Sunday, November 6, 2016

We Faux-Painted Our Garage Door!

Actually, John's been sprucing up the whole front of the house this past week, but the garage door is the bit I think you'll find most interesting.

Here's the "before":


Ok, so the garage isn't actually in frame here, but you *can* see our row of bushes representing Darwin's "Evolution of Shrub."

 For some reason those left four bushes have been half-dead for years, and no amount of fertilizer or bug sprays had any effect, while the right four went on their merry way getting bigger and bigger and mocking our every attempt at symmetry. ARRRRRRGG.

Less visible is the faded paint, old wasp nests in the window trims, and one severely washed out, faux wood grain garage door. 

How washed out, you ask? Well, here's the only "before" I could find, taken just as John was starting to repaint it with an orange base coat:


I still can't believe it was that bad. I think the camera makes it look a lot worse. Yeah. That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it. [shifty eyes]

Here's the base coat completed, and the brown glaze started:

For the first coat of glaze John did a horizontal strié, meaning he dragged the brush sideways only.

This was a little too high-contrast, though, and had some light patches. So we did a second glaze coat of a soft vertical strié, to even it out.

Once the glaze dried, John taped off and painted black squares on top to simulate windows:

An easy trick, but super convincing from the street.

John also installed some decorative hardware: straps and handles. Now we're all FANCY.

And check out our new orange(!!) door, which I am LOVING with the darker garage. You can also see the ridiculously dinky bushes we planted. (They're native Maui Ixora, in yellow.) Plus we repainted the front walls and trim, to clean those up:

Getting those old bushes out was HARD, btw, and John managed to further blow out his rotator cuff doing so. I need to look into some form of one-armed straight jacket to get this guy to sit still. He's on anti-inflammatory meds and doing his stretches, but every week he goes and builds/lifts/rips out things and roughs it up again - so feel free to berate him in the comments for me.

Oh, did you notice the pretty new window box?


More of John's handy work! As I joked on Instagram, let's see how long it takes us to kill the plants. (I am BAD with plants. Baaaaaad.) I do like my combo of Blue Salvia and Marigolds, but I think I need something drapey up front, right? Something to hang over the edge? Gah, plant stuff is hard.




I dream of someday jack-hammering up our nasty old driveway, but for now, at least the house looks cuter. That said, if you have suggestions for making ugly concrete driveways look better, PLEASE share. Any of you tried concrete stain? Or that pebble coating stuff? Or jack-hammering it all up and starting over? :D


48 comments:

  1. Lovely! And kudos to you for using native plants for the shrubs! For trailing plants, look into ornamental sweet potato vine or purple heart (here I am suggesting non-natives, but neither plant is invasive).

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  2. It looks fantastic!
    John, stop making your shoulder worse! Do you know how annoying it'd be to type puns one handed for CW?
    Jen, we had one trick-or-treator who was dressed as Hanibal Lector, he was in a straight jacket and mask and was strapped to a furniture dolly. His dad was dressed as a hospital orderly and was pushing the kid around the neighborhood. I thought it was hilarious. Maybe you could work up a similar rig to keep John from running off and starting a hard labor project without help.
    I have no plant knowledge at all but I think that window box is beautiful as-is!
    And I haven't tried it, but I'm OBSESSED with faux mosaics. Maybe that'd be a fun driveway option?

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  3. Good work! This might just be me, but it might be fun to paint the decorative concrete border on your driveway/garden. I suggest teal to go with your fun orange door :D

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  4. For the concrete, have you tried dish soap on it? Though I don't know how feasible it is for a large area!

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    1. Pressure-washing it works really well, but that only seems to last a few weeks. Then it's right back to the grungy dark patches again. :/

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  5. Love the garage door and that orange door looks great with your house color!

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  6. I say, faux paint the driveway. http://www.nationalstencil.com/concrete-driveway-stencils.html

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  7. I second just paint the damn thing. You can do all sorts of colors and given y'all's talent, you could probably make it look like a cobble road without stencils.

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  8. There's a product called Deck Over that's supposed to be like paint plus a li'l bit of filler. We need something like that for our sidewalk but are too poor to care that much right now. 😁

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  9. That color looks great on your front door! but I cracked up laughing when I saw it, because as I've learned recently, that shade of orange looks a lot less great when management decides to use it on every door in the complex. (Being door twins with you guys does cheer me up, though!)

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  10. In so cal people stain their concrete. I'm pretty sure you can buy something specifically for the job. I've seen it look awesome and I've seen it look like someone threw up over the entire driveway (yes, I'm talking to you neighbors 6 doors down), but I have no doubts you could pull it off.

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  11. First, the house looks great! (It reminds me, I should show off pics of my newly re-decorated craft room, I think you'd like, it's terra cotta/turqouise!)

    Second, for John- as a fellow shoulder sufferer (partially torn RC) I have found myself a life-saver! ( https://www.amazon.com/Shoulder-Ice-Compression-Wrap-160-220/dp/B0037MC74U/ref=sr_1_19?ie=UTF8&qid=1478526476&sr=8-19&keywords=cold+one+ice+wrap) I was pretty convinced that I was going to have to have shoulder surgery before I was 30, but regular use of this ice pack/compression sleeve/wrap whenever I did anything that made my shoulder ache has kept me off the table. Kinda expensive, but compared to the price of surgery? Totally worth it.

    Good luck keeping the plants alive! I would offer advice, but then you would have to do the opposite.

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  12. Sweet potatoes vines are hardy. There are also some lovely drapey succulent varieties that work well for me ans my brown thumb.

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    Replies
    1. I was coming down to comment exactly this! Sweet potato vines are great box filler and they are a pretty bright green color that would look great with the violet blue and yellow!

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    2. Me too!! Sweet potato vines are awesome for this, and hard to kill!

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  13. Had to stop by and say how you are both (Jen and John) really, really talented painters/artists. I could never do what you did to the garage door (haven't got the eye for detail), and it looks amazing.

    When we bought our house we stained/sealed the concrete garage floor blue. It was easy to put down (because we didn't have any stuff in the garage yet) and it's held up great for 10 years of parking on it. And like several folks have said, I'm sure you could do some kind of cool design.

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  14. shazam that garage door looks good! Have you looked into staining the concrete? I don't know much about it but have seen some neat before and after photos.

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  15. The garage door looks great! Same with the orange front door!

    For your window box, maybe Phlox. It's extremely low maintenance, gets a good drape once it's grown a bit, has lovely flowers, and (at least the kind we have) is evergreen. We totally ignore ours here in Missouri and it has flourished over the last 1.5 years

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  16. I'm really good at killing potted plants also. Found this https://www.google.com/shopping/product/761553413515326915?lsf=seller:8740,store:4715040852048372619,lsfqd:0&prds=oid:4530001730416614994&q=Water-Storing+0.75+lb.+Crystals&hl=en&mid=siDZucPzv%7Cdc_mtid_8903jx325196_pcrid_117585673888_pkw__pmt__product_202563065_slid_&lsft=gclid:CLTqqK6il9ACFQkMaQodv5IKGw it helps. Good luck. The box is really pretty. might also help with your slow glowing shrubs by the door.

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  17. I love seeing your garage door. I have thought for a while about doing something with our standard white with no windows door. Particularly doing something for fake windows but didn't know if it would really look right. I had thought of painting black or doing something with mirror. Your pictures show that painting is a great effect. I will show my hubby and see what he thinks.

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  18. DON'T PLANT MORNING GLORY! It's worse than weeds and you'll never get rid of it. EVER. As for the driveway, I think that spray pebble stuff isn't good for non-covered outdoor areas. If you paint it, please take pictures.

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  19. Hi there- The garage door looks great! What kind of paint and glazes did you use to get the effect? Can you give the brands/color of the paint and glazes you used...please? :) I'm going to do this on my own garage door. :) For the driveway, we mixed concrete stain with special concrete that can be skim coated on the existing driveway. We used plastic lattice to make templates (20 rows and 2 column of 'blocks" about 4 inches square to border the outside edges and along the seams-cut lines of the driveway) and used that to make it look like old world stone. In the large areas where there wasn't block, we skim coated the space and gave it a light texture with a broom. Our driveway accommodates 2.5 car width, so it was a BIG job! ...but the neighbors loved it...and even as the driveway cracked, it still looked great! It even stands up to pressure washing!

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    1. Can you share a picture of your driveway? I'm really interested to know what this looks like. I can't see it in my mind's eye, but it sounds really cool! You could probably write a tutorial!!

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    2. I would LOVE to see this too! Our 50 year old driveway needs some love.

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  20. Don't plant alyssum either, it reseeds itself, so would completely overpopulate your shrubs down below.

    I totally second (or fifty-fifth) the staining your driveway, it will look great!

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  21. Love the garage, front door, window box and plants (just wanted to get that in first!) If it were me, I'd do faux fossils and such - kind of like they have done at Universal Studios on the walks. Cover the whole think with a super thin coat of concrete, press leaves and foam boars carved into fossil shapes or whatever into it and let dry. No need for paint or anything and it will look fabulous and doesn't need to be perfect.

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  22. I have used concrete stain before. On the concrete in my basement. It worked like a charm and is lovely. This is the one I used. While it is interior only I know there are exterior ones too. http://www.homedepot.com/p/Eagle-1-gal-Blue-Poppy-Interior-Concrete-Dye-Stain-Makes-with-Water-from-8-oz-Concentrate-EDIBP/203013496

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  23. It looks so good! Love the bright and cheerful front door too. :) I'd start with pressure washing it - you'd be amazed at how much better it will look with just a cleanup like that, and you can rent them from Home Depot or Lowe's for pretty cheap.

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  24. "Darwin's 'Evolution of Shrub'" - dying! I'm dying over here! =)

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  25. Something like this, steampunk the heck out of it. Less for support, more to remind him to be careful. https://smile.amazon.com/Shock-Doctor-Shoulder-Support-X-Large/dp/B00598YBTO/

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    1. Like the judge on Steampunk'd: http://previously.tv/m/2015-08-19-steampunkd-02.jpg

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    2. Wow, I actually met Thomas, that judge, about 12 years ago. He was a really nice and talented guy. I allways wondered what happened to him. Glad to see he is still creating. And he doesn't seem to have aged at all in that time either, judging from this photo.

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  26. I did a dark brown stain on my front porch concrete and it turned out amazing. I bought it at Lowe's. But our FL weather requires you work in small sections at a time. I didn't so I didn't achieve the mottled look I was going for but still loved the final outcome.

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  27. John! Sit! Stay! Good boy! (Jen, will you take care of the head pat and ear scritch?)

    Love your updates! I live in Missouri, and I used concrete stain on a planter and bird bath. It's been over ten years, so I can't remember where I purchased it. Likely it was at Home Depot as we didn't have Lowe's here at the time. It's been out in the summer and in the snow and has developed a few worn spots here and there, but nothing too noticeable. It's got that properly aged look, don't ya know. I'm not sure how the DIY stuff would hold up to Florida rains and the friction of being driven on, though. How's that for a lot of words but no help? :D

    Andrea

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  28. For drapy plants, creeping jennies are super easy and make such pretty tendrils of "plant". They work great in the PNW, but hopefully in FL, too!

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  29. I have seen a lot of diy sites toting taping off concrete and painting over it to make it look like tile (or mosaic, brick, faux wood, whatever style, even patio rug!) I think they all used some kind of sealant after painting their designs if I remember correctly.

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  30. There is an interesting effect that I've seen recently with concrete stain where, if you wrap a plastic bag around a paint roller with rubber bands, then roll it on, it creates a random effect with the stain that looks very nice. Not sure how dark I would go though with the color scheme you currently got going. Good luck!

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  31. Please, PLEASE do this to your driveway!!!
    (ITEM #4) - the turquoise color:
    http://www.amazinginteriordesign.com/5-awesome-floor-makeover-ideas-low-cost

    --Piper P from Washington State

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  32. I laughed out loud at the evolution of shrub part.. been there too but now have a name for it! The house and landscape looks so cute ive always loved your home diy posts. And like previous commenters have said sweet potato vines are a great filler for pots. I mix them with other flowers in mine and this year have had to cut them back about three times they justdid that good and got so full. And John, get well soon! Rest and ice! Love you guys and enjoy seeing all ur craftiness!
    -Brandi

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  33. What a beautiful, cheerful front door! Hang in there with the plants.

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  34. *gets all squinty-eyed, staring at the "Evolution of Shrub picture"*

    I'm a few years out of practice with the gardening stuff and you're not in the same climate I'm from, but... I think I see the problem you had there, and it could continue and affect the new Ixoras. It doesn't look like you have a gutter on the front of your house and with the little peak you have over the front door that extends to the very edge of the main roof, I would expect you get a fairly concentrated stream of rain run-off right at the top of that part of the flower bed, which could leech the soil of nutrients in that area for a good few feet regardless of how much fertilizer you put down. I could be wrong, but that's what it looks like to me from the pictures.

    I'd suggest hanging a rain chain (that might be a fun DIY project...) from your roof at that little corner, replanting that first Ixora by the door to somewhere else, and either putting down a gutter splash block that diverts the rain into the driveway or a cistern where that first Ixora was. If you opt for the cistern, make sure it's legal for you to collect rainwater where you are.

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  35. I think for your driveway you should do some invisible art with RainWorks. http://rain.works/invisiblespray/ Otherwise it looks great!

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    1. Thanks for that link! It is now one of my goals to acquire and use that stuff someday!

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  36. I have six window boxes in the front of my house. They are to shallow and don't hold enough dirt to allow for proper plant growth. So I cheat and take the easy way out. I put in fake plants. I change them for each of the different seasons. It's a bit expensive in the beginning but they last a few years before fading if you buy high quality plants. I replace or buy new ones as needed or when I see something I just have to have. The front of our house always looks beautiful and I get compliments on my "green thumb"!

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  37. Maturities in bright orange to match the door. Cultivation is dead easy from seeds (cheap) and their very hard to kill. The flowers are edible, too. HTH

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  38. Gah. Stupid auto-correct. That should've been nasturtiums

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  39. Looks great! Not sure if you've tried lantana but they're a pretty, flowering shrub that will spread out and grow really nicely here in Florida. They're also great for butterflies and pollinators. I had a friend who's lantanas spread out and filled in a nice area with very little upkeep or care.

    Now that said, I managed to kill the three succulents I bought earlier this year so please don't use me as a frame of reference. LOL My mom has the world's best green thumb and mine is sadly very, very black. :( I don't mean to be a plant mass-murderer but...well, it just seems to happen!

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  40. I definitely vote in favor of drapey plants for the window boxes, but I live in the greater Seattle area with the shadiest yard ever, so the plants that I love probably won't thrive for you :-).

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