Building Our Farmhouse: Paint & Trim

Week 23:  Learning to pull a Trailer

I didn't know how to back a trailer



Week 23 started off with the trim crew coming back in to tie up a few loose ends, place the stair treads, and finish the faux beams in the vaulted ceiling.  The story of our trim journey goes like this:  We need more wood. Donna miserably fails at driving with a trailer.  We need more wood.  Donna tries again at driving with a trailer.  We need more wood. Donna finally figures out how to drive and back a trailer!  Woo hoo!   So after quite a few trailer loads of materials, loading and unloading things unfit for a woman to handle from Home Depot (don't get me started on that...), and lots of stick pictures drawn on wood, we got the trim to an almost complete state.  The front porch railings have yet to be finished, but aren't a priority right now and will be completed some time soon.  

Allen worked over the weekend to complete the Hardie siding shower that I had designed and had it prepped for painting.   This was no small task, as each board had to be completely covered in concrete primer/sealer on every single side before being nailed up.  I plan to put together a tutorial on this after the house is completed because we've had a ton of questions as to how we did it.  I am hoping that it turns out as well as I have it pictured in my mind.  

Dual Shower with Hardie Siding and Pebble Tile

Dual Shower with Hardie Siding and Pebble Tile

I know that it's a small luxury, but can I just say that I can't wait to have more than one bathroom?  The whole one potty, four potty trained people situation is getting old.  Serious first world problem.

Paint Selection


I have long been searching for the perfect white to use on the interior and exterior of the farmhouse.  Why white?  Well, what is more authentic for a Georgia farmhouse than a warm white paint?  Nothing!  Absolutely nothing.  It just had to be white.  I tried to like gray, taupe, or grayple, but I always came back to white.  Also, like the reflective tin roof, a white exterior is the most energy efficient exterior treatment because it reflects more light than other colors.  We want this house to be as energy efficient as possible, since it will be our forever home.

My paint research started where all things start, Pinterest.  Then I moved on to purchasing tons and tons of quart size paint samples.  I tried four or five whites and a few grays before making any decisions.  I had nearly settled on Duck White by Sherwin Williams when I decided to revisit Shoji White.  I've also tried Portman White, which is available by special request (honestly, I just had to see what all the hype was about) and Creamy.  To my husband's dismay, there are TONS of shades of white and so many tiny factors that needed to be considered.  The biggest white challenge for the farmhouse was that the roof is a shiny silver tin called Galvalume and I needed a warmer white or off white that balanced out the coolness of the tin without clashing.  I think  that Shoji White was just right.   

For the paint sashes, inside and out, I chose Benjamin Moore's Raccoon Hollow.  I found this color in an online issue of Country Living where designer Craig Kettles used it in a kid's bunk room.  It is the perfect gray/brown mix and I could just move right in to the dreamy Lake Burton home.  Side note:  If you've never been to Lake Burton, it is well worth the drive.  In my opinion, it is one of the most beautiful places in Georgia and prime time for a boat ride there is in early fall when the leaves have just started to change.  It is breathtaking.  

In the South, Haint Blue is as traditional as cornbread and biscuits.  Painted on nearly every old home's porch ceiling, it has practical and superstitious origins.  The range of blues covers everything from gray blue to robin's egg.  I settled on Watery for our bead board porch ceiling after a quick poll of my Instagram followers. 

Paint Color Placement

The current protocol for painting your home is to paint the siding one color, the cornice a second color, and the window sashes a third color.  Sometimes the cornice and window sashes are the same, but the traditional farmhouse look was all white.  White siding, white cornice, and white window sashes.  Some older homes have darker window sashes to provide a tiny contrast to the white and that was the direction that I wanted to go.  Everyone questioned it.  Everyone.  I used to second guess my selections when I got the side-eye from my husband, or the prickly questions from others, but I'm growing more confident in my choices and feel better about sticking to them.  I made a decision, stuck with it and I'm quite pleased with the results.  

Farmhouse Exterior Color Palette

Week 23 ended with the exterior of the farmhouse half painted, the Hardie shower in-place, and the back porch railings completely finished.  I'm suddenly feeling like the race is on again after a few weeks of a lull.  I think I might start organizing and packing soon just to ease the new house jitters.  Anybody want to have a yard sale?

Farmhouse Back Porch With Railings and Brick Steps
Update:  We are still staining the railings (Walnut Gel Stain by Minwax) and are planning to start landscaping this Spring!

Update:  We are still staining the railings (Walnut Gel Stain by Minwax) and are planning to start landscaping this Spring!

White Farmhouse Exterior Color Choices

Donna Peters

Front Porch Design Studio, Monroe, GA 30656, USA