Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Pacific Blue

Even though we hope to be moving out of the Calumet house pretty soon, my Mom will be moving into it. The rain gutters had seen better days, and the exterior trim on the house really needed freshening up. We didn't get it done last summer as we intended. So, Steve took the time to trim some of the trees one evening, and we hired someone to repaint the trim. Steve is an excellent painter, but his plate is way too full right now with work on the new house.

This house is built well and really solid, but I've never been crazy about the exterior colors. The home was built in 1968 with a blonde brick exterior. When the enclosed front porch and the enclosed back porch were added on a few years later, they made the mistake of trying to match the brick, which wasn't completely successful. The newer brick is more orange instead of gold. The second (last) owner replaced the roof and chose gray shingles. Gray? Yes, gray. Not a warm gray to somewhat coordinate with the warm brick colors - but a cool silver gray instead. He also repainted the trim - using 2 different brown paints that were supposed to match, but didn't. I'm not sure if he did the painting himself or if one of his relatives did it, but it was a REALLY bad paint job. They slopped A LOT of paint on the brick. I would hate to think he actually paid someone to do it.

So, I had the following things to consider when choosing new trim colors. 
  1. The 2 different colors of brick (not going to paint the brick)
  2. The silver gray roof
  3. Eavestroughs
  4. Almond color vinyl windows
  5. Redwood stain on the fence (didn't want to exactly match or clash)
  6. Limiting ourselves to 2 trim colors (more colors = extra charge from the painter)
  7. A very light color over the brown trim would mean more coats (more coats = extra charge from the painter + more paint)
The painter gave me a Sherwin Williams color fan chart, and I was thinking about choosing a rusty red to replace most of the brown on the house. I believe that was the original color on the house trim (evidence on the garage door threshold). But, that silver gray roof kept bothering me. The eavestroughs don't go around the entire house - just selected spots - so, the new gutters really had to match the painted trim along the roof line. Since the eavestroughs needed replacing, I decided the easiest thing to do would be to choose a trim paint based upon the new gutter/downspout color, so we got a color sample chart of those available colors - obviously a much smaller selection. Well, I wasn't satisfied with either of the reds available, and that silver gray roof continued to bother me. I finally made a really radical decision and went with something completely different - Pacific Blue. I wanted to make that silver gray roof look more intentional. We were able to get a Pacific Blue scrap sample from the company doing the eavestroughs, took it to Sherwin Williams, and they were able to match it. I then used the SW color fan chart to find a tan that would work acceptably with both blonde bricks, and the painter got to work.

I was going to save this post until after the new gutters were installed, but the company made a mistake and forgot to order them. It might be another week or two before they're installed, so I'll update you when that happens. OK, on to the pictures.The best before shot of the front of the house was taken before the tree in front had leaves. You can easily see the awnings over the windows.

Here's the back door - before.

And - after.

Front of house - before.


Another front of house shot - before.


Front door and awning (with brown stripe) - before.

The awning was painted the door color with a blue stripe.

The painter also repainted the railing with some black paint he already had.

Again, I'll post another photo or two when the new gutters and downspouts are installed. The house looks lighter and happier to me now.

All is well in the Keweenaw.


  1. love it!! So will your mom!! Amazing what a little change will do, huh/? We FINALLY bought some new siding for our house.......way over due!!! I can't wait but think it will be next spring before we do anything. Picked out a dark, greyish blue??? Hope we liike it!!!

  2. That color sounds like it will look real nice on your house. Sounds like a good choice!


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