Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Colonel Mustard in Key West with a Paintbrush

Colonel Mustard committed the crime, but he has finally left the premises.

The outside of our little beach cottage is now all decked out in her aqua and coral finery, and the hideous mustard is gone.

This is what the front of the place looked like when we bought it a year ago:

Last week, we tore down the ugly TV antenna, washed and painted the brown plastic shutters, and covered the shingles with T-111 plywood.  This is what the front looks like now:

I love this photo of the side, which shows the shadows of the reeds in the marsh:

Here's the screened porch before:

and after (I just had to buy those aqua and white chairs when I saw them on clearance at Lowes):

The shed was light yellow (they must have run out of mustard) and had a ramp that was suitable only for a mountain goat:

But the shed now has a fresh coat of coral paint and a new people-friendly ramp:

We found the perfect doormats at Target:

and bought house numbers at Lowes:

The trailer had awnings that we were going to take down and paint coral, but they turned out to be in such poor condition that we gave them to a neighbor for recycling:

So the trailer looks a little naked for now, but we have gray and white striped awnings on order for the side and end windows to dress her up:

This project was a challenge from the start.  Delaware had a record-setting amount of rain in June, and there's nothing like watching the paint you just rolled on wash away in a sudden shower.   The good news was that July brought an end to the rain, but it was replaced by a heat wave.  Painting and construction work are not fun in 90+ temperatures with the sun beating down as a bonus. 

But at noon on Saturday, July 6, I threw away my crusty paintbrushes, trashed my paint-spattered shorts and tank top, and took a much-needed shower.  Doug staggered into the house after me and almost passed out.  

But an hour later, I returned from Dairy Queen with two Strawberry Cheesequake blizzards. It was bliss to sit on the couch in the air conditioning and look out the windows at our aqua and coral gem.

Goodbye Colonel Mustard.

And good riddance.

P.S. Highlights of our indoor makeover, completed last fall, are in this post.  Final views of our screened porch are in this post.

Cost update:  We did a final tally (rough estimates) of all of our costs on the project--both indoor and outdoor.  We think we spent about $12,000 on EVERYTHING, including lumber and hardware, paint and paint supplies, electrical and plumbing supplies, furniture, kitchenware, bedding and towels, rugs and flooring, appliances, window blinds, awnings, tools, and air conditioners.  This number also includes $550 we paid a contractor to remove the horribly overgrown bushes and $650 to rent a dumpster when we first bought the place--the entire contents had to be thrown away because it was so disgusting.


  1. It looks absolutely incredible! Congratulations on *quite* an accomplishment!

  2. Thanks, Millie, we are so excited to be done! I want to keep driving past just so I can look at it :-)

  3. What a lovely transformation! I adore the colours and cannot wait to see the inside!!

  4. Thanks--hope you saw the link to it in this post. We have had a lot of fun with this project!