Seeing Portabello

Yes, for the past two weekends we have been seeing and smelling portabello. And getting it all over our hands, faces, and even in our hair. No, I’m not talking mushrooms.

I’m talking paint. As in, Sherwin-Williams Portabello 6102. Don’t let this small color swatch fool you, it looks so much richer in real life, almost like the underneath side of that mushroom above. It really is a very saturated and beautiful golden-reddish-brown color. Catch up to speed on our big house painting adventure planning and how we debated paint colors at this post over here, or see the abbreviated version of the color scheme and a rendering of the finished house by clicking on this post.

Onto the good stuff. We were fully geared up and prepared to paint the house with 2 brushes in each hand. And that is exactly how we primed the entire exterior with Zinsser Peel Stop clear binding sealer. It was like painting with milk; very thin and watery, and dried to a very slight sheen over the surface of the shingles. We wondered if it was even doing any good until we had to clean a few dried drips off of a window frame. Oh my goodness was it nearly impossible to clean off once dry! So if it stuck that well to new shiny vinyl window frames, I figure it must have been a good product!

But after priming, I was not at all interested in repeating that brushing torture once again with the paint. So I began asking around and doing some research on airless paint sprayers. It turns out they are pretty affordable to rent and seemingly easy to learn to use. In fact, this YouTube video is the clip that made me say out loud, “that’s it, we’re renting a sprayer!”

The man in the video is painting the same style and size shingles as my house (pretty much the same ‘before’ color, too) and boy does it go super quick! So just like the video, we masked off all the windows and doors with masking tape and painter’s plastic. We propped up cardboard under the last row of shingles to cover the foundation, and I held a piece of cardboard attached to a handle as a long blade against the soffit above the top row of shingles. And then it was time to spray.

I first used water to familiarize myself with the airless sprayer. I ‘painted’ water onto a large piece of cardboard so I could see how thin and even of a spray the machine produced. By spraying in about 3 – 4 foot lengths and overlapping each path by half, I got the hang of it really quick. So I primed the sprayer with paint and gave myself one more test run on the cardboard. Time to hit the house. I don’t know why I was so hesitant, the paint sprayed out so thin and evenly, filling all of the grooves in the cedar shingles effortlessly. By overlapping each length of spray, I was left with a smooth finish and a solid cover of paint. No need for two coats!

Check out the white primer polka dots, no? You have no idea how glad I was to paint over them and rid the house of its primer pox epidemic. And now for a close up comparison of the ‘before’ and ‘after’ colors for you to eat up (yes, that was a pun on the paint color name).

The only caution I would give, and I was fairly warned by the managers at the Sherwin-Williams store, is to be prepared to back-roll (or in my case, back brush) the paint after spraying a large section. Anywhere that I overlapped more than a half stripe or even sprayed a second coat would begin to run and form drips. These areas just need a once-over with a paint brush, hence the term back brushing, to even out the spray.

I actually painted the house in 2 Saturdays, partly because I started later in the day (masking off windows takes for-ev-er) and partly because I ran out of paint on the first Saturday too late in the day to run out and get more. But after it was all painted (even before it was completely finished), I was ecstatic with how it looked! I am in love with the deep rich color, and so pleased with how well the paint covered. We painted with Sherwin-Williams Duration Exterior Acrylic Latex , known for its superior color coverage and long lasting paint performance.

So how far have we come? Here is the original before photo, house circa summer 2009; aka, boring beige (although it has a slight pink tinge in that particular photo).

Here is the house before we painted. Yes, it is looking a little poka-dotted or zebra striped or something in between as a result of different color shingles around the windows, tinted primer under the picture window, and tons of primed areas around the single windows. As people would walk through the neighborhood in the evenings, you could see them point and look, and looooook. Probably wondering what in the world we were doing. At least the sky is beautiful in this photo.

And here is the house after a super rich paint job of Portabello. I was going to say what percentage of an improvement the new paint is, but the actual number is off my scale. Probably something like a mbajeelion (silent m) times better looking. (Click here to see how closely this real photograph compares to a rendered image I created at the beginning of this painting project).

Improvement? I think so. I am still in the process of painting the fascia boards and soffits bright white, and then will be painting the gables. All by hand, brush and roller. I decided that with the amount of overspray produced by the airless sprayer, it would be nearly impossible to spray the gables and have a clean crisp painted edge when done without using 20 miles of painter’s tape. Which isn’t cheap, by the way. So up and down a ladder with a paintbrush in hand I will go. And hopefully I will finish before the snow flies.

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  1. #1 by meryl rose on August 16, 2011 - 12:00 PM

    that color looks AWESOME!

  2. #2 by Adam A. Ries on August 16, 2011 - 6:58 PM

    Thank you! I don’t make any design decisions hastily, but I stumbled upon that color in a Sherwin-Williams brochure and knew it was going to be a contender. After purchasing a sample and painting a small area on the outside, I could stare at it during different times of the morning and evening to make sure it was the right color. And I think it is! Now I just need to keep that brush moving over the gables and get them painted as well! Thanks for the comment and check back soon.

  3. #3 by Jenny on August 17, 2011 - 3:47 PM

    Wow! It made a huge difference 🙂 Looks great and I love the colour. Can’t wait to see it when you’ve finished the gables too and its all done!

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