51 Comments

  1. patinaandcompany
    September 24, 2012 @ 9:07 am

    Hilarious! Nobody knows how hard we try . . . your final colour is identical to the colour stain on my front doors–warm year-round. I cannot imagine how women would ever get anything done if not for the male tendency to get obsessed with tools and gadgets like the paint sprayer! Bless the tool gods.

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      September 24, 2012 @ 9:45 am

      Tool gods is right. Not to mention that if not for the paint sprayer, I would have been doing WAY more of my share of the painting…

      I love that mahogany stain! And somehow I managed to walk by it everyday during the paint-choosing-marathon without giving it a second look. Funny how you have to be forced to see what is right in front of your face…

      Reply

      • patinaandcompany
        September 24, 2012 @ 9:53 am

        So true! Looking forward to the next part of the saga.

        Reply

  2. Alex @ northofseven
    September 24, 2012 @ 9:37 am

    Paint is another level of hell. I remember taking over 50 swatches of various shades of grey and blue and posting them all over my living room to figure out basic shades of grey that would work with our floors/couch and lighting. We wound up going to Home Depot and getting a massive container of Behr Ultra Premium white and called it a day saying we’d paint later. It’s been 2 years. There’s no way I am going to even try it at this point. FWIW your home looks REALLY great!!!

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      September 24, 2012 @ 9:55 am

      You know what? White is good. Clean. Fresh. Never an unexpectedly weird shade…

      I wasn’t kidding about how I just stopped caring. And how I don’t really like the shutter color. I mean, it’s fine. But it looks black. Not that there’s anything wrong with black shutters. But if I was going to just choose BLACK SHUTTERS. I could have saved myself entire days of headache. And I could have spent that time reading and eating bonbons. Or something.

      Reply

  3. spoonbeams
    September 24, 2012 @ 9:53 am

    I’ve definitely got to have Lee read this. He may then decide I’m not so bad when it comes to picking paint colors! Good luck to you with your project. We hope to be in by the end of October —

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      September 24, 2012 @ 9:59 am

      It’s like a free service I offer—making other renovators look easygoing and decisive.

      Reply

  4. shashakidd
    September 24, 2012 @ 12:41 pm

    You are a very entertaining writer–thanks for sharing your story. I limited my color choices by choosing a particular Arts & Crafts color palette which saved me tons of money on buying samples.

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      September 24, 2012 @ 3:24 pm

      You’re right that beginning with some basic palette or historically-appropriate color scheme would have been a good starting point. Unless, like me, you long to bring home every swatch, of every paint, from every store in a thirty-mile radius…

      Reply

  5. Stacey
    September 24, 2012 @ 1:31 pm

    Wow, you totally matched that door. I’m super impressed with your spoon mixing and measuring skills. It looks beautiful with the blue/gray of the house siding. As someone who frets over stuff like that I can assure you that in the end it is all worth it… no matter how crazy it makes you (or Paul). You got it right!!!! I must kneel before you, Victoria… you are the paint queen. A crown is in order!
    And when it’s all said and done.. I suggest you donate all those little paint samples to an art student. THEY WOULD BE IN HEAVEN!

    The house/porch looks incredible. Paul is so brave to be up that high. It scares the crap out of me when I see Richie on a ladder that high. I’m always putting together the 911 call in my head… just in case. :-) It appears he’s all strapped and totally secure. BRAVE BRAVE MEN!
    It’s looking so pretty. I bet your neighbors LOVE YOU!!!

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      September 24, 2012 @ 4:01 pm

      Yes, yes, yes… I HATE watching him on the ladder. It’s so obviously a bad idea!!!! No part of him seems bothered by it… so I guess they get used to it. But the few times I’ve had to go up past the second windows, I’ve had to go back down.

      Most of the neighbors are thrilled not to look at the purple anymore. But one said— oh! I really *liked* the purple. And I was like—oh, hm, interesting. So possibly they are the person who egged on the previous owner, spurring him to climb higher and paint more…

      Great idea about the samples. They’ve just been sitting in the basement stairwell waiting for me to figure out what to do with them!!

      Reply

  6. the home tome
    September 24, 2012 @ 3:57 pm

    Looks fant-abulous! I like your scientific method aided by a soup ladle – that is my kind of science! And that pile of paint samples cracks me up.

    We have a wooden stained door which I wanted to paint bright red after we had the house painted from yellow-ish to grey: but we ended up keeping it stained – we think it has “gravitas” this way. I think your door has “gravitas” as well. And that’s one of my favorite words/one of the biggest compliments I can give these days :)

    And yes, when your other half is on top of a very very high ladder it’s difficult to not go into some kind of terretts state of saying “be careful be careful be careful.” And I don’t know whether to hover around at the base of the ladder (as if I could catch him) or just clear out and go shopping (hoping for the best from afar, of course…)

    Bravo! :)

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      September 24, 2012 @ 4:12 pm

      I’m pleased how all the women commenting, appreciate that it’s totally a good idea to make your own paint in your backyard. Paul acted like it was irrational.

      I love the idea of my door having gravitas… everyone who visits should take my entrance seriously. Or else.

      I am ALWAYS torn between sitting under the ladder with an inflatable raft, and doing whatever else I had planned. And if you go out? There’s that that feeling of relief of driving around the corner at home, and seeing he’s still on the side of the house.

      Reply

  7. RedCandy
    September 24, 2012 @ 7:11 pm

    Finding the right paint colour can be so frustrating! Good for you for not giving up and settling for any old colour. I love that mahogany colour….gorgeous!

    Reply

  8. Karen B.
    September 24, 2012 @ 8:07 pm

    Victoria,
    I arrive at the stage you described as double-secret compromise willingness way before you do. You are clearly a more detail oriented renovator. :-) The porch turned out great…the mahogany does look a little like a dark crimson and that color looks good with anything. Great job.
    Karen

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      September 25, 2012 @ 10:07 am

      Well… you can relate to how you get fixated on *something*. Whatever it is, party planning, garden arrangement… and how it’s impossible to move on until you’ve either found the perfect solution. OR feel like banging your head against the wall…

      Reply

  9. Danielle
    September 25, 2012 @ 3:04 am

    Why does EVERY project require four thousand trips to Home Depot?! It never fails.

    I really liked the greys that you where looking at, but the red is WOW! And reds are tricky even if you’re not hand mixing them. Congrats on the happy accident and getting the magical color you were looking for. Can’t wait to see part 3!!

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      September 25, 2012 @ 10:10 am

      Some law of renovation. Similar to Murphy’s Law, but more annoying…

      The color shade seemed really important… after all, it’s the first thing anyone sees on the house. Although, of course I’m the only one who’s scrutinizing it!!

      Reply

  10. Jennifer
    September 25, 2012 @ 7:46 am

    I love your porch. We are working on ours as well but it’s not nearly as big. Are you planning to paint the floor? Ours is already painted, so we do not have much of a choice.

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      September 25, 2012 @ 10:14 am

      We did talk about painting it… it would have been, by far, the simplest solution. But I prefer the natural wood… and we decided to refinish it. Which will be Part 3.

      We had a painted porch at another property, and the paint held up incredibly well. And, we chose a lighter shade and it really made the space brighter.

      Reply

  11. our heritage home
    September 25, 2012 @ 11:40 am

    I would never have thought to put the burgundy with the blue either but it looks so good. Congrats your almost there. I think deciding on colour is one of the hardest decisions, kinda like your playing head games with yourself!

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      September 25, 2012 @ 4:24 pm

      Like I said, I DO really like a red door… I think it’s a classic look. But I usually think of a brighter red, not the brown undertone. I am REALLY happy with the end result. Far better than I would have been with a grey.

      It does feel good to come to the end of a project. This one was better than most in that it was outside, and so the mess and noise wasn’t directly in the house and could be shut out to some extent!!

      Reply

  12. Linn @ The Home Project
    September 25, 2012 @ 11:48 pm

    I thought I was pretty bad at deciding colors, but you really take the cake:) I really love the color you ended up with, the dark red feels so much warmer and more balanced than the grey-ish scale. And I love how the red isn’t red-red but more brown/rust/dark red. It contrasts perfectly with the color of the house. Very, very nice (and fun to read about your anguish and indecisiveness too!)

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      September 26, 2012 @ 9:06 am

      Laughing… yes. I am indecisive at the best of times. So something like this can take on the importance of brain surgery. To some extent, the house is curing me of that. Or, maybe cure is too strong a word. Improving, slightly? Maybe.

      Reply

  13. Andrea Kelly
    September 26, 2012 @ 9:02 pm

    Hahaha, I can’t tell you how many times my mom has tried to mix paint/floor stain in sample containers with spoons and then made my stepdad do the math to figure out how to mix it on a larger scale. Seriously, that part Cracked Me Up!

    Also, you’re not alone, this is so me as well – “I will be happy to whip you up a distinctive shade that you will never be able to match or track down or specify to anyone.”
    Why does this always happen??

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      September 27, 2012 @ 10:02 am

      It DOES seem that the ONLY way to get it right is to build your own laboratory. Some kind of variation on the saying—“if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.”

      Also, perhaps it’s a sign of greatness? The unwillingness to settle for something 1% different than your true wish? Or, just a sign that I never learned how to really prioritize things!!

      Reply

      • Andrea Kelly
        October 14, 2012 @ 7:00 pm

        I’m just glad I’m not the only one who does this sort of thing! My family is always making fun of me for it.

        And I think it’s both – a sign of someone with greatness who needs help prioritizing!! 😉

        Reply

  14. redjim99
    September 28, 2012 @ 5:06 am

    Love the blues and greys, very similar to colours we used on our windows and shutters in France.

    Jim

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      September 28, 2012 @ 9:32 am

      But you have the added benefit of being able to tack on, “in France.” Which automatically makes everything more glamorous.

      Reply

      • redjim99
        September 28, 2012 @ 5:11 pm

        If only, all renovation looks good from somewhere else in the world. :-) I love your house they style of it. Don’t you find it is the choices you need to make all the time that are the real hard work?

        Jim

        Reply

        • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
          September 29, 2012 @ 7:09 am

          Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. A thousand times, yes.
          I’ve said more than once, when we’re finally done this house? We will HAVE to move… now that I’ve figured out all the best choices for everything; it would be wasteful not to apply that knowledge to another project.

          Reply

  15. Seat12
    October 7, 2012 @ 9:36 pm

    Paul is one very lucky guy!

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      October 15, 2012 @ 9:43 am

      For some reason, this comment chose to delay notifying me until today… roughly a week later. I assume it was being moderated by the sarcasm coalition.

      Reply

  16. Beckahebrew
    October 15, 2012 @ 8:16 am

    I really love the color you ended up with, the dark red feels so much warmer and more balanced than the grey-ish scale.

    Reply

  17. Margaret
    April 7, 2013 @ 6:18 pm

    What is the porch floor material used? Love it!

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      April 7, 2013 @ 7:50 pm

      I too love the multi-tone boards!!! The floor is either IPE or Brazilian hardwood, depending on which floor guy you believe… here is the post I wrote about refinishing it… a project that did NOT go smoothly!!! Either of those woods are notoriously difficult to stain, and you’ll get a thousand different opinions on how you should approach it!!  I spent AGES researching it, and still ended up with issues!!

      Reply

  18. Annette Cheppudira
    June 25, 2013 @ 1:18 pm

    Hi Victoria, I am new to your blog and I just love it!!! I have been toiling over the paint color for my front door and I love the color you painted yours, is that the actual color on the top of the can? I absolutely want to copy cat you!!! I am in Michigan so no worries of anyone finding out!!

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      June 29, 2013 @ 12:44 pm

      Forgive my delayed response… life has been nutty, and my email is a pit of unanswered stuff that keeps piling up.

      The chart you see is NOT the color… just one of the sample cans I had around that I used as a prop for the photo.

      Let me dig through the garage and see if we still have the can. I’ll get back to you!

      Reply

  19. jane
    July 2, 2013 @ 11:49 am

    I bought 12 little jars & painted samples on my house. Seeing your collection makes me feel better. Outcome: Sky Sail, a perfect periwinkle

    Reply

  20. Ashley
    July 15, 2013 @ 8:25 pm

    Hi. Ok, so. I know you’re busy with Craigslist & shiny things & being wonderful so I totally understand if this comment gets lost in the vast sea of VEB fans, but I HAVE TO KNOW….What color is the gray on the far left? In the picture of the window & the four shutters. I need to know that. Please say you remember or possibly have a soup spoon formula. I’m down with that.

    P.S. I accomplished nothing at work today because I was way too busy reading your blog & pretending we were best friends. And just so you know, my husband REALLY appreciates hearing it read aloud and hearing me say “SEE? SEE??? I am totally normal!” Thank you for that.

    Reply

  21. Regan
    September 20, 2013 @ 3:29 pm

    Just found your website (through Southern Hospitality) and I’m catching up. Love your humor! Being a born and raised Oregonian, I am continually in awe at the antique treasures and history surrounding you. Anything from the late 1800’s is Really Old around here, and there is very little earlier than that. The houses dating that old are usually just shacks, log cabins, or plain farmhouses (which are awesome – but in a very different way), and show nothing of the quality of architecture that you all enjoy. I just love all of the history and architecture that is available back East!

    Anyway, this post of mixing colors reminded me of this episode on Radiolab (NPR): http://www.radiolab.org/story/211119-colors/ I thought you might enjoy it. It seems that women can see more variations of color than men.

    Reply

  22. Stacy
    October 3, 2013 @ 2:42 pm

    OK, I just had to stop for a minute and write you. My last child just moved out of the house for his first grow up job, my husband is traveling for work, and I work from home in fits and starts, so I started reading your blog from the very beginning. This is where I am not, but I had to stop and write about two . First, I am very sensitive to noise and always have been. I’m the girl on your dorm floor who kept asking you to turn down your Supertramp record. Second, people always look at me funny when I say “Haint Blue”, even my friends from the south! Thank you for giving me validation and some interesting reading until my life gets busy again!

    Reply

    • Stacy
      October 3, 2013 @ 2:43 pm

      Ooops, two typos! And I often write for my supper! So sorry.

      “grown up job”

      “This is where I am now…”

      Reply

  23. catherine
    May 5, 2014 @ 4:39 pm

    It looks great , I’m late finding this ,what is the color of the blue exterior paint ?
    Catherine

    Reply

  24. Eugenia
    August 4, 2014 @ 4:48 am

    I bought your paint color amd was a bit dismayed to open the dan and see lavender. I painted the front door amyway and was thrilled beyond belief with the gorgeous red. Your red. Thank you so much for the writing which is hi,arious and the tips which are, oh so helpful!

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      August 7, 2014 @ 9:25 am

      Hey! I am so glad that my 57,000 hours of paint-research have benefited one other person on the planet!

      Reply

  25. Eugenia
    August 4, 2014 @ 4:49 am

    Open the “can”

    Reply

  26. Eugenia
    August 4, 2014 @ 4:52 am

    Good grief. Spell check before hitting “post comment” “anyway” and “hilarious”

    Reply

  27. Kayla
    August 26, 2015 @ 8:25 pm

    Victoria, please, as strange as this sounds, would you tell me about your doors?! I’m looking all over the Internet and can find pictures of what I’m looking for, but seem to be shooting for the moon when it comes to finding retailers or even just nailing down the name (skinny double entry doors?!) Any info you can provide would be so greatly appreciated!! The dimensions? (Would they fit if replacing a standard entry door), the manufacture? Thanks in advance!!

    Reply

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