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Picking exterior paint

Picking out a paint color is a big decision especially when you have a house with all siding.  You definitely don't want to redo it because you don't like it.  We looked at lots of pictures before we made our decision.  It finally came down to this... 

While we were building our house,  everyday we drove by this tiny old farmhouse that is painted red.  I loved it!  My dear husband wasn't sure about it though so we experimented with some different choices.  The dark green was my second choice.  For us, the yellow seemed too feminine and the taupe too plain. 

To decide, we painted the front of the house like this.  We bought quarts of 6 different colors and tried them out.  Everyone that came to visit or work on the house gave their opinion.  I had one city inspector say, "Any of them except that red!"  You should have seen his face when he came back after the painting.  Poor man, couldn't handle the bold color.  Even within our family, their were strong feelings on the matter.  I however knew instantly which one I liked and I my husband let me choose.

It was very helpful to study them at different times of the day as well as on sunny or cloudy days.  If you do this, it's important to give the colors some time to, well, show their real colors.  It was costly to buy all those quarts but it saved us from painting the whole house and then not being happy with it.  In the end, Benjamin Moore Soft Gloss Country Redwood  (#96 23) was the clear winner. 

Country Redwood is a factory mixed color so there was no variation from can to can.  First, one coat of primer (yes, we primed pre primed Hardy for good measure) and then two coats of paint.  It was a LOT of painting. 

All areas close to the rafter tails had to be done by hand.  Shielding the spray didn't work well with the red paint. Husband didn't want pink rafters, I can't imagine why!  I helped the painter with the whole project.  He was great, giving me tips to improve my skills along the way.  It was hard work but I have always enjoyed painting.

For us, red was the right color.  I can't imagine our farmhouse any other way.


  1. I think that it is gorgeous. I love red and recently painted our front door red.

  2. I am so glad you got your red farmhouse! I love how the color turned out and I think since it's such a classy red, it won't ever look dated. And look at you, being so brave on the roof! Have you ever thought about being a professional house painter? :)

  3. You so picked the right color. Your house was calling out for red!!
    Amy :)

  4. I've always loved red houses. At one point, our old farmhouse was red. Hey, I'm thinking.. we could return to red someday. Perfect choice for your farmhouse! -Tammy

  5. The red is such a classic for a farmhouse, you couldn't go wrong with it, I think. Perfect colour. Other on trend colours eg. lattes etc would look quite dated within ten years.

  6. You have a picture of the grandparents house posted in the sidebar. What are the colors of the siding and trim? We love that blue.

  7. Scott,
    Our parent's house is Benjamin Moore Philipsburg Blue (HC-159). It is a pretty blue, not too bright with hints of gray. We were a little worried when we had decided to do red and they wanted blue. I was afraid it would look a little too patriotic. I don't think it does though. I know you are in the area. Stop by and see them in person if you want.

  8. You did choose a perfect red--that deep barn red says farm! We're debating our colors right now. My husband wants a white farmhouse (we've already decided we want the shiny silver metal roof and light blue porch ceilings because we're in SC) but I'm not on board 100%. There are so many other colors than white but it does say classic farmhouse.
    Here's the blog (though I haven't put any notes about color yet because the footings are just being dug this week!)-

  9. Anna,
    So glad to see you blogging thru the house building journey. I wish now I would have done that.
    As for color, classic white is wonderfully classic. It is hard to top it. The house that first inspired me to want a farmhouse is white. I was driving with my mom and she was commenting on these huge beautiful Dallas style homes on one side of the street but I was admiring the cute two story white farmhouse on the other side. Then we came across and they have so many wonderful color choices. Check them out for yourself but go with what you love.

  10. Hello Kim!
    I found you quite by accident...I was visiting Lauren over at Scratch and Peck and was reading comments and I loved the name of your blog so I decided to come over and take a peek. This is PERFECT this spring we will be painting our little one story farm cottage and I've been having a HECK of a time trying to figure out what color to paint it. I LOVE the color you chose and red is a color I've thought a lot about but with the med brown color of our roof I'm not sure it would work. Anyway....I just looked at your post of the outside of your house and saw this post so took a look. I'm glad I did. Oh..we are neighbors too..I'm in Kansas ;) Well...I'm off to go read more of your blog. I hope you and your hubby and boys have a wonderful Sunday! Maura :)

  11. I love red houses and have built and lived in two red houses almost the same color as yours. The homestead house we are building now will probably be red also. I've loved red houses for a long, long time, but I've found out by living in a couple that its not everybodys cup-o-tea. There is always someone who is totally shocked by the color. I don't care, I'll always love red houses, barns, chicken coops, etc. I just love red!


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