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Before & After: Staining Our House White

by Andrea Doxey June 27, 2023

Before & After: Staining Our House White

I blame the movie Father of the Bride. I fell in love with a white house many, many years ago and have nearly moved to bad neighbourhoods because they had the perfect white house. Luckily, my better half, Steve, has always kept me on the right side of the tracks by focusing on location. I have loved many things about our current home from day one, but the tri-colour brick and stonework never topped my list. Don't get me wrong: I don't hate all brick, but the red, orange and brown trifecta just didn't feel like me. For the past three years, I've played on apps and in Photoshop to mock-up what our house would look like white — and each time, I grew more confident that it was the right decision. So this past spring, I called Encore Painting to help bring my vision (read: obsession) to life. I was confident in the professionalism and skill from the Encore Painting team as we had worked with them previously when we did a mini refresh last summer, and was super happy with their work and approach.

The Inspo

Caroline Gidiere Design, Colour Unknown

Studio McGee Design. Painted with Romabio in Benjamin Moore White Dove

Exterior Touches

The Before

The before shot, after last summer's mini front door update.

The entry when we moved in.

Brick colour detail, with paint test swatches!

The Process

Strong Considerations:

1. Product. After consulting with the Benjamin Moore specialists at Primetime Paint in Etobicoke, we decided to go with Romabio paint. In the past, experts have not recommended painting exterior brick because water and moisture can cause damage and maintenance issues. Now, newer fomulas of breathable, mineral paint do NOT seal the brick and allows the moisture to release, then you won’t have these issues. Romabio's specially formulated masonry paints allow exterior brick, stonework, or other masonry to be painted with an extremely durable, long-lasting finish that won’t peel or flake off. (The 20 year warranty offers nice peace of mind.)

2. Application. It took the Encore Painting team three days to completely transform my house. Day 1 was all prep-work as they cleaned the brick and covered the windows to prepare for the paint spray application. Days 2 and 3 were dedicated to painting the brick. (*Not noted here were the two nights of lost sleep I had agonizing about the gutsy move we were about to make to our beloved home.)

3. Colour. This was easily the hardest decorating decision I have ever made. Selecting a paint colour based on three different samples each painted on one small brick left me second guessing myself. We started by testing on the back of the house. (In the event I was to panic and abort the mission entirely, I figured better at the back than on the front.) Once I thought we had nailed the colour, I knew I needed to see a larger swatch on the front of the house in different light. The three options we considered were Benjamin Moore Simply White (too bright!), Swiss Coffee (too beige!) and Dove White (a warm white — maybe just right?). We decided to do the larger swatch on the front in Dove White. In the morning light (facing east) it looked great, but in the afternoon I wondered if it was too white. I did a lot of online research, and after seeing that many trusted designers had used Dove White, I was convinced it was the right choice.

Testing colours on the brick - Benjamin Moore Simply White and Benjamin Moore Dove White

Mid-way through the painting process. I knew after seeing the stone exposed, it was time to paint it as well.

4. To Paint the Stone or Not to Paint the Stone? I have never liked the stonework around the front door (much too Tudor style for my taste), but I thought I'd like to see what the house looked like painted with the stone left natural before committing to painting it, too... just in case. As soon as I saw the house painted and the stone exposed, I knew it had to be painted as well. The contrast was so stark, it made this feature pop even more than it did before (see photo above) — not what I was going for.

5. Door Paint. I decided to change the front door to Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore. Although I loved the Sherwin Williams Naval we had on the door previously, I found it was too dark once the brick was painted. I love how Revere Pewter offers the same colour tone as the baskets upfront and mixes nicely with the roof, black railings, black lights and brass hardware.

6. Light Fixtures. I decided to freshen up with new exterior light fixtures, but still nod to the traditional appeal of the home. (No half measures here!) I love the speckeled glass of the Caiden Sconces I selected.

Exterior Additions

"Dare to be different."

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