Updating Exterior Trim

We knew this project was in our future.

When we bought the home a couple of summers ago, it was nine-years-old and the wood trim around the home was worn and faded.  Though not avid DIY-ers, we like to save a buck and do as much as we can ourselves.  We estimate it would have cost at least $300 to hire this out and we did it for under $100.  And it was kinda fun.

First Step:  Buy test pots of stain and determine which one to use.  We just slapped it on some scrap wood and propped it on the existing shutters.  We ultimately chose the one on the right:  BEHR Premium Solid Stain in Deep Chocolate.

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Step 2:  Remove shutters, if possible.  Two of ours are attached with screws and came right off, but the two shutters by the porch are more built-in to the rock surround; they stayed put.

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Step 3:  Brush all surfaces with a wire brush.  We used a small brush we already owned for the hard-to-reach spots and a larger wire brush for the garage door surrounds.  Sorry, no pictures of this step.  Just brush until a good amount of the stain is off and the natural wood starts to show through.  Especially brush off any cracked or peeling paint.  Ours was just faded, not peeling, so we gave it a good going over and that was that.

Step 4:  Wipe all surfaces with a damp cloth or tacky cloth to remove any residual dust from brushing.

Step 5:  Apply stain.  Mark rolled the big surfaces; I taped and cut in with the brush.

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Step 6:  Apply second coat, waiting 1-2 hours between coats.

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We stained four shutters, the big beam on the porch, the trim around two garage doors and the vent above the garage.  This project cost us the better part of a Saturday and about $85.  (It might put you out a little more if you don’t already have paint brushes, trays, wire brushes etc.).   It’s one of those upgrades where, unless you saw us out there actually painting, you’d never know we even did it.  But if you see me out front with the kids and you think, “Did she lose weight?  Did she get her hair done? Something is different and I like it.”  It’s our freshly painted trim.

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