from Teresa.
Teresa had helped me with the fuchsia paint. It was absolutely a beautiful color, it just didn’t work with my shutters. Teresa took one look at the shutter and said, ” You are not going to believe this but, I just mixed up a gallon of what turned out to be “oops” paint and I believe it is exactly what you need.” She was right, I didn’t believe her. She spent a half hour working with me. She even painted a dab on the shutter and took it outside for a better look. When she could see that I still wasn’t convinced, she suggested that I take the paint home and try it. Really? That is a wonderful idea. After I painted the first coat on the door, I could see that she was exactly right. BTW, this store has been voted the best paint store in Roane County for 9 years. They are truly helpful, friendly and knowledgeable. I feel that it is important to recognize employees and business like Teresa because they make our DIY projects easier, better and less expensive. Way to go Teresa and Browder’s Ace Hardware.
After the door was painted and beautified I decided to paint the back porch. After all, I have a gallon of paint now, a little more than I needed to paint the door. Does the stencil look familiar? Yes, it is the same one I used on the Upstairs Porch Uplift. The french doors lead to the dining room and the patterned floor looks great from inside and out. Now, back to the back door, yes, this is the way I operate…
After painting and stenciling the back porch floor, the back door stoop looked even sadder, so the easy stripe was added and polyurethaned. Even after the door and stoop were painted and spiffed up, there was still something lacking. So, a brass kick plate and house numbers were added. I love kick plates, they really dress up a door. This looks and feels much more welcoming and well kept.
The final touch on the door is a living plant wreath. This door is directly in the sun and any type of artificial plant/flower would quickly fade and look fake. The Asparagus Fern is a hardy, easy to maintain plant that is one of my very favorites. They do great indoors and outdoors. Notice the clean shiny windows, they were cleaned with our Washing Windows Like a Pro technique.
Now my attention turns to the back porch again. It took me at least 2 weeks to decide whether or not to paint the french doors. I finally bit the bullet and just did it. The little table was once white peeling paint. It is now a pop of bright green color. Notice Zippy the cat, once I complete an area, she is first in line to enjoy it. So funny!
Last weekend was the Corn Stalk Heights community yard sale. My husband and I took the opportunity to walk the neighborhood and look at all the Victorian details. We noticed right away that a lot of the porch posts were painted multiple colors. I just had to experiment with this. I decided to use the maroon color of course, along with the stencil color and a bright green. As I stood back and looked at the results, I was faced with another decision. The upstairs porch also had the white posts, visible from the back of the house as well as on the porch. Should I leave them white or add the Victoria paint technique? Long story short, the colors won.
I have to admit that this was a real design challenge. It involved upstairs/downstairs and inside/out elements. Two of which were shared. The flower boxes and the posts are viewed from the inside of the upstairs porch and the outside back of the house. I really liked the white posts from the inside, but they really look better painted the colors from the outside. So a compromise was made for the greater good. After all it’s just paint. It can be easily changed.
You just can’t do a back of house spiff up without a little landscaping. Actually, we did quite a bit of landscaping not shown in this post, but will share at a later date. These Cosmos are my new favorite annual. They were grown with a couple of packs of seeds. They are ferny, airy and just beautiful. In fact, some of these were transplanted to the Heat Pump area. Here’s a before shot of that area..
Now that everything is looking sooo great, I decided that a patio umbrella was needed. I just love this one from Wal-Mart’s Better Homes and Garden collection. We also added a small charcoal grill which I will blog about later. That was a true learning process that I am excited to share with you. The patio funiture was also given a fresh coat of Rust Ole-um spray paint. Wow, I am tired! Can you believe all this happened because I wanted to paint a door! Yikes. Here is a picture of the back of the house before.
This picture was taken when the Upstairs Porch Uplift was in progress. Not bad, but a little dull. Now take a look at the spiff up…
Here is the finished result. I knew I was making progress when my friend Sheri came over and the first words she spoke were, “I hate you. Your yard is so cute.” It is really twisted when you can measure the impact of your project by being hated. LOL! I hope that you have enjoyed viewing the evolution of this project and have been inspired with ideas of how to spiff up the back of your space. As for me, I am tired of being hot, sticky with paint and coated with dirt. Time to sit back and enjoy the space, at least for a day or two.
To see a really BEFORE picture, check out Old House Renovation.