Nothing transforms the outside of a home like new paint colors. Workers from Ben’s Painting: Jesus (top), Elier (bottom left) and Jose (bottom right). (Photo: Mary Lynn Bruny.)

By Mary Lynn Bruny

Nothing quite transforms the outside look of a home like fresh new paint colors. External painting is a big project, but if it’s done well it’s something that you will enjoy for years – despite the incredible (sometimes crippling) anxiety it may cause you during the process.

For my husband and me, external painting was one of the last projects of the seemingly never-ending remodel of our Front Range home. After debating new paint colors for years (yes, actual years), we decided this season was finally the time.

We hired a painting firm for early spring. Despite remodeling many homes, this was the first time we ever used an actual painting company with a team of workers. Usually we hired one dude who painted houses but was also an artist or a rock climber or a recent PhD grad – a common occurrence in our neck of the woods. It usually took this painter about a month to finish.

Let me tell you: It is really something else to have a crew, an army of individuals, whose mission it is to realize your new home vision in record-breaking time. Frankly, it was both exhilarating and slightly overwhelming. Imagine on an early Monday morning a hoard of hearty, upbeat, energetic workers arrive and descend upon your property like a scene out of a HGTV show:

“The Brunys have a week and a half to transform the outside of their house. Can they do it? The hustling team from Ben’s Painting has arrived to make it happen, captain! Stay tuned and see if this home can go from ‘meh’ to ‘marvelous’!”

Before I knew it, workers with huge ladders were everywhere, scraping and prepping the house. In just a few days the first coat of body paint was applied, and two of the younger painters, Jose and Jesus, came to confirm I liked the color before applying the second coat.

You would think a woman who has remodeled numerous homes and is considered pretty good at choosing paint colors would not be surprised with the results. But you would be wrong. I actually thought they bought the wrong paint. (They didn’t.) Despite my husband and I testing our color choices on various parts of the house, the body paint applied looked vastly different – much lighter for one. I stood in shock with my mouth agape.

Jose and Jesus were obviously used to this reaction. Turns out besides being good painters, they also are good “paint therapists”:

“It’s never what people expect because they are starting from a little sample from the paint store. It’s hard to imagine what it will look like on a whole house,” explained Jose.

“But then when the paper comes down and the trim is painted, it all comes together and then people like it. You’ll see; you’ll like it,” Jesus said calmly and knowingly, like the Sage of Painting.

I wasn’t so sure. It wasn’t what I envisioned. I had a few nights of tossing and turning, wondering at 2 a.m. if I made the wrong color choice, then reliving every bad decision I ever made in my life since kindergarten.

But you know what? Jesus was right. (Trust the sage.) Once the trim was painted (in seemingly record-breaking time), everything looked rather wonderful.

Like most things in life, painting the outside of your house doesn’t end up exactly like you envisioned. But also like many things in life (if you are lucky), it ends up pretty darn good – sometimes even verging towards marvelous.

By Mary Lynn Bruny. Mary Lynn writes about local real estate and home-related topics for At Home Colorado. Email her at [email protected]. To read previous The Lighter Side articles, go to