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Makeover for the ugliest house on the street

There's always that one house - the one that sticks out like a sore thumb with its peeling paint, cracked walls and rotten windowsills. You really have to see beneath the ugly to realise the potential of what this house could look like... and boy does this house get a makeover !

This is the story of a young couple who spent four weekends going where they've never been before... do-it-yourself. And to top it all off, this was a rental home and one where the landlord just couldn't be bothered to fork out any money for repairs or cosmetic touches. Not many couples would bother to take the time and their own money to add a few touches here and there for curb appeal - but they did.

Weekend 1

Using a high-pressure washer, every surface was washed down to remove a ton of dirt, debris, old peeling paint and to clear with way for scraping. You can hire a high-pressure washer for the day if you don't want to fork out and buy one. But they really do make the job a lot easier.

The next step is to start scraping off the paint. Most DIY tutorials on exterior house painting will likely point out that preparation is the most arduous and labour-intensive step, so be prepared for some hard work ahead.

DIY Tip: scrape across the grain to make it easier to remove old, pealing paint. Be careful, though, to not scrap too far into the wood creating the need to patch it later.

Before painting takes place, repairs are made to the exterior walls to fill up cracks and gouges. Use an exterior crack filler, such as Polyfilla Exterior and follow mixing instructions.

DIY Tip: Make sure to roughen up the finish with a little sandpaper before it completely dries. This helps it blend in nicely with the old finish.

The window frames needed plenty of patience to scrape all the old hard putty away to apply new window putty.

You can have 5mm glass cut to size at your local Builders Warehouse, as well as all the supplies you need to re-glaze your windows.

Paint samples were brought home and painted on the outside walls. It was really smart to do this at this stage of the project, because it allowed a week to live with the colours to see which worked best.

DIY Tip: Buy tester pots and paint it on a couple exterior walls to see how the light affects the paint hue. Expect to buy 2-3 different shades in several different colours to get it right.





Weekend 2

Two of the window ledges were crumbling to pieces.

Since there wasn't enough money to replace the entire window frames, and the landlord wasn't interesting in putting money into the makeover, patching up was done with Alcolin QuikWood and then sanded down.

With the colour selected it was time to start prepping and priming all the surfaces for painting. All the woodwork was primed with wood primer and the newly patched plaster needed coating with plaster primer.

Two coats of Plascon Wall & All was all it took, but with all the detailing, patching, and re-sanding, this took the whole rest of the day. Funny thing was, when it finally came time to apply the blue paint, it took just a couple of hours and the immediate satisfaction was clear and so exciting!

Weekend 3

Time to get round to finishing painting all the woodwork and trim - including the front door. The front door was painted in a bold red to contrast with the white trim and blue walls - beach style at its best !

Weekend 4

Sorting out the garden was the final step in this home makeover. Colourful annuals and perennials were planted in borders and pots, with a colourful stacked pot arrangement to welcome guests.