Repairs, Painting, and Tree Day!


After we dealt with the necessary structural repairs, work on the exterior of the cottage kept moving right along! The weather has been cooperating beautifully, so there’ve been very few delays in work the past couple of weeks. If all of my projects moved at this pace, I wager I could renovate the state of New York by the time I’m 50? Sounds reasonable.


As with any paint project, prep is 90% of the work. Not only was the entire house pretty filthy, but the whole thing hadn’t been painted in probably 20 years. The yellow paint on almost all of the clapboard was peeling off, meaning that the entire house had to be scraped of loose paint and sanded to prepare for the new paint job. If this were my own house, I’d probably take it slower and try to paint the whole thing myself, but with winter around the corner and an exterior to hopefully finish by then, it only really made sense to hire it out.

Another reason to hand the job over to the pros is the whole issue of lead. The outer layer of paint is too new to contain lead, but I’m sure layers underneath do. Restrictions (and enforcement) of this kind of stuff vary by place, but technically this isn’t the kind of work somebody who isn’t certified in lead abatement should be dealing with. My contractor had the necessary equipment, experience, and training to handle the job, so I let him do the honors.

I pitched in a little bit by helping pull a bunch of the billion staples stuck everywhere! Everything in my house was fixed with masking tape and caulk, but I think everything in this house was fixed with staples. I’m guessing all these staples are remnants of efforts to weatherproof the windows with plastic in the winter, and the cumulative effect of doing this over many years lead to the major staple build-up. They are EVERYWHERE, inside and out. It’s sort of astounding. Hello, blisters!


Prepping everything took several days. First all of the clapboard around the entire house was hand-scraped (the chips fell onto 6 mil plastic that we laid around the perimeter of the house, which was then disposed of). Then all of it was sanded with a special sander attached to a special vacuum with a special filter to contain any particles, just to smooth everything out and rough up the surface of the remaining old paint.

People go to various degrees of insanity when they prep old clapboard to paint. Some people who have lots of time and lots of energy go as far as stripping all of the paint down to the bare wood either with chemical strippers, ultraviolet strippers, heat guns, or some combination. Unless, of course, you’re Martha Stewart, in which case you have the entire house sandblasted, just to make the mortals feel inferior. But the level of prep done here is more typical when you hire it out to a normal painter—scrape what’s loose, paint over what isn’t. Sure, the clapboard doesn’t look perfect—even after sanding, you can still see layers of paint below the new paint—but I don’t mind it. Just like with the inside of these houses, sometimes old stuff is allowed to look old. I’ll take the texture of this over vinyl or aluminum siding any day.

ANYWAY. I considered a lot of different paint schemes for the house, trying to take into consideration what’s happening with the neighboring properties and the unique nature of this tiny house set way far back on this tiny lot. I felt like maybe I could get away with doing something a little off-the-wall and considered painting the whole thing some bright, exciting color, but ultimately I felt like that wasn’t the right move. For starters, I’ve never painted the exterior of a house, and part of me felt like I had to crawl before I could walk here. I also just felt like I want the house to be cute and sweet and classic, and some bolder choice might not accomplish that.

So I went with grey. I KNOW, I’M SO BORING. Sorry to the color-lovers. I’ll try to make it up to you. I have ideas and stuff.

(maybe. no promises.)

Specifically, I went with Martha Stewart’s Bedford Grey, which is a color I’ve used a couple of times as an accent color in my house. It’s my favorite mid-tone grey paint color: warm undertones, so it never goes blue, but it’s also never taupe or beige. It’s basically perfect, much like Lady Stewart herself.


For the entire exterior, we used Valspar Reserve paint from Lowe’s! I used the interior version of Valspar Reserve paint in my dining room (and will probably continue using it throughout the house—it’s amazing paint), and the exterior version did not disappoint. My contractor, Edwin, typically uses Benjamin Moore when he paints exteriors and gave me major side-eye when I came to site toting my gallons of Valspar, but every single person who had a hand in the painting (including Edwin!) ended up commenting on the quality and coverage of the Valspar Reserve. We did two coats on the entire house, but look how well it covers up that intense green with just one! It really is great stuff. And at $40/gallon less then Benjamin Moore Aura, the savings is insane. Sorry, Ben. We used 17 gallons of paint on the whole house (with a little to spare on touch-ups), which worked out to a little over $750 in paint. Not bad!

I’ll stop gushing about paint. For now.

For some reason, one of the major challenges I’ve had here is figuring out exactly how to paint this house. Is it because the green trim and windows everywhere is so distracting? Is it because I’m just bad at this? I don’t know. It seems like there’s opportunity for a few different paint treatments here, and figuring out what should go where proved weirdly complicated. I’ll try to break it down.

1. The clapboard. All one color, obviously.

2. The window trim. Different color? White? But it’s so simple, and there’s something strange about how the trim around the casement windows in the front meets the trim around the sidelights, and…I don’t know.

3. If the window trim goes white, then what else qualifies as trim? Everything that’s currently green? What about the corner boards? What about the eaves overhang, which is currently the siding color? What about the fascia?

4. The window sashes. Should they be the trim color? Or a different color? Will it be too busy if they’re a different color? My head is spinning.

5. The sidelights. Do those qualify as windows? So they should be the window color? Or should they just be the same color as the door? Or should they be the color of the trim? I feel dizzy.

6. The door! Should the door be the same color as the window sashes? Or the trim? Should the door and the sidelights be the same color? Should the door be some other fun color? And then what to do about the sidelights?

7. What about that sunburst detail thing (does anyone know exactly what to call that?) over the door? I sort of want to accentuate it in some way, but I don’t really want to introduce another paint color, especially if the clapboard is different than the trim is different than the window sashes is different than the door…yikes. I just threw up.


How many times can I mention Martha in one post? Let’s find out. The color Bedford Grey was originally formulated for Martha’s home, Cantitoe Corners, in Bedford, New York, so I decided to re-familiarize myself with how it was used there and maybe get some answers to my paint problems.

Monochrome. Huh. I mean, how perfect is that house? Very perfect. Somehow it looks really classic and modern at the same time, and the monochrome scheme is just the right solution for disguising the asymmetry of those second floor windows, which would otherwise be kind of glaring if the trim color offset too much with the house.

I still liked the idea of doing something different with the window sashes and the door color, but painting everything else out monochrome seemed like maybe just the right solution to freshening up the house and solving the never-ending what is trim and what is not-trim debates I was mentally wrestling with.


While the painting proceeded, we continued to make a few repairs to the exterior, including replacing the crown molding around the overhang on the front of the house. Parts of the existing crown were missing and other parts were completely rotted, but luckily the molding wasn’t really anything super special and I was able to find a near-exact match at Lowe’s. Cutting all of the angles correctly was horrible and trying and I think Edwin wanted to slaughter me throughout the ordeal, but it looks great so I’m glad we threw a little money and time at that detail.


I also decided to replace the back door after all, which turned into ripping out the door, the old (very broken, messed up) jamb, the rotted trim around the old door, and some of the clapboard to the right of the door, which was just very messed up and better to replace than try to repair or just paint over. For the entire exterior, we used about 3 packs of new wood siding from Lowe’s where the clapboard needed to be replaced. It added a little over $200 to the materials cost, but matches the old stuff perfectly and looks great. Edwin used 2″ finish nails to attach the new clapboard—I didn’t know at the time, but larger nails with larger heads (7d nails) are recommended for clapboard, so I plan to go back and add those the old-fashioned way. Ah well.


Here’s the new back door! So nice! It’s almost exactly the same as the original door (it has three panels on the bottom half instead of two), except it’s not completely broken, rotted, missing mullions, etc. I saved the old door and may try to use it inside or just hoard it in my basement for some other project someday. Like the front door, this new door came from The Door Jamb—the local discount window and door place up here. It’s a little nicer than the front door—stain-grade fir instead of paint-grade pine—so it was $125. Still a great price for such a nice door, I’d say! We had to cut 1.5″ off the top and bottom to make it fit the existing opening, but that was easy.

For the trim surrounding the door, we ripped down 5/4 x 6″ lumber to match the thickness and width of the original trim that we couldn’t salvage. The new sill and piece below it are 2×8 pressure-treated wood we had leftover from the sill replacement in the front.


After the first coat of paint was on the house, latex caulk was applied where necessary, which gets painted over during the second coat. I think we used somewhere around 20 tubes of caulk for the whole house. Vertical surfaces like where clapboard meets corner boards and trim gets caulked, but you don’t want to caulk between the clapboards themselves—this is what allows the house to “breath.”


Tree day happened over the weekend!! HOORAY! I took care of removing all of the insane weeds and vines and stuff myself, but I hired out removing the large Catalpa tree in the front, the three overgrown shrubs up by the sidewalk, and a few other trees growing too close to the foundation in the back and the side. It took two guys an hour or two (and a really awesome chainsaw) to take care of everything and cost $750, which included hauling everything away, grinding the stumps, and removing the enormous pile of brush I’d made of all the weeds and vines. I was planning to haul the smaller stuff to the dump myself (and save $150), but the convenience of just having these guys take care of all of it won out.

before progress

Helloooo, little house! You can be seen from the street now!!

Now you can really get a sense of how tiny this house is in comparison to its neighbors, and how far back it is from the street. It’s such a bizarre little place! I’m almost positive that this house started out as a carriage house (or some kind of secondary structure) for one of the houses adjacent to it, and then became its own house after 3 or 4 major additions. I’ll get into that more in a future post—it’s kind of interesting! At least to me.

I’d already decided at this point that I really didn’t like the monochrome paint scheme (the house just isn’t interesting enough to pull it off!), so plans switched to paint the trim white—which, spoiler, looks way better. Switching gears partway through painting ended up tacking $550 onto the initial quote of $4,500 for painting the whole house. It kind of sucked to eat that cost since it was my mistake, but it’s worth it in the long run to get it right. Oh well.

The yard still has a LONG way to go, but getting the trees and shrubs out of there was an enormous first step! Now that the yard is more of a blank slate, it’s time to really get going on the landscaping! There’s a whole lot of grading that needs to be taken care of to get the yard sloping out toward the street instead of back toward the house, that fence situation needs to go, and a lot of general clean-up and stuff needs to take place, but this is huge. I can’t even count the number of people who walked by that day who were either shocked to find out there was a house lurking back there, or had to check that they were even on the right block. It feels good.

Diary time!

Day 8: Went to Lowe’s to buy some lumber and other small supplies. Worked on landscaping scheme, began building planters. More yard clean-up. Decided what parts of house to paint white versus grey.

Day 9: Went to Lowe’s to buy more paint and a few supplies. Went back to site to deliver everything. Edwin had trimmed out front door and replaced most of missing siding on front. Went back to Lowe’s for more lumber for planters and crown molding for front. Ran to Door Jamb in Edwin’s truck to purchase door that has been on hold for the back entrance. Edwin and Edgar installed it in 45 minutes—still remaining is installing lock and knob set. Did not want to cut 3″ off one end, so cut 1.5″ off top and bottom to make it fit.

Day 10: My birthday. Oversaw tree removal starting at 8:30 AM. Worked on building planters briefly with Max. Left earlier than I wanted to so we could get to Garlic Festival in Saugerties.

This post is in partnership with Lowe’s!

About Daniel Kanter

Hi, I'm Daniel, and I love houses! I'm a serial renovator, DIY-er, and dog-cuddler based in Kingston, New York. Follow along as I bring my 1865 Greek Revival back to life and tackle my 30s to varying degrees of success. Welcome!

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  1. 10.16.14
    Mom said:

    Hardly comment worthy, but I think that tree is WAY too tall. I think you should move that to your yard and get one about 10 – 15 feet shorter to not be so out of proportion to the house. This one having no greenery to above the roof line looks bad, IMHO. Oh, and YES for color. The whole world is not black white and shades of gray. Try dark blue trim or any other actual COLOR.

    • 10.16.14
      Mom said:

      Oh, wait. Is that the original tree that was there and they just trimmed the hell out of it?

    • 10.16.14
      Daniel said:

      Oh, this picture is while the tree is in the process of being taken down completely! It was a really hideous tree (years of bad pruning can do that!), and very poorly located. I’ve already purchased a new dogwood for the front right-ish corner of the yard that should be much prettier and better-scaled when it matures.

      There will be color! Don’t fret.

    • 10.16.14
      Rachel said:

      I know it’s totally cliche but I think a colorful front door would be amazing… crossing my fingers! :)

    • 10.17.14
      Samma said:

      Wow oh wow for before/progress shot! I knew it was going to be incredible to finally see a house behind all that shrubbery but WOW! Did not disappoint!

      Also I live in a historic neighborhood in Atlanta and there are a few houses here with that sunburst detail. The ones I like best have variations of color gradients, some with the house colors, some bright, and one I think is more of a rainbow. I’ll try and take some pictures while I’m walking around the hood and post them to your FB page if that’s allowed.

      Great seeing that sweet house breathe again!

  2. 10.16.14

    Helloooo, little house! Omg that is my favorite line ever! I can’t wait to see the little house with the white trim! Also – I think there needs to be a new white picket fence, to play on the adorable charm you have going on right now.

    I love it!

    • 10.17.14
      GD said:

      A white picket fence would be wonderful…with a little arched trellis at the gate!!! (climbing roses on it?)

  3. 10.16.14

    $125 for that door? Shut up downstate materials. Now I’m seriously considering driving down to Kingston to check that store out. Sadly my craigslist trolling has produced nada in search of a door with HALF that character.

    I was glad to hear the mono look is going, and can’t say a word about white/gray/black considering just about all my recent projects are in those ‘colors’ (including bedford gray for doors… and accidentally my trunk).

    I’m really loving reading about this project. As great as it is to follow DIY stuff, the reality of the pace can make it less exciting. It’s a great feeling to have pros come in and be like “BAM! And the house is painted.” That was one of my great lessons in building our house, learning when to hire versus DIY and though I didn’t always get that right, when you do, it’s a really good feeling.

    • 10.16.14
      Daniel said:

      Thanks, Ben! The Door Jamb really is great. They have a ton of stuff and the employees are so helpful! It’s also next door to a place called Scandinavian Grace that might actually be the most beautiful store in the world!

      It still feels very weird to have so much of this stuff done! I still feel super involved—there are a million decisions that need to be made every second, and I’m constantly bringing in more supplies to keep things moving and all that, but yeah—not *actually* picking up a paint brush but seeing all the siding painted is pretty weird! There’s still plenty of DIY coming up…I’m fixing the windows myself, building some stuff, doing the landscaping, etc. etc., but yeah…I can’t spend months painting the house myself! I think the interior will be very similar—pros for the big, sweeping kinds of tasks, and DIY for finishing sort of work. I think that’s the only way for this to happen in a reasonable time frame!

  4. 10.16.14
    mariane said:

    Woot woot! Looks great! I agree with Mom, just a bit of color would be nice, like a bluestone blue-grey door. Thanks for adressing your mono in the previous post, knowing that you don’t ignore your condition was reassuring! Happy birthday!

  5. 10.16.14
    Casey said:

    Can we vote on front door colors? I love a good neutral house with a fun front door color. It’s very San-Francisco-Pacific-Heights-chic. Maybe torquoise to nod to what she started out as. Or purple because it’s fun to play off the royal of the neighbor. Can’t wait to see more of this journey. It’s fun to observe!

    • 10.16.14
      Melissa said:

      If we get to vote for the front door color, I’m with Casey on this! Turquoise would be a fabulous contrast to Martha’s “Bedford Grey”. Love the house & I can’t wait to for the next post!

    • 10.16.14
      Florian said:

      I do love a black door. However, should it be colour-colour, I vote for a glowing Indian Yellow. The colour looks just gorgeous with the entire white-grey-black spectrum.

    • 10.17.14
      GD said:

      PLEASE !!! NOOOOO Turquoise! GAG!!

    • 10.16.14
      Jannike said:

      Yes, please paint the front door something fun. A bright, “hello, I’m back here” color.

  6. 10.16.14
    Jen said:

    This house is adorable. It reminds me of the little pink house in the storybook “The Little House” by Virginia Lee Burton.

    • 10.16.14
      Anon said:

      You are absolutely right!! I love that book! And Daniel is making this house as happy as the Little House is at the end of the book. So perfect.

    • 10.18.14
      Heather said:

      I thought of “The Little House” too when I saw the “after” photos!!

  7. 10.16.14
    Katie said:

    Wow. Just wow. You have done an incredible amount of work in a very small time. Pat yourself on the back – the cottage is really really coming along. You’re an absolute inspiration that hard work pays off!

  8. 10.16.14
    Rachel said:

    Wow! You can SEE the house!!! That’s awesome! Also, as I was reading and even before I got to the part where you said you were going to paint it gray, I was thinking, “hmm, I bet it would look really cute in gray…” …yes!! AND I was hoping, “please please please don’t do the monochromatic thing, it’s too gray, but I think white trim would look cute…” …and then you did! Basically, you’re a genius, thanks for reading my mind. :)

  9. 10.16.14
    Tatiana said:

    I am loving the idea of white windows and trim and a gorgeous cool shade of red or burgundy for the door and sidelights. Hell, even green will work – an attractive green, that is.

    • 10.17.14
      GD said:

      Red, burgundy, green…or plum…
      No turquoise…so Florida cliché! (We actually hate it here…along with salmon pink!)

  10. 10.16.14
    Jordan said:

    I’m so excited about this new project and also you have a talent for explaining your thought process. Great post!!!

  11. 10.16.14
    carlos said:

    you and max are doing a great job!!! it really has been motivating to see all of your progress and has made me even more excited to finish my 1880’s brick 3 flat that i bought with my partner!! we are currently doing our 3rd bathroom and it doesn’t get any easier but i think i am a glutton for punishment!! i think your color choices are great especially if you are thinking of reselling it. and if you don’t it wont be too hard to brighten it up. also the landscaping can easily add all that color you need!

  12. 10.16.14
    trotula said:

    ohhhhh my goddddddd it is soooooo tinyyyyyyyyyyy!!! oh my god my heart!

    i am going to miss the green very, very, very much, though! it was like my favorite thing about the house! i think the high-contrast trim (which i usually do not like AT ALL) worked very well with the sheer cuteness of the house. it’s like, why would you try to dress zooey deschanel up like meryl streep, ya know? some things ya gotta just let be cute and sorta kooky and weird, even if they’re just a little too much for some people.

    that said, i am so stoked for all the work you’ve done and looking forward to what you do next, always!

    • 10.16.14
      Daniel said:

      I think maybe the green was something you had to see in person—it was REALLY bad, I promise!! I like contrast as much as the next person, but there was nothing good about that paint job. Really, really!!

  13. 10.16.14
    Nicole said:

    Paint that front door something colorful! Green would be a fitting tribute to it’s past life.

  14. 10.16.14

    I LOVE this little house and what you are making of it! You are amazing and you’re basically my idol, Daniel.
    (Could you sneak next door and do something about those shutters upstairs when they’re not home?)

    • 10.16.14
      Daniel said:

      Ha! Those shutters drive me bonkers. That house is for sale right now, so maybe someone will buy it and do something about that. Unfortunately they’re asking more than 100K more than I paid for this one or I’d be tempted to try to do it myself after this one is done!

    • 10.16.14
      Adrien said:

      The work you put into this place probably upped the value of the other houses on the street a few grand! You may have priced yourself out there.

    • 10.16.14
      andee said:

      The multiple satellites on the other neighboring house would drive me bonkers!

  15. 10.16.14
    Diane said:

    I absolutely LOVE what you are doing with this little gem. I’m glad you decided against monochrome–I think its cuteness needs to be emphasized with some color. It’s going to be adorable when you’re done.

  16. 10.16.14
    Brittany said:

    Oh my gosh it’s so cute and small! Looks impossible sweet between those two big neighbors.

  17. 10.16.14
    sara said:

    That “before” pic made me think of cousin Itt…

  18. 10.16.14
    Nora said:

    That front yard de-jungling is just as dramatic as Linus’ first haircut! (Kudos from a longtime reader, first-time commenter.)

    • 10.16.14
      Susan said:

      Loving your insight re Linus and the cottage — sooo perfectly said : )

  19. 10.16.14
    zilredloh said:

    Woah! This is just amazing!!! There’s a real house there after all. :D

    It sucks you had to eat the cost for redoing the paint trim, but I do like the idea of a white contrast trim instead of the monochrome. It’s going to be such a cute cheerful house when you’re all done with it – and it is currently, with as much as you’ve done so far. Looks like the house can breathe again.

  20. 10.16.14
    Cheryl said:

    There’s a historical home in my neighborhood that has a very similar entryway. They chose to highlight the sunburst with an accent color and I think it’s an interesting approach. Here’s the Zillow listing:

    • 10.17.14
      Jill said:

      That is almost precisely what I was picturing for this little house. I think yellow is kind of adorably on-the-nose for a sunburst, and yellow and grey are always such a nice pairing.

    • 10.17.14
      GD said:

      I like it, but he would have to keep the door and trim all white like they did on this house for sure!

  21. 10.16.14
    Keely said:

    The “before” and “progress” pics remind me of when you found Linus, all the shaving and grooming you did to find the cute little dog buried in the mass of hair.

  22. 10.16.14
    Courtney said:

    I think an emerald green door would be a nice nod to the trim color of yesteryear. :)

  23. 10.16.14
    Heather said:

    What an amazing transformation! And so much more to come — exciting! I’m so glad you decided against the monochrome. Much as I hate to disagree with The Lady Martha, I do not love it on her house either (though I totally get what you’re saying about minimizing the irregularity of the windows). Your house is just crying out for some sort of high-contrast color on the door and window sashes. Can’t wait to see what you land on!

  24. 10.16.14
    Donna said:

    Great progress! Rubbing my eyes….did the casement windows morph into double hungs in the Progress photo? I’m so confused….

    • 10.16.14
      Daniel said:

      Oh, no! Sorry, should have mentioned…the casements are at my house awaiting repair! The ones in the picture are the interior storm windows.

  25. 10.16.14
    Christina G said:

    WHOA to the before and after once the bushes were taken down! Amazing. Also, that sunburst detail is called a pediment, and I only know this because my trusty Google machine spit that out when I tried “architecture detail sunburst”, ha!

  26. 10.16.14
    Steph VW said:

    Daniel, I recently came across your blog and am thoroughly enjoying your renovation/restoration adventures. When you talked about rethinking the monochromatic colour scheme, I couldn’t help but think of the way some of the houses are painted in St. John’s, Newfoundland. There is an area of the city which is referred to as Jelly Bean Row where several row houses are all painted in bright colours. The city itself is full of beautiful old homes, some built over a century ago, all beautifully painted.

    I found a Heritage Foundation document with some of the colours listed, if you’re interested.

    A Google image search of “Colourful houses in Newfoundland” should bring up some images that would make Martha Stewart spit her coffee at the computer screen. Enjoy!

    • 10.17.14
      GD said:

      I did your google search and I have to say, I couldn’t help but smile! :)

    • 10.28.14
      Daniel said:

      So pretty!

  27. 10.16.14

    Your trim painting dilemma had me literally LOLing, as our friends in Portland just went through this same headache, like, last week. Every morning I’d receive a panicked text from them as they went back and forth… even an emergency phone call where I swear they were going to say ‘F it!’ and walk away. I was SO on the monochrome train – until a last minute switch had us nixing that and going with white (as if it was my house to decide!).

  28. 10.16.14
    gretaclark said:

    Looks great! So much progress. According to this website, the wood piece above the door is a half round sunburst wood pediment.

  29. 10.16.14

    Your house is the little house that could!! I love it! I feel like it’s the tiny little brother of the big houses next to it :)

  30. 10.16.14
    gretaclark said:

    The sunburst is a decorative door pediment–half round sunburst design.

  31. 10.16.14
    Susan said:

    Paint that cute little door and sunburst PINK!
    A greyed-out , really pale, ballet-ish pink would look awesome with that grey, IMHO.
    Thanks for sharing your house transformations with us :)

  32. 10.16.14

    Looks amazing! Hats off to you for helping a street/neighborhood/town make a turn around!! I think the white trim will look perfect and really make it the cute house it should be – it’s not a grand manor and it has good lines and details so you might as well accentuate them! Any signs that your neighbors are interested in doing some clean-up as well? Maybe help them to take those odd-sized shutters down on the right side and let the peeps on the left know that those dishes can be installed on the top roof instead of the porch roof! Will be really fun to see if any other changes are inspired by your own!!

    • 10.28.14
      Daniel said:

      We’ll see…both of those houses are rentals, so it’s really the responsibility of the landlords to take care of that stuff! Not sure I see it happening, but maybe if the properties ever change hands. The one to the right is for sale now!

  33. 10.16.14
    Roslyn said:

    Awesome progress and that grey was a great choice. How about a yellow for the sunburst detail? Too much? And Mom is so funny! Has she ever guest posted?

    • 10.28.14
      Daniel said:

      She hasn’t! Just comments. I’m not really sure what she’d say in a guest post, but maybe I can get her to do one. Haha!

  34. 10.16.14

    Hey! Woah, awesome progress – It’s so awesome to see! I keep checking your site every morning to see if there has been a new post, I am so excited to see what you’re up to.

    When we painted our house a few years ago we painted the storm windows a dark brown and I think it’s what made the paint job. Our sashes and trim were all the as painted white, but in your case I wonder if you could paint the sashes a contrasting color since it doesn’t seem you have storm windows?? I dunno? Just my two cents. Figuring out paint colors is way harder than it seems. Sounds like you got it pretty well figured out though. Can’t wait to see more!

    • 10.28.14
      Daniel said:

      That’s the plan, Alison! I almost always think dark sashes look better on old houses!

  35. 10.16.14
    Clare said:

    In San Francisco lots of the trim details like your above-door starburst are painted gold. Like these:,sunburst/Interesting

    I not-at-all-secretly love gold sunbursts. They’re just so happy. Think about it, at least? Even though the house is small, I think it could pull it off.

    • 10.16.14
      Lisa said:

      I was also thinking about our San Francisco paint jobs.

    • 10.28.14
      Daniel said:

      Wow, the gold is pretty fancy!! That could be kind of amazing. Hmmm. Hmmmmmmmm.

  36. 10.16.14
    Jackie said:

    Here’s a gray house with a sunburst pediment:

    and another one that also went the monochromatic route:

    Your blog is awesome.

    • 10.17.14
      GD said:

      I like the second link (monochromatic route) where it matches the siding and is surrounded by the trim color.

  37. 10.16.14
    Jennifer S. said:

    I got all nervous when I got to the before picture, and I had to pause before scrolling down to the progress shot. I’m so excited about the progress you’re making with this house. It’s so tiny! Gonna be the cutest house ever. I like the idea of painting the sunburst and sidelights the same color, and having the door white like the trim, but I’m glad the paint colors are not my decision. You have so many options it’s mind boggling!

  38. 10.16.14
    Sonya said:

    We recently painted our workers cottage a very similar grey. We have much less trim than your house though but we painted the trim a light but slightly dirty ivory and then the front door is a bright but slightly dirty orange. I love it.

  39. 10.16.14
    Jenny said:

    EEEEE!!!! I love it! This is so exciting. I don’t really have anything to add except that when I saw there was a new post about the Tiny House I actually bounced up and down in my seat and clapped my hands with glee.

  40. 10.16.14
    Lucas said:

    Love this grey. Currently suggesting it to a client. The white trim will really help with the charm and visual presence of the house from the street. I think the window sashes in black with white trim is a classic and sophisticated look. A punchy but sophisticated emerald or navy on the door would coordinate nicely with the namesake bluestone slabs. I would leave the starburst white because the shadows taking across t will be most noticeable. Likewise I would leave the sidelights the color of the trim. Best of luck! Exciting to follow along!

    • 10.16.14
      Jenica said:

      Love the look of white trim with black sashes- definitely a contemporary color scheme that still shows off the trim detail. Glad to see you ditched the monochrome idea, Daniel. With the difference in scale to the houses next door, I think the best direction for the exterior would be more of a ‘jewelbox’ than monochromatic sophistication.

  41. 10.16.14
    C. said:

    First, Happy Birthday! The house is looking wonderful. Daniel, when I saw the front yard so dramatically revealed, lightbulbs went off in my brain. All I could think of was a little Dutch garden tucked in there: geometric beds, edged with paving, a walkway to the door. And in the beds, hundreds of tulips, edged with grape hyacinths, pansies, daffodils–you get the picture–all blooming in time for your first open house, maybe? The bulbs can be planted right up until the hard frosts, you know, and then what a gift to the whole neighborhood come Spring! Darwin Hybrid tulips are big, beautiful and sturdy, blooming year after year, and can be overplanted with annual bedding plants for Summer. Just had to share that picture in my head.

    • 10.17.14
      Samma said:

      Love that idea! Progressive bulb plantings for a spring show lasting into summer. Plus, great cut flowers to bring inside!

    • 10.21.14
      Joanne said:

      Love Love Love Love this idea! Such gorgeous colors against the backdrop of the grey house!

  42. 10.16.14
    The Least Shrew said:

    The house is looking great and I totally sympathize with you on painting chipped, old wood siding because I just did the same to my house this summer, but I’m really nervous for how yours is going to weather – we spent 2 weeks sanding the crap out of ours and it’s incredible how loose the paint can be even when it doesn’t seem loose with a scraper. Hope your guys did a thorough job!

    • 10.17.14
      GD said:

      I liked the overall color of Martha’s house but found it flat and detail-less and one dimensional. It needed trim color – BADLY!

    • 10.28.14
      Daniel said:

      Me too!! So far it seems great, but obviously the real test will be a few years down the road. Fingers crossed!

  43. 10.16.14
    debbie in toronto said:

    I love the grey and agree, white trim will be better…it’s so far back from the street it needs a bit of detail…all grey it would fade away..but looking at Martha’s house I can see what you liked about it…

    anyway…fantastic as always…the neighbours must be so happy….I agree that the house must have been a carriage house for one of the houses beside guess is the one on the right hand side..just a feeling….

    hope your feeling better….:))

  44. 10.16.14
    Gloria said:

    This is my absolute favorite project going on in all of the internet right now. Seeing a blog update is more exciting that the screeching brakes of the UPS delivery truck, and I LOVE the UPS truck, like a lot. I’m loving all of the progress and trying seriously hard to refrain from dropping in and offering to help or bring you like lemonade or something. Don’t worry, I live in Oklahoma so that won’t actually be happening, although I do think you deserve some of your own minions. I’m sure Martha has plenty. I bet she could say something like oh that clapboard has a lot of staples in it, and ten minutes later all the staples have disappeared. I ramble, all that to say, keep up the good work!

    • 10.16.14
      Lisa said:

      Me too! I kind of squeal when I see you’ve posted.

  45. 10.16.14
    Jenny Rose said:

    As soon as I saw the picture of your adorable house from the street, my first reaction was that it reminded me of the house from the children’s movie “Up”. So sweet, tucked into those two monsterish homes on either side, like bookends. If it weren’t made of wood and old lead paint, I’d eat it, it’s so lovely.

  46. 10.16.14
    Tisha said:

    Thanks for showing a close-up of the siding, I struggle with mine looking like that! Of course, my house is from the 50s, so much newer. I’m going to learn to love the skin I’m in.

  47. 10.16.14
    Kismet said:

    I’m sorry but I love that little possessive fence :)

  48. 10.16.14
    RebeccaNYC said:

    If you keep this up, you are going to be made King of the town! The neighbors must be IN LOVE with you! So glad you saw the error of your monochrome ways…I hate Martha’s gray house (sorry!) and your little house will look lovely with fresh trim in bright white. Beautiful!

  49. 10.16.14

    My heart just sank when you said you were going with monochrome. Didn’t like it on Martha’s house. Wouldn’t like it on Bluestone cottage. Love grey with white cuffs, though. My cottage is currently light grey (similar) with white trim & a red door. It will be painted next year, and I’m planning to go a little darker with the grey, keep the white trim, and switch the door to a dark purple (my favorite color). I agree with a contrasting door. Love the onyx-y black of the apartment & interior doors of your own house, but I’d go with color for the front.
    You are going to shame the neighbors. Anybody on this blog wanna buy the house next door? I shuddered @ those satellite dishes.
    Best of luck with your continued efforts!!!!

    • 10.17.14
      Margo said:

      Totally agree about the monochrome! I personally think it’s hideous and hides all of the gorgeous details and detracts from awesome trim. Why would someone do that? I do understand the dilemma with the asymmetry, though, but there must be another way like less contrast rather than no contrast.

      Too bad it’s way too expensive to re-do so I can’t keep my hopes up that you’ll rethink it. I’m hoping I like it more as you go along. So cute otherwise and I think it’s super cool that you’re taking this project on. :)

    • 10.28.14
      Daniel said:

      Don’t worry Margo! As I said in the post, it’s already getting redone. White trim. :)

  50. 10.16.14
    AVL said:

    OMG. Amazing! It reminds me of the cute little house in “UP”.
    Hopefully your ‘neighbours’ will clean up their act. Those satellite dishes are an eyesore.
    Also, I never am a grammar bully, but add an ‘e’ to breath to make breathe. ;-)

  51. 10.16.14
    Karen said:

    Well…. quickly skimming the diary part of your post, I first read Sugartits instead of Saugerties. I was like… whoa… where’s he going for his birthday??? Had to re-read.

    Anyway… I love the progress pic that shows the cottage nestled between the two bigger houses. It’s so cute! I like the gray paint choice. And I totally see a window box on the first floor windows.

  52. 10.16.14
    gretaclark said:

    This is one of Valspar’s sites. It has a virtual paint tool, that could be fun.

    • 10.17.14
      CHRIS UEBBING said:

      Spent some time last evening looking @ this site & now I have a pretty good idea of where my cottage is going next year. Thanks, gretaclark.

  53. 10.16.14
    Sofia said:

    You are going to George Bailey the hell out of Kingston and fix up the whole town!

  54. 10.16.14
    Mindy said:

    Enjoying the progress here! My biggest dismay are the seemingly miles of wires stretching from house to house. Can anything be done????

    • 10.28.14
      Daniel said:

      I know, I hate that!! It’s really the cable companies that are to blame…it seems like every time a new tenant moves in and wants new service, they just cut the old line, leave it, and run a new one. Very frustrating. I removed all of the coaxial cables on my house, and maybe now that the fence and overgrowth are removed, it will be easier to sort out all the excess wiring at the neighboring houses. Not holding my breath…I can’t really be responsible for anyone’s property but my own!

  55. 10.16.14
    Southern Gal said:

    love the progress! amazing as hell!

    putting my two cents in for a red front door = grey, white and a pretty blue red.

  56. 10.16.14
    Cindi M said:

    Great job on the tough decisions (love a decisive man!) and the humility and maturity to contract out. (Sorry if it sounds like the Serenity prayer.) Let me throw you another curve. Bone? Please consider native shrubs and trees for your landscaping. An Amelanchier would do great in place of that God-awful, ugly-as-sin Kousa dogwood. There may even be grant money available in your watershed for rain gardens and such, and these require natives because natives require less irrigation and fertilizer. Check it out.

    • 10.28.14
      Daniel said:

      Oh gosh…as much as I LOVE this idea, there are so, so many things going on here that I’ll admit to kind of just going with whatever the garden center at Lowe’s had that was cheap and on sale. I know very little about native gardening, but I’ll try to learn more! Maybe practice at my own house. :)

  57. 10.16.14
    Crystal said:

    Hello Daniel!
    Have you ever read The House In My Head by Dorothy Rodgers? There is something about the diary parts of your posts (even though inspired by Martha!) that remind me of that book. Check it out if you get the chance! Even though your budget is slightly smaller than Dorothy’s (she went shopping for Picassos to decorate her dream home), there is something about her design process that I think you would appreciate.
    Can’t wait to see the finished paint job! Keep up the awesome work.

    • 10.28.14
      Daniel said:

      I’ll check it out!

  58. 10.16.14

    Hey Daniel, loving the grey and agree with not going monochromatic. White trim and how about an Olivey green door? Also I think a white picket fence would be so sweet along with window boxes and colourful plants. I am enjoying the process so much. Both you and addicted2decorating are my favourite blogs and reading never disappoints. Hope you are feeling better and had a great birthday. Cheers

  59. 10.16.14
    Kristin said:

    I absolutely love your Mom’s comments – I can see why you’ve got such a great personality!

    Your renovation energy level just blows me away! Great work!

  60. 10.16.14
    Lisa said:

    Happy birthday!

  61. 10.16.14
    Pat said:

    Hi Daniel – My house is Bedford Grey and I am now basking in reflected glory. It’s a cape and the front door, shutters and garage door are Martha’s Ground Pepper. Haven’t read previous comments but am loving this house! Love from A. Fan

    • 10.28.14
      Daniel said:

      Love that combo!

  62. 10.16.14
    Jeanna said:

    A garlic festival, huh?

    • 10.28.14
      Daniel said:

      Yes! I ate GARLIC GELATO. It tasted like escargot. People are really into fairs and festivals here. It was PACKED.

  63. 10.16.14
    Ryan said:

    So I somehow missed Martha’s New Old House book and when you mentioned it recently I -obviously- tracked it down and bought it. It arrived today, so, given your post here, I’m in like total Martha overload (psych! not possible). Just before you made the comment about sandblasting I was playing out a little fantasy comedy routine in my head where you joke about having it sandblasted and then, KABLAM, mind read. I do think that the size and set back on the property here warrant a more dimensional paint scheme, so I totally get the white trim decision. In the words of Jo Frost, Supernanny, “Good on you.”

  64. 10.16.14
    Paula said:

    Daniel I hope your Mom keeps 1) investing in your properties and 2) the comments coming! :).

  65. 10.16.14
    Malia said:

    Great post. I always appreciate the local resources you list, as they’ll come in handy once I buy a house! Was mostly wondering, though, how the garlic festival was as I didn’t feel like driving all the way up to Saugerties from New Paltz. Would you go again next year?

    • 10.28.14
      Daniel said:

      It was fun! The food was definitely a few steps above standard fair food, and obviously the premise is just very funny and weird. Also, I love garlic. The grounds it’s held on could stand to be cuter, but it was a good way to spend an afternoon.

  66. 10.16.14
    N said:

    I love The Door Jamb, they completely gave me hope back in my renovation when I was able to get like six windows from them for what would have been the cost of one or two new ones. That said, if you actually need bluestone at some point and feel like driving two hours, I have a great bluestone guy too.

    • 10.28.14
      Daniel said:

      Thank you!

  67. 10.17.14
    Davidah said:

    Does the house have any off street parking? Does Kingston allow you to park on the street during a snow emergency? Something to think about which could affect resale value.

    • 10.28.14
      Daniel said:

      No, there’s no off-street parking. Most houses around here don’t have any, either…the only way to really add it would be to take over about half the front yard with a driveway, which would not only be mega-costly but sort of a visual bummer. It is what it is!

  68. 10.17.14
    Jemma said:

    Looking good!! My friend has a tiny weatherboard old railway workers cottage that is painted pale grey-blue with white window frames like this one… …only her’s has a bright orange door. So cute! Your cottage could handle an orange door.

    • 10.28.14
      Daniel said:


  69. 10.17.14
    April said:

    Wow, it looks so much better with the brush gone! Amazing.

    And I’m so glad you’re going to add white to the trim. That way the house will still be neutral but the details will pop a little more. Lovely.

    Also, I agree with the others… I vote for a door with color! I would probably pick something light and sweet versus bold, since this house is supposed to be cute, not a jaw dropper. But I’m sure whatever you pick will look great. I’m so excited and please to be on this (virtual) journey with you!

  70. 10.17.14
    Ella Moe said:

    The Bluestone Cottage reminds me of tiny Swedish allotment houses. Many of them have various kinds of sunburst details (though I had a hard time googling up evidence of that). I must admit to have a soft spot for these tiny houses and gardens, especially when allotment areas goes from rich super cute “alpie” houses to DIY sheds to nothing, like a miniature class society.×0/Global/Skonahem/inredning/tradgard/var-i-konstnarskolonin/004koloni.jpg?h=df997231a484625c1859a634aa3cb987

    • 10.28.14
      Daniel said:

      Awww. The Swedes just really do it best.

  71. 10.17.14
    GD said:

    My 2 cents worth:
    The corner boards should match your siding.
    The window sashes should match the trim.
    Front door sidelights could either match the windows/trim or match the door color.
    The front door should be a nice pop of classy color. Nothing cheesy or odd.
    The sunburst should match the siding since it will be surrounded by the trim color and the door color it will still stand out.

    Looking forward to your next entry and more pics! :)

  72. 10.17.14
    GD said:

    How about a Plum colored door….not too dark….not too light…..????

    • 10.17.14
      CHRIS UEBBING said:

      Plum is darkish, but where I’m heading with my own front door.

  73. 10.17.14
    nadine said:

    Nicely done Daniel.

  74. 10.17.14
    Jo said:

    The main reason I follow your blog is because I like your writing style. So I have to comment on the ‘diary’ experiment: I hate it. It ruins the flow of the narrative, and doesn’t lend itself to your wonderful tangents and comments on life. So please abandon the diary format. Thanks and good luck!

    • 10.18.14
      Lisa said:

      I agree!

    • 10.21.14
      Joanne said:


    • 10.21.14
      Andrea said:

      love the blog, don’t love the diary bits. then again, it’s your blog, and it’s free entertainment for the rest of us, so my opinion might not be relevant…

    • 10.22.14
      April said:

      I love his writing style too, and definitely wouldn’t want him to change it! But I appreciate having a brief diary at the end. It lets me get a clear view of what was done and an idea of how long it took, which is sometimes harder to glean from long, rambling posts (though those are more fun to read, admittedly).

    • 10.27.14
      Lilers said:

      I have to respectfully disagree…. I love the combo of his writing style capped off with the diary. If there were only the diary, I’d be super-sad, but I like to see how long these things take. I think it’s really helpful.

    • 10.28.14
      Daniel said:

      I appreciate the input, guys! No promises. It’s never meant to take the place of the narrative, just be more of a realistic recap of what’s going on day-to-day. That said, I find it a little hard to marry it with the blog since projects usually overlap, and it feels wrong to mention a project in a diary format without mentioning it in the post, you know? We’ll see.

  75. 10.17.14
    Kristina said:

    Happy belated birthday! And I am so glad you decided against the monochromatic thing. That sweet little house needs to have some contrast. I like what a PP suggested with white trim, black sash, especially given your use of black paint in unexpected places (I am currently trying to talk my husband into letting me paint our interior door black but he isn’t on board yet). Can’t wait to see what comes next!

  76. 10.17.14
    Joelle said:

    We redid our kitchen after just buying this house, and had them paint the island a dark grey (rest of the cabs were white). as our painter was pulling off the tape, i could feel that feeling rise in my chest…like, Oh dear god, I made a terrible mistake. the grey looked blue, and it looked AWFUL. over $500 later we went all white. in the whole scheme of our painting, $500 was nothing. so so so glad we don’t have to look at an ugly “blue” island and just fixed it right away.
    Also, can you please do a video/vignette with your mom? i love her comments and i’d love to see her walking around the house to see what you’re doing! :) we all need the mom comments in our life!

    • 10.17.14
      Mom said:

      Oh HELL no on the video/vignette.

    • 10.17.14
      Samma said:

      = )
      You’re a good blogMom!

  77. 10.17.14
    Suzy said:

    Get a pair of end cutting nippers for staple removing. You clamp them on the head of the staple and rock them a bit and the staple comes right out! We used these for getting carpet staples out of our entire first floor.

    • 10.28.14
      Daniel said:

      Oh, that’s one of my favorite tools! Don’t worry!

  78. 10.17.14
    Cedes said:

    Holy heck! How great is that looking?! I like the gray exterior paint you chose, and glad that you decided to paint the trim out in white. Monochrome may work for Martha Stewart (though, I can’t say I like the look on her house honestly) but I don’t think it works for many others. With how great the exterior is going, I can’t wait to see the inside!

  79. 10.17.14
    Kala said:

    What a funny, cute little house you have there! I suppose having it sit so far back makes it look EXTRA small. I love it. Just wanted to write and say that I hope your “Sorry Ben” comment (regarding Benjamin Moore paint) was a reference to Summer Heights High. If not, well, it made me laugh anyway. Happy belated birthday!

    • 10.28.14
      Daniel said:

      HAHAHA. It was not an intentional reference, but man…I love that show.

  80. 10.17.14
    Natalie said:

    Glad to see you taking care of the potential lead paint properly. As someone now trying to take care of the lead paint remnants throughout our house (with a wild toddler as winter weather sets in!) while we live in the house, I can say that whoever buys this house will be happy you did the right thing.

    The house is going to be so impossibly cute when you are finished!

  81. 10.17.14
    Niki said:

    It’s such a cozy little place between the neighboring houses!

  82. 10.17.14
    Amanda said:

    I don’t think I’ve ever commented before but I gasped at that progress picture of the tree removal. To actually be able to see that tiny adorable little house back there–somehow, previous pictures hadn’t given me a true sense of how overgrown and ridiculous everything was. It takes a special vision to recognize that house back there as worth saving–I’m glad you have it.

  83. 10.17.14
    kathyg said:

    I liked the mono color scheme of Martha’s house, but I think you were right once you saw it to make the change. Not a mistake, a course correction. Just erks when they cost $$. But it has to be done – Hopefully you’ll find another correction that will save you the same.
    Looks so good! Are there other houses in the neighborhood that have these types of cottages attached to them? Like guest houses, I guess I mean. Maybe somebody rich will buy the one next door and this one at the same time. Bring them back together. OR..did you think it belonged to the other side? But it’s so cute and perfect by itself! Somebody will love this house someday. *fingers crossed on the weather for you*

    • 10.28.14
      Daniel said:

      I have no idea which house the original part of this one belonged to…it’s possible that it was even an outbuilding for an older house further away, not necessarily one of the houses next door. I’m going to try my best to figure out what I can, though!!

  84. 10.17.14
    Muoi said:

    This house is adorable! It looks very tiny next to the other two but I love that its set back further from the street. And the progress looks great, good work and thanks for sharing =)

  85. 10.17.14
    Kim said:

    Browsing through Houzz today for exterior house colors of my own and I saw this. It’s obviously a very different style of home than yours, but the two different tones of gray could work. And I love the beautifully stained door. It might work on your cottage and yet it would still all be very neutral.

    • 10.28.14
      Daniel said:

      Very pretty! I wish the door I bought was stain-grade…I think that would honestly be nicest here. Unfortunately it’s not, though, so I’ll have to make paint work! Thank you!

  86. 10.17.14
    Eileen said:

    My vote: a deep coral door”¦with the teeniest scootch of pinkishness.
    And happy belated birthday! Quite a present you’ve gotten yourself into.
    : )

  87. 10.18.14
    Lindsey said:

    Oh man, this is so fun to watch! Is there any way you can tell me who manufactured that door? It matches all of our doors perfectly. Unfortunately someone replaced two of our exterior doors (out of six, omg) with hollow core doors and I’d love to find replacements!

    • 10.28.14
      Daniel said:

      Yes, I’m pretty sure the door is made by Simpson! Almost positive.

  88. 10.18.14
    Heather said:

    I was hoping that the slate house would be a slate blue gray w/ white trim. Ooo how I love that combo!! I too vote for a loud door The house is whispering and it needs a little bit of a yell. Such a fun project! To much color but fun idea!

  89. 10.19.14
    oh Holland said:

    Well, it is BLUEstone Cottage, after all. So how about a soft. subtle, greyish-blue for the door/sidelights and sunburst pediment? Mayhaps the sunburst is a shade or two darker or lighter than the doorway?

    On my monitor, Valspar’s Periwinkle Ice looks like a good jumping off point:

  90. 10.19.14
    Kiri said:

    The before/after shot was a ‘reveal’ in the truest sense of the word. Amazing progress, love following all your updates!

  91. 10.19.14
    Bonnie said:

    Wow, I definitely want to know the history of that tiny house! And I’m glad you’re going with white trim. I think Martha’s gray house is really gloomy!

  92. 10.19.14
    Linda said:

    Love this blog! My vote is for a RED door!!

  93. 10.19.14
    amey judd said:

    a soft orange of the same hue as the grey would look fabulous.

  94. 10.19.14
    Kirsten said:

    I have a paint question–or maybe a paint musing, as you may not yet know the answer to this. I am wondering if you or any of your other readers might have any information about how long lasting, or more accurately, how rugged the Valspar Reserve paint might be for exteriors. I have very bumpy (little stones in it–ugly, but what I’ve got) stucco on the outside of my house and it does not seem to hold paint terribly well. I painted my kitchen with BM Aura paint and the coverage really is great–I know you have said this is as good, I am just wondering about it standing up to the elements.

    Also, this might sound funny, but I just have to say that it suddenly occurs to me that your houses are kind of like your dogs! One is a sturdy, strong boned beauty that once it is cared for really shines, and the other is very small, sweet and scruffy that with some love has a lot of life left in it. Both wonderful in their own way!

    • 10.28.14
      Daniel said:

      Sorry for the delay in responding, Kristen! I believe the paint job on a clapboard house with a quality paint should last about 10-15 years, but there are all kinds of factors—the environment, the prep work, primer, the condition of the underlying wood…etc. etc. etc. In your case, I’m pretty certain there are particular exterior paints for stucco—which is NOT this! Any paint store should be able to steer you in the right direction! :)

  95. 10.19.14
    Kelly said:

    Your house is so cute and has so much potential! I love wood sided houses because there are so many options for colors. Here is my 2 cents on your questions on colors for the various elements, based on how we painted our wood sided bungalow. We have a palette of four colors – dark grey (Sherwin Williams Gauntlet Grey), white (SW Snowbound), burgundy (SW Sommelier), and pure black (the blackest Glidden color Home Depot sold in 2006). It looks really sharp, but my intent here is mainly just to show what things I would paint the same color. Hope this helps!
    Dark grey: siding and eaves overhang
    White: door and window trim, fascia, corner boards, trim boards where clapboards meet eaves overhang
    Burgundy: doors and gables (including a front porch gable that is in a similar orientation to your sunburst)
    Black: window sashes (I decided on black sashes because that’s what they were painted originally, found under many sloppy layers of white.)

    • 10.28.14
      Daniel said:

      That sounds so nice, Kelly! Thank you!

  96. 10.19.14
    Anne said:

    Hi! 1) Obsessed with your blog, favorite place on the internet, check daily for updates. 2) I’m sure you’re just fixing them, but can we get confirmation on what happened to the adorable windows? They look like they were replaced in the last picture by something modern. Thanks!

    • 10.28.14
      Daniel said:

      Yes, they are getting sloowwwwwlllyyyy repaired in my future-library room at home! They’re a mess!! The windows in the picture are just the storms that attach from the inside since the casement windows open out.

  97. 10.20.14
    B Mom said:

    So excited about the photo that shows the little house in relationship to it’s neighbors! It’s beautifully set apart as its own little gem. This house either needs to get sold to an amazing gardener (soooooo much potential in that sweet front yard!) or if it’s a mixed use area, what a beautiful spot for a coffee / tea / dessert shop with some great front yard tables, chairs and benches. It’s a treasure, and I’m on the edge of my seat looking forward to your renovation posts!

  98. 10.20.14
    hello said:

    Monochrome is such a great idea for making a small house like this have a strong, confident, elegant, mini-monumental presence. This grey is perfect. What a sad mistake it would be to ruin that with trivial white trim: turning a handsome sculptural object into a busy piece of graphic design. Go with your first instinct, in life as on the SAT’s, it was right. Showing restraint with monochrome throughout would also enable you to go a little nuts with jewel-like tones for the front door and surrounding detailing: a traditional 19th Century Northeast approach to color in wood frame construction that would serve you very well here.

    • 10.21.14
      Judy said:

      Just my humble opinion: Totally agree about the mono-color with just one pop of color, the door, but not too much of a pop, a subtle pop. Trim could be a slightly darker shade of house.

    • 10.28.14
      Daniel said:

      See, I had the same thought process! It really wasn’t until I saw it that I realized it just wasn’t the right move here. The house is set too far back, is too small, and doesn’t have the architecture to pull off the monochrome thing, really! It just looked all wrong, unfortunately, but I totally hear what you’re saying!

  99. 10.20.14
    V said:

    How did you even see that house behind the brush? I know it took you a while but….. still. Trespass much? Only way I figure you could have seen your little gem-of-a-house was if you snuck in. So, so, so glad you did! (You’re my favorite read and I have a huge crush on old house renovation.)

    • 10.28.14
      Daniel said:

      I absolutely snuck in!

  100. 10.20.14
    Anon said:

    What about high gloss navy for the front door.
    Then trims in shades of white/ mid tone/ mid to dark gray.
    Keeps it simple, too much contrast on your trim will break the house up and make it choppy. So no crazy color. Navy door works well with gold or silver hardware (whatever matches the rest of the house). Navy lets you do pinks and blues in your plantings. Think how easy annuals would be in pinks and whites. Hydrangea in pinks or blues. Peonys if you have sun. Starburst could be a light gray or white above the door, focusing the high contrast area at the door to get attention without going to specific on color to alienate buyers… (I have a blue house with cream and taupe trim, pink annuals have turned into my go to since it plays so well off the house, even though I’ve tried other plants, it never has the punch and passerby comments)

  101. 10.20.14
    Heidi said:

    I’m guessing now I misread that your budget was 10K. I really thought you were in for a big surprise, but it seems you’re aware that it’s going to cost more, given what you’ve already spent. Are you going to give us a rundown of the budget at some point? Not that it’s any of our business, it’s just interesting to contemplate as we look at houses ourselves.

    • 10.28.14
      Daniel said:

      Ha, I’m not totally delusional! 10K wouldn’t make a dent in this house, unfortunately. And yes, I think I’ll do a more detailed breakdown of costs on the bigger “reveal” types of posts, where I can more easily sit back and account for all labor/materials to actually get something done.

  102. 10.21.14
    Jan said:

    Such a cute little house.

    I was wondering why the carpenters did not install felt paper or vapor barrier under the new clapboards by the door? They appear to be nailing it directly to the sheathing boards.

    I vote for NO pop of color on the front door. The little house is so adorable and a bright pop of color would distract from the details that surround the front door.

    • 10.28.14
      Daniel said:

      I think the reasoning was that the rest of the wall doesn’t have it, so it wouldn’t make a huge difference anyway, but I’m honestly not totally sure why!

  103. 10.21.14
    Helene said:

    I’ve often seen the starburst detail painted in several shades of one color. You could take the gray of the house and paint each panel in a gradient/ombre darkening towards the center, or alternate 2-3 different shades.

  104. 10.21.14
    kbb said:

    Its literally called a Sunburst and its a Architecture detail most recently from the Art Deco period although originally from Ancient Egypt. Most Art Deco pieces are usually in Iron.
    But If you look at the late 1800’s and the federal style or the Neo-Classical style or Adam style depending on where you live; I believe with the side lights it was the classic Adam-style elliptical fan and sidelights after the Scottish Architect Robert Adams.

  105. 10.21.14
    dawn said:

    I vote for a bordello pink door with a cream trim to go with that lovely grey.

    This cottage is too dang awesome.

  106. 10.21.14
    Felicia said:

    I just read every single one of your blog posts, right from March 2010. Now I desperately want to graduate college, buy an old house, and renovate it like crazy.

  107. 10.22.14
    Lauren said:

    This might be a completely stupid question, but where do you buy Bedford Grey paint? I’m trying to help my mom pick some paint colors for her house and I think it would be a perfect kitchen color, but I can’t seem to find the Martha Stewart colors anywhere anymore. Did you just get it color-matched from a paint chip…? Thanks Daniel! Your renovations are gorgeous and so inspirational.

    • 10.24.14

      Bedford Gray was part of the Martha Stewart Living line at Home Depot which is sadly no more. They do have it in the computers and can mix it in Glidden (or probably other HD brands) for you though. It’s also ridiculously close to Fieldstone by Benjamin Moore, I have doors painted in both and putting them right next to each other they look just slightly different.

    • 10.25.14
      Melissa said:

      After speaking with the paint guru at HD, he said Glidden was the paint used in the Martha Line, before they decided to do their own branding. If you liked the MS paint, Glidden is the way to go.

    • 10.28.14
      Daniel said:

      Yes! Apparently Martha also used to have a line of paints at Lowe’s, so Lowe’s has two different Bedford Greys stored in their computers, and they can mix either one. Color-matching is usually done this way nowadays…it’s very accurate. I often have Benjamin Moore colors mixed with different brands (most recently Valspar, since it’s so nice!), and all you have to know is the brand, the color name, and *sometimes* the code. It’s easy!

  108. 10.23.14
    julie said:

    I was just wondering if you’re planning to put in a driveway or is there an alley behind the house?

    • 10.28.14
      Daniel said:

      Neither! If the lot was wider I might consider it, but aside from the cost of installing it and the hassle of going through the city to get it approved and all of that, I don’t want to pave half of the yard! :)

  109. 10.23.14
    Laura C said:

    7d ringshank nails on the siding. The rings on the ringshank nails help prevent them from popping out as the wood expands and contracts. Whoever did the siding on my place didn’t use them and I go crazy every weekend, running around hammering all the nails that are popping out.

  110. 10.23.14
    Linda said:

    Any update on the house would love to see the difference white trim will make.
    Even a mall blog post will be great

  111. 10.25.14
    Chelsea said:

    I love your blog! I basically check for a new post everday! Come one, Daniel! We are all ready for the next post!!!!!!

    • 10.28.14
      Daniel said:

      I’m trying, I swear! What an insane couple of weeks. I’m losing it!

  112. 10.26.14
    Suzen said:

    Daniel, next time you’re headed out to the Door Jamb stop at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. I got a door that’s nearly identical to yours for (you’re sitting down,right?) $18. Well, OK it was senior discount day, but STILL! They’re good folks to support.

    • 10.28.14
      Daniel said:

      Wow! I stop in at ReStore a lot, actually! I’ve been a little disappointed with their stock of architectural salvage kinds of stuff, but I do always look! They do a nice job with the furniture, though, and Gary is such a nice guy. I’ve volunteered for Habitat in the past and love to support them when I can.

  113. 10.27.14

    Can you post a quick notice so we know you’re OK? Not trying to push you to post a whole “thing”, just an “I’m OK”, or not. I worry when you’ve been sick but not acting like it, and when I know you do sort of dangerous stuff in these houses.

    I’m a mother. I worry.

    • 10.28.14
      Daniel said:

      Thanks, Anne! I’m OK!! I did come down with another head-cold thing that’s kind of knocked me out, on top of the mono, on top of a TON of work on the cottage (and everywhere else, it seems!)…everyday I say I’m going to blog, and then I get home from working for hours and hours and I literally don’t even have the energy to respond to comments. It’s BAD. Trying to slow my roll a little…it’s taking a toll and I know it.

    • 10.28.14
      Cair said:

      Whew, my fear was that the mono had relapsed, while my hope was you were so busy that you didn’t have time to post. Sounds like it’s a little bit of the first and a whole lot of the second. Glad that you are making progress. We’ll be here when you have time to write.

  114. 10.27.14
    Martha Ann said:

    Not a single post for 10 days ;-( and I am not so patiently waiting for an update LOL! I know house stuff is slow, slower and slowest but what’s happening? We are all anxiously waiting for info on one or both houses! You are doing a great job with all of it – I want to live in the cottage but sure don’t want to live in the north! Great to visit (in good weather) but you can keep your snow! Oh, a turquoise front door doesn’t sound so great but how about a deep teal blue – leaning toward navy?

    • 10.28.14
      Daniel said:

      Trying my best! Check back later today! I should have something up!

      The funny thing is, the issue is quite the contrary! The progress has been INSANE and FAST in real life that I’m having a terrible time keeping up with it. Yikes!

  115. 10.27.14
    Lilers said:

    I vote for a red door! Or a beautiful deep navy blue door….. can’t wait for the next update!

  116. 10.28.14
    qurtob said:

    Are you OK dear Daniel? Just wondering . . . .and hoping you’re swell.

    • 10.28.14
      Daniel said:

      I am OK, thank you for asking! Just very busy + more health crap + houseguests + no sleep…I’m alive, but the only thing I’m really doing well at this point is renovating this house! Trying to balance things out a bit…this pace is not sustainable, and it’s making me feel like garbage!

  117. 10.28.14

    Take a nap!

  118. 10.28.14
    Cindi M said:

    Just a note to say that I do appreciate the time you take with your postings. Like demo and reno and life itself, you’re not letting us fall under the illusion that blogging is easy. Take care.

  119. 10.28.14
    qurtob said:

    So very glad that you’re OKAY! We will all try to be understanding and PATIENT
    ……and definitely get some rest.

  120. 10.29.14
    Andrea said:

    Daniel, feel better. Glad to hear you’re well and busy. Hope the insanity dissipates!

  121. 10.29.14
    Elizabeth said:

    Take your time, Daniel. I love the posts but would rather see them happen on your own time. Hope you feel better soon!

  122. 10.29.14
    Erin said:

    New post! New post! New post!
    I’m dying over here! Since Young House Love stopped blogging you’re my next house renovation fix
    Hope you’re ok and post soon!

    P.S. I was looking through old posts and wondered about whether you might do an update post on the kitchen in your apartment. The last one I found it was super close to done but still needed some drawer fronts and a few other things.

    • 11.5.14

      I’d love to see an update on your apartment kitchen too! (even though you’re renting it) I went through the archived to read all the kitchen posts and it was amazing what you did in there!

  123. 10.29.14
    Jana said:

    Daniel we miss you. Hope you get better soon. I love your post for the dedication and passion that I see between the lines in any one of them. Totally understandable that you take your time.



  124. 10.29.14
    Lisa and Tate said:

    Ditto to what everyone is saying…. excited and needing a blog update but most importantly YOU need to take care of yourself and get feeling better. Door color… Navy blue.

  125. 10.29.14
    Lilers said:

    Just sending along some well wishes along with others! I hope you feel better soon!!! Take care of yourself!

  126. 10.29.14
    missnicoleo said:

    I’m selfish and want more! instagram a picture of Kleenex or something! Seriously though, hope you are feeling better

  127. 11.28.14
    Nicole said:

    Wow just wow. I love what you’re doing for this house. It’s so beautiful! I can’t stop looking at the before and after of the tree removal. It’s such a tiny house! I look forward to more amazing updates. Good luck!!