Sunday, July 24, 2011

Staining the House- After 32 Years!

When we built our home in 1978 we decided to side it with white cedar clap boards. They have a natural preservative and don't need to be painted. And for 32 years we didn't paint the house. The first two decades all was well. With regular bleaching the house stayed a natural graying color, pleasing to the eye and in harmony with the surroundings.  But more recently the house no longer cleaned up with bleach, it was decidedly weather-beaten in appearance and whenever wet or damp it looked positively unkept. Also areas of rot were starting to appear. We decided it was time to have everything stained - the house, woodshed and garage - EVERYTHING! It took us several years to be sure, then some more time to explore color, and then a year to secure our favorite painting team. The whole time we were saving money for this project because it was definitely not something we wanted to do ourselves!

We have a truly unique home. It was designed by me and David and I built it ourselves back when we were young enough to work from 6 AM to 1 PM on house building and then do the regular job after that. What a year! It is a passive solar house, designed after the oil embargo in the 1970's and very much back in fashion. It is a berm house meaning it is backed into the hill with sweeping windows on the southern and eastern faces. We heat the entire thing on 4-5 cords of wood per year. Here is a photo taken about 2 weeks ago on a sunny day.  The siding looks ok in the sunshine, a little splotchy. But it looks terrible on a damp day.

And here is a view from the driveway and entry side.

It took us a longtime to decide on a stain color. We knew we wanted to stay with earth tones so we were in the blue, green, brown, gray color cards. And I stared a photo album of houses we liked. Over time we narrowed it down to the blue-green hues and after a lot of thought we decided on Benjamin Moore Silver Pine AC-21. It is a gorgeous color on the color card.

Tony is our painter and he and his crew are worthy of a post unto themselves - fun, talented, hardworking and excellent at what they do. Tony came and painted a sample of Silver Pine.  It was nice but we kept looking at our front door color and thought it was nicer. I went back through the records to learn that we had used Benjamin Moore Amazon Green 2136-30 on the doors so Tony got a can of that as well. Both samples were applied in a corner near the white trim.

The Silver Pine was nice but the Amazon Green was far richer. Given the nature of photography and screen colors I am sure that all of these colors look differently on your monitor than mine so some day, check out the samples at your Benjamin Moore dealer. The crew started painting Benjamin Moore Amazon Green 2136-40. I do have issue with the chosen name - not at all what I think Amazon Green to be. I think it is more of a Mallard Blue but with the thousands of names Benjamin Moore has to come up with I understand the impossibility of the task.

It took a crew of seven six days to finish everything and we are very, very pleased with the results. Here are a few photos from different angles. There are no open views.  The house is located on a wooded hillside so trees are everywhere.

Our house has interesting lines in the basic architecture of it and they were all hidden with the faded natural siding. The combination of the Amazon Green and white trim again emphasized the composition of triangles.  We went with Brilliant White trim to match the Anderson Windows which have the white vinyl wrap. No painting needed there!

Here is the driveway view....

I always have a harder time with the door colors.  I know the recommendation is to have a complimentary color for the doors and the Benjamin Moore Color viewer selects a tan but that just didn't fit.  Instead I went one shade darker to Regent Green 2136-20.  It is on all the house and garage doors.   

And here is the painting crew........ They used Benjamin Moore Arbor Coat latex stain and were very please with the application.

Thanks guys.  We love it!

©2011 Ashbee Design, Marji Roy

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