Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Rest of the Story

Once we had finally finished the inside of the house, it was time to tackle something I’ve hated since the day I first saw our home. The outside. I hated the color of the brick, the stucco, the siding, and the shingles. I wanted to punish the individual that chose those colors. Who thought it was a good idea to put together yellow siding, peachy-pink stucco, peachy-grey bricks, and a grey-green roof? AHHHHH! Hate is the only way to describe my feelings for this color combination. In fact, I never would have purchased this home if the inside hadn’t been great! But you can’t have it all! :)

So, last year I decided nine years of hate was enough. I got bids to redo everything (except the roof) and the price was not cheap. To stucco the whole house (including replacing the siding) and rock over the brick it was over $15,000. That was about $15,000 too much. So we had to go with Plan B. Unfortunately, we spent the rest of the year trying to decide if we wanted to change our current home or build a new one. It took us until December to decide to change our current home and stay put for a while. So, by then it was too cold to do anything outside. We started the work on the inside and waited for warmer weather.

By July we had pretty much finished up all the inside work and we were ready to tackle the outside. So, I started with changing the brick. There are only a few options when it comes to changing bricks. You can rock over them. Pricey. You can remove and replace them with new bricks. Pricey. You can paint them. Ugly. Or, you can stain them. Never heard of that? Neither had I! But I thought about it one day last year and decided it would be a great way to change the brick color if I could find a brick stain. Well, I did some research (thank you the internet) and found a company in England that makes a stain specifically for brick! How lucky is that!? So, I ordered some Dyebrick samples and decided on a purple color. I know what you’re thinking, “Purple!!!??? How is that better????” Well, it’s called “Dark Plum” and if you put it on a piece of white paper it looks very purple. But, if you put it over my peachy-grey bricks, it looks like a mauve or dark red color. It’s pretty, I promise. :) I also ordered some black that I diluted to make some of the bricks grey. It broke up the red and looked nice, I think.

Here’s what our house looked like before. There’s a lot of pink going on there too. Bleh! Not my favorite. :)

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Here’s the work in process. The handsome fellow helping me is my dad (again). He’s pretty awesome for a 70+ dude! Nate said he was “done” with home refinishing so he didn’t help with the bricks. Thank goodness my dad was still willing to pick up a brush. :)

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Yes, you have to apply the stain BRICK BY BRICK and do your best NOT to get it on the mortar. It was way harder than I thought it would be. The stain has the consistency of water so it would run down the bricks quickly if you had too much on the sponge or brush. We found that the Member’s Mark version of Clorox Wipes did a pretty good job of getting it off the mortar if you were FAST! You literally had about 3-4 seconds to get it off or it was permanent. There are some spots where we were too late…don’t look too close! But for the most part, we did a pretty good job of keeping it on just the bricks. I thought that if my dad and I worked together for two full days we could finish the job. I was wrong. It was several weeks later when I finally finished. The whole project took about 52 man hours. It’s tedious work, but MUCH cheaper than the alternative. The stain for the project was less than $200.

One rainy Saturday I worked for about seven hours. The rain was only coming down very lightly and sporadically. I didn’t think it would be a big deal since the stain dried so fast all the other times we’d applied it (because it was HOT), even though the Dyebrick paperwork says in bold, red, capital letters not to apply it if the brick is wet. I was stupid and did it anyway. When I finish doing the areas on either side of the garage door I went in to take a shower and then it started to rain. Hard. This was the mess I found when I came out. UGH! I knew it would be hard to fix without making all the bricks dark. I was out of stain at this point (I had high hopes that ordering not enough would work out) so I had to order more and wait. When it finally arrived a few weeks later I did my best of correct the mess but it’s still not perfect.

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I knew that changing the brick color wasn’t going to do the pink stucco any favors. So, I debated what I was going to do to change the stucco’s color. You can paint stucco but it has the potential to flake off. But it’s also a fraction of the cost of putting on a new color coat of stucco. We went back and forth for months. It was hard to decide but we finally bit the bullet and paid someone to put on a new color coat. Here’s the work in process. (Note that they finished the stucco before I finished the brick! LOL!) That dark grey color is the cement coat they put on before the new color coat. It’s kind of like applying primer before you paint. A lot of people told me they liked that color a lot! LOL! It wasn’t terrible, but it does look terrible with the siding, which has to stay for now. Gotta win the lottery to get that replaced. :)

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After all the hard work, blood (I did get a few scrapes on my hands…lol!), sweat (it was HOT), and tears (why does this take so long!?) here’s the finished product!!! Yeah!!! It’s REALLY hard to tell, but the new color is light tan-grey color. The sun washes it out. You can see the color better in the shots by the front door where it’s a little shaded. :)

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Here’s a before and after together. Pictures don’t do it justice. You’ll have to come and see it in person!

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And now you know the rest of the story. :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi, i was on the dyebrick website and saw your home posted as a testimonial. I'm interested in the dyebrick product but am not sure about the longevity of the stain. It's been three years since you've stained your brick. How has it held up?

I appreciate your input!