Curb Appeal: Speaking of Trim…

Wednesday I revealed the newly painted house and shared that we are still pretty up in the air about what color to paint the trim. Up in the air might be an understatement. Completely unconfident in our decision is probably a better description. And this is one of those decisions that you want to be confident in. These babies are only getting painted once (well, you know, for a while).

Part of the delay is that we’re actually considering a little restoration work with a few of the windows that have chipped, don’t open correctly or have been painted shut (they’re the original 1930’s wood sash windows, so they’ve been through a lot) before we move ahead on the project because now’s a great time if ever to knock that out.

But despite those decisions, a big first step is deciding which paint color to have on standby. {sigh}

Hmmm… now to the untrained eye (aka one that hasn’t been squinting at the above image for hours on end), I can see how this might be both uninteresting and uneventful. But rest assured, I’ve been running circles in my brain on which of those two dark browns I prefer more – the chocolate or the huskier grey-brown? (The latter.) Which of those whites? Pure or off-white? (The latter.) It’s starting to get dizzy.

For as long as I can remember I’ve been absolutely certain I would go with a clean, crisp white trim. Certain of it. But then I kept walking out the front door to this image every day:

And the fact that our plantation shutters on the inside of the house are more of an antique white did not settle well. (See how the tan is much richer in the above pic than the version at very top of this post? This color is my favorite time of day.)

So I headed back to Lowe’s and picked out an antique white for the trim as well as a couple of browns – perhaps a contrast is nicer, after all?

Here we are getting dirty after dinner. Sorry for the late night pic :-).

I did a sloppy job of throwing my colors up (that’s way too large of a brush and I definitely didn’t tape or lay any drop cloth… but it was late and I wanted to have a fresh perspective in the mañana – with all of my options up). One tip I can throw into the above photo is that working inside of a plastic grocery bag saves loads of clean up time. The edges are rolled down and when it’s time to toss my used supplies (paper towels, empty sample cans, foam brushes, etc) I simply roll up those side handles of my plastic bag, tie a knot at top and my loose paint and trash is well contained and ready to be tossed.

In this photo I’ve done the squinting for you. It’s got that blurry, I-can-almost-picture-all-windows-in-that-color look:

Maybe try squinting a little more and hold one finger up over each window for a few seconds.

The off white is in the lower right corner, the grey brown right above that, the dark brown on the bottom right side of the first window, and the pure white on the top left side of that first window. Below that (lower left corner of left window) is one shade darker than the house, but it doesn’t have much pop or umph.

Here’s another look at the two browns side by side. The one on the left is a traditional dark chocolate brown, the one on the right is that grayer, hazier version of brown.

Leaning towards antique white… but desperately fearing I’ll regret not going with a bigger contrast (like brown) or with the pure white option in a few months. It’s like the time I let my cousin talk me into painting the trim and doors inside of the house an off white because it would match the walls better. I finally remedied that this spring and the trim and doors are  now a brilliant white. Which is 10,000x better.

And to throw a little curve ball in, Kevin recently brought home a sample of a mossy green and is wondering about ‘colors’ (as in not brown and white) as a trim option. Oh boy.

What do you think? and Happy Weekend!

PS Here‘s a link to all of ouryard-related posts, especially those involving this summer’s goal for our family: more curb appeal!

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  1. Jennifer I. says

    I like the darker brown, I feel like it connects with the plants, like Peggy says.

  2. Peggy says

    Having gone through this myself six years ago (with the help of a landscape designer) I’ve learned that when selecting exterior paint colors to strongly consider your landscape. It looks like you have not only green foliage but also gray and if you select a great color it will help show off your plantings. My house ended up being Ochre Rust by Frazee with chocolate brown trim, white french doors and windows, and a beautiful dark gray/blue for accents. The latter really picks up on the lavenders and grays in our plantings and I never would have picked it out myself. I suggest trying something unexpected and out of the ordinary just to see what it looks like. No matter what, you will pick out the colors that work best for you. I know my neighbors either loved or hated my choices, but hey, it’s my house!

  3. says

    I like the antique white… you’re right the bright white really accentuates the yellow in your blinds (which isn’t bad- it’s just nicer when the color’s a little closer so it’s not SO new and SO old- did that make sense?) I don’t love the brown paint just because I feel if you’re going to go brown, a stain would be a better option. Just opinions though- take them or leave em. You’ll make the best choice!

  4. says

    Does it all have to be one color? What if the trim around the window itself was white and the trim around the outside was brown (or green)? It seems like an off white would just disappear.

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