So, we finished painting the house…for the most part. We sprayed everything and then I went up on a ladder and touched everything up that we missed. It was a painful process, but I consider the top half ‘finished’ in the paint department.


The deck still needs to be stained, but until the roof is fixed, I can’t put the deck back and I can’t stain. It does need to be done before the winter, so I’m running out of time.



If you noticed that the screen on the upper window was ‘different’, it is because I got a little carried away with the sprayer. I will need to replace that screen next spring when I put the solar screens back up. Until then….it looks funny.

You also may have noticed that the garage door looked a bit more solid. Sydney and her mom overruled my opinion and said the door needed another coat, so she put a second coat on the door. I will admit that it looks good, so I guess I’m not complaining.


Next up on the list?

The shutters.

We used to have plastic, unpainted shutters, but we are going for a ‘Craftsman’ look, so we needed the shutters to be a wooden look. Since I wanted to go cheap, the best option was DIY. I had found some pictures of some made from slats of wood, so we went to the Home Depot and found the cheapest stain-able wood slats, which surprisingly are cedar fence posts. We needed three per side of window, and we had 7 windows. And, since the windows range from 3 feet to 5 feet tall, we would need 42 fence posts that are 6 foot tall. I know you are thinking that if the windows are 3 foot tall, can’t you cut the 6 foot pieces in half…? Well, the fence posts are dog eared at the top for aesthetic reasons, so we ended up with a lot of scrap material because of this. Oh well. It was still cheaper than buying them made.

I cut all of the slats to size and Sydney and her mom began staining them. We wanted a dark stain with a slight red tint. This would match the garage door the best, so we went with Red Oak.


Here is most of the slats stained and ready for a clear coat. Since these would be outside, we needed to ensure they had a good solid clear coat to ensure they don’t warp or fade in the sun.


While they worked on the staining, I worked on the hardware. Since the framing of the windows is black, we went with a hammered black finish on the metal brackets. I bought Simpson strong ties and cut them to length to be my brackets.


I then separated the washers and bolts out to get a coat of paint.


I took a scrap piece of wood and drilled holes all through it so I had a place to just spray the top of the bolts.

I used an exterior grade Urethane for the clear coat on the wood and on the brackets and bolts. I wanted to reduce the chances of fading as much as possible.


While I was at it, I put a coat of clear Urethane on the garage door. This should help prevent the Gel stain from flaking off and hopefully reduce the chances of it fading.


The slightly Satin look gives the door a little better look, I think.


While I worked on the brackets, John (father-in-law) worked on touching up the trim paint on the lower half of the house. We still needed to finish this and Syd and I were so tired of painting that we hoped John would do it. He finished it out and we were super happy.


Here are all of the pieces of wood with the clear coat on them. We let them dry for two days before we put them together and started installing them.


I took all of the brackets and installed them on the shutters. I used small black screws that matched. The pieces are all random which gives the overall look a very authentic wood feel. We love it.


I went up the ladder….again….and installed the shutters. I drilled four holes into the house for each shutter and then lagged them in place with the bolts.

Here is the front window (with the green screen)


The windows around the side of the house. It is kind of hard to see from this angle, but they look good.


Here is the back of the house with the shutters and everything painted.


From the back corner of the house.


If you didn’t already notice as well, the roof is done. We placed metal roofing on top of the existing roof and had gutters installed. Besides for some leaking seams, the roof is much better and has helped in cooling costs.



There are still a few things left to do to the exterior of the house and those will need to be completed before winter gets here. Luckily, as of today, I do have a few things done and will hopefully take care of quite a bit of them throughout this week and this coming weekend. Let’s just hope the weather cooperates (which so far it has not)….