Making Life More Matchy-Matchy

July 05, 2011   //  Posted in: Backyard, DIY, Garage   //  By: Emily   //  4 responses

True story: Many visitors don’t even realize that it’s my garage since it doesn’t match the house in any way.

It’s cinderblock. It’s like a nice little bomb shelter. And it looks very out of place in a sea of traditional American Foursquares, but it’s functional.

At the time I was planning to re-side the house, a friend suggested that I have the garage sided too to make the property look more cohesive; a great idea and suggestion, but it would have pushed the whole project out of my price range. The alternative inspiration? There’s another garage on the street constructed with the same cinder blocks, but those homeowners have subdued the overall structure by painting the surface the same color as the respective house.

It looks damn good.

It was entirely the inspiration behind painting my own garage (such an inexpensive project when compared to siding the whole structure). It was finally last week that I sucked it up and decided to get the job done (photographing the garden and tomatoes against a dingy backdrop put me over the edge).

Dad's tomato plant haven.

Contrasting again the gray siding, it really did stand out in the backyard more now than it did when the house was sided white. This is a photo that was taken last month before the tomatoes were planted:

Back of the house, and the white block garage.

I started the project by studying paint chips taped to the siding, trying to match the new garage paint as closely as possible to the Mastic Victorian Gray of the house. Behr Porpoise is the color that won out; it’s a shade of gray that’s nearly identical to the house siding down to the subtle lilac purple shades that present themselves in a certain light.

Porpoise is the paint chip furthest to the left in the trio on the right. Third color from the right, if that makes sense. Behr 790E-3 in (and I selected Exterior Satin) if you’re looking for an exact formula.

Color selection for the garage.

After thoroughly power washing down the garage walls, I used a brand-spankin’ new 3/4-inch nap roller (9 in Rough from Home Depot). Besides having chose that product for it’s price – at just under $4 it was half the price of the “premium” roller of it’s kind – it’s definitely a nap that’s best suited for rolling on rough and uneven surfaces like brick and stucco.

Worked like a charm.

First gray paint on the garage! Even with the rough roller, it took a lot of work to get the paint in the many nooks and crannies. About an hour into painting, I was this far along, and my muscles were getting tired:

Making good progress on painting the garage. I went evenly over all of the bricks, but left the window and door trim for another day and another color.

The only section that didn’t get painted was the wall to the right side of the garage door. It’s covered with ivy that will need to be carefully removed and (hopefully) transplanted. I did paint along the trim as I could, but those vines cling with all their little might, so removing will probably involve scrapers and surgery one of these days.

Blocks on the right side of the garage door are covered in ivy.

I had used almost a full gallon to this point, so when I clean that ivy up, every last drop will be used to finish painting this column. And note: I didn’t paint all 4 sides of the garage – just the exposed side and the front – that’s how I made my gallon of paint last. My neighbor has a fence along the side of the garage on her side, and whatever remains visible over there has never been painted. The back of the garage isn’t painted either, but it backs up almost to the property line.

The new garage color makes a nice difference from the deck and in the back yard; the tone is subdued just enough to take away the bright glare on a sunny day, and make the garage feel like it is a part of the same property. I have to show you two photos, since the backyard and garage wall tend to look a lot different depending on the time of day and level of sunshine. This first one, taken on a sunny morning shows the back of the house shaded and the garage in full sun (makes it look much lighter than it feels in person):

The backyard on a sunnier morning. This second picture was taken later in the afternoon on a cloudy day and you can more easily see how the paint is an exact match:

The backyard on a more overcast afternoon. And mischievous Cody.

I’m in the picking-out-trim-paint phase of the game this week, and hopefully can make some more progress to complete the project. I’d like the trim to match the house trim, if I can find the perfect white. I’ll save the why-are-there-so-many-whites discussion for another day.

  • Ashley @
    7 years ago - Reply

    LOVE the paint color. Totally warm and calming! Can’t wait to see the trim all done.

    • Emily
      7 years ago -

      Thanks Ashley! I like it more and more. Right now it’s really bright in the backyard, but the gray tones down the reflections from the sun way, way more than the white wall did!

  • Cait @ Hernando House
    7 years ago - Reply

    That looks great! Looking forward to seeing the trim :)

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