Before and After Exterior Makeover

When we bought our home in 2016, we knew it was a fixer upper. I had big pipe dreams of how to make our house a home. Now it is 3 years later and we decided to tackle our exterior.

I started this project because I was impatient one warm night last fall. I thought I could fix our trim painting on our house that was brown and paint it white, along with our shutters. About halfway through the project I knew I was wrong and decided to stop. So, we literally left our front of our house half painted all winter, but I knew I could fix it.

We first looked into residing and that was an immediate no! The estimated cost was more than we could pay, period. Then we got a quote for about 2500 to paint the entire house, still a hard no. My budget for the entire exterior redo was less than 1000 dollars. Aka we are going to tackle this ourselves. I am happy to say that while it did take me four sprawling months to finish, but we conquered the entire makeover for about $800 dollars.

The first thing I looked to for inspiration was Pinterest of course. I was looking for brown roofed homes and color scheme that would look sleek and clean. We decided on heading with blue, white, and brown as our color scheme based on a photo we liked below.

We went to local store called Purcells which specializes in paint only. I would highly recommend finding a store like this in your area. I felt very comfortable buying paint here as this is literally all they do. Our house is actually a combination of aluminum and vinyl siding so we needed a paint that could do both. They hooked us up with PPG paint, Manor Hall Exterior Paint and Primer in One, 100% Acrylic Latex in the sheen Eggshell and the color Chalky Blue. We asked specifically for the siding safe formula. The first color we choose was actually lighter and closer to the picture above however when we had repainted the cement base of our house the colors were to close together. We choose a darker color that we thought would still be complimentary, based on the idea below.

We only need 8 gallons of paint for the entire house and they were 45 dollars a piece. We bought the paint when there were 10 dollars a gallon mail-in-rebate so it only cost us $280 dollars. We bought four nice paint brushes to paint the house with and that cost $60. We borrowed my brother-in-laws power washer and families ladders (ask around before you buy these high priced items or rent them for cheap). We also bought a gallon of cement paint for $25. Paint supplies cost us a total of $365.

An FYI a sprayer is faster to paint but if it’s windy or you have close neighbors, you might end up with paint on your car or your neighbors house. This was not worth it to us so we opted out of that idea. Also, because our house is not wood, the paint spreads easy and is extremely easy to paint hand brushed so it just made sense.


I wish I took quality photos of before but like a dummy I did not. I scraped together what photos I do have and you get the picture. It was not good….

We actually replaced the screen door before this project last summer with a $225 full glass from Home Depot.
First half painted attempt …..
I don’t have a before, before photo, so my bad, this was after day 1 of painting the blue color only on the back side of the house.


We first power washed the house for prep and taped any weird areas off. Then we started with the front and sides of the house until we eventually could focus on the back.

The shutters we bought were from Modern Builders from 30-50 dollars for a pair depending on the size, we bought 6 pairs for $200, and were super easy to install. I painted the front door the same type of PPG paint in the color cavalry. The front, roof parts, and sides of the house took about two months to finish. It more had to do with weather and how much time we could allot per day.

The back was another monster to tackle. We needed to replace the plastic lattice, paint the inside and around the outside of the porch, and the extra shed [in poor shape]. The actual painting was quick but the redoing the wood and lattice and then staining was a huge project. The first thing we did was remove the lattice and spray paint striper on the white painted beams that wrapped around the bottom on the porch about a foot. It took us three times of spraying and letting it sit for 15 minutes and then power washing to strip the support layer of wood. Then we bought the lattices, unfinished, from Lowes for $8 a piece and we needed eight for a grand total of $64. In conjunction with the lattice we bought an all in one coat stain from Lowes in the color cedar.

We cut the lattice to where we wanted it and put some support beams behind some areas to ensure our dog could no longer weasel herself under our porch. The above picture shows how terrible this stain was…. the density of the lighter color in the can was so extreme that because I did not remix it every time I dipped my paint brush back in, I quickly had an ombre issue arise. I was livid at this point, unsure of what to do. I headed back to Lowes on a mission. The nice paint man gave us advice to put on multiple coats and eventually the stain will all even out. So much for one coat, am I right? I hated that I had to continue to invest in another two cans of the worst stain ever but I did and two painstaking weeks later the colors were even and I never wanted to paint lattice again.


HELL YES, nobody cares but me how fast I got this project done, as long it eventually got done. Our neighbors have given us a million compliments since our makeover. We could do it on our own time and it was not too difficult. This is why we finished in October and started around Memorial Day. We saved thousands of dollars and were most likely more meticulous then contractors would have been.

The biggest challenges for me was getting used to being on a ladder and heights. I was terrified but I did conquer getting on and off the roof. I was mad about taking the time to prep properly and doing a bunch of hard work and then not taking the extra time to invest in a great stain…. duh, what was I thinking. However, it worked out in the end.

I was really nervous to paint my house and while it took a lot of time due to just a lot of area to cover, the task itself was easy. I hope this inspires you to take on your exterior without breaking the bank.

Bonus: We even were able to take some family photos in the front of our house this fall that came out great!

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