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The only time I’ve hired a painter was when I didn’t have the equipment to do the job. The ceilings in the living room required serious scaffolding and the kitchen cabinets had to be professionally sprayed.

In the case of the garage, the only thing I was missing was time. I could have scraped that beast myself, but I really didn’t want to use my prime gardening time on that. So we hired a painter (not my usual one who couldn’t fit us in for months), gave him a deadline, and then went to go do an overnight sailing race while his crew was working on the siding.

So I came home on Saturday to a painted garage. It was a great feeling, followed by a nagging, something’s-not-right feeling.

Here’s the before, so I think we can all agree it’s a big improvement.

First off, the garage looks 100% better than it did, so put that in the win column. But I fear I may have made a poor color choice (again). We went with Benjamin Moore’s Ozark Shadows, which looked great on the large test patch I painted. Now that the entire garage is that color, I’m not sure I love it.

Other unbiased opinions on it range from, “It looks kind of purple/beige,” to “It’s a lovely gray. What is your problem?”

I suspect there were three things affecting the color: 1. The roof, which is the same as what we have on the house, but there are some brown tones in it that might be affecting the color; 2. The neighbor’s red garage behind it; and 3. The gray undertone on the garage doors.

The third item was an easy fix that I was planning to do anyway. On Sunday, I gave the garage doors each a coat of white paint and it helped tremendously.

You can see what a difference painting the garage doors made. The door on the right is painted, the door on the left is the old, dingy color. Try to ignore the fact that it looks like a wild animal tried to bust through the garage door; it was just me backing up without opening the door. Whoops. New garage doors are on the wish list for next year.

But the jury is still out on the color. I’ll continue to live with it while the paint on it cures, but I am entertaining the idea of repainting it. I will definitely be painting that little piece of white trim that extends up between the horizontal and vertical siding gray (I didn’t really know what to do with that so I just told the painter to make it white, knowing that it would be easy to change).

The good news is that I don’t think it would be that hard to repaint it and I’m sure I could crank it out in one day. I wouldn’t even bother repainting the back, which no one but the neighbor sees and you can’t see any other sides at the same time you see the back so I don’t think you’d notice if it was a slightly different color.

Still, it smarts a bit more when you pay someone to put up a color you don’t love.

Anyway, time for an update on the to-do list for the yard:

  1. Re-roof the garage.
  2. Paint the garage (in limbo).
  3. Install a pergola over the garage doors.
  4. Have the driveway paved.
  5. Regrade the lawn around the driveway to even it out.
  6. Paint the garage doors (temporary solution until we can replace them in the future).
  7. Redo side/back garden beds.

10 Responses

  1. Could it be that you have a nice dark driveway now, before you didn't have that black driveway as part of the whole scheme. Personally, I really like what I see in the photo, but I know things can look different in person. And as you mentioned I would paint that trim piece. I would have done the same thing you did, have them paint it white and change it myself if it wasn't right. I (heart) Wythe Blue. I have been looking for a place to use it in my house and when I saw your door I knew what I was going to do. Our pocket door between our kitchen and laundry room came off of an old farm house and it is the same style as yours – solid wood. We have white plank walls through most of the laundry room so I think the door will look great painted Wythe Blue!

  2. Honestly, I think it's the door. The green in the door seems to be a bit bright for the garage. I know how much you like Wythe Blue (me too, me too), but I'm not sure if it's working here. Before you go to the time and expense of repainting the whole garage, why don't you look at some options for the door. Maybe I'm just looking at it differently than everyone else, but the grey looks good to me.

    1. Heather, I really think you're onto something there. I'm going to let it all sit for awhile and live with it but I think painting that door might be the right call. Maybe more of a turquoise or a deep navy. That's the beauty of painting doors though; it's an easy change and I can have a little fun with it.

  3. I've rarely met a gray I did not like, so this looks fine to me. I agree with the other commenters. It's only problematic in your eyes. Most people would not notice or see what you see. And, besides, everyone will be looking at the garden!

  4. Yes, I wouldn't re-do anything right away, unless it's just painting that piece of trim. It's easy to overthink things and become too critical when you're thinking about them a lot, which you won't do after you've moved on in your mind to other projects. Perfection is never an option, after all. In my opinion, you should commit to living with it as it is for at least a year, and if you still want to change it next spring, then go ahead. This will prevent any reactionary decisions. That's just my advice, as I think the color looks pretty nice and your garage looks much improved. -Beth

  5. Maybe it's just the photos, but I like the color. The other thing I would keep in mind is that paint on an outside of a building is going to fade/mellow pretty quickly due to exposure to the elements. So maybe wait a year and see? This happened to my parents, they had their shutters painted in the same color they had used 10 years previously, and the fresh coat suddenly seemed very very bright. But now a couple years on they've faded a bit and look as expected.

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