Renovating

How one woman painted the entire brick exterior of her house for just $1,000

Instead of $9,000
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After months of early Saturday mornings spent at home auctions, Jessica Fisher and her fiancé were almost worn down by the tough housing market in Sydney, until they finally found their dream home. The only catch was that it was a yellow brick house that hadn’t been updated since it was first built in the ‘70s.

WATCH: Adam’s top tips for painting a brick facade

With an outdated interior that needed a lot of work, the couple decided to keep the exterior update on the cheaper side. After originally being quoted $10,000 to hire someone for the job, the couple were able to cut costs by using an industrial spray gun, which they borrowed from a family member, and spray painted the whole exterior themselves.

The affordable method wound up saving the pair close to $9,000, and after a few weekends of hard work, turned out better than they imagined! Better Homes and Gardens Online caught up with Jessica to find out more. 

house exterior before
Before: An outdated, ’70s-style home.
house after
After: A modern, chic house exterior.

Tell us about your house. What did it look like before the renovation?

Our three bedroom yellow brick house was built in 1977, and one of the first houses in our street. For the most part, the house was untouched, with original gold and green paisley wallpaper, brown shag carpets and chandeliers for days. Oh, and did I forget to mention the mission brown paint…everywhere! The interior was definitely true to its 1970s build. 

house interiors
The ’70s-style carried indoor with shag carpets and patterned wallpaper.

What inspired your renovation?

My fiancé and I had been on the market to buy our first home together in late 2019. We were not on the hunt for a home we had to renovate, but as the Sydney house market became tighter and the long open home Saturdays wore us down, we were forced to consider an older home with good bones.

When we walked into this house, we quickly saw past the paisley wallpaper and shag carpet and fell in love with the potential to make it our own.

Due to being first home buyers and on a tight budget, we saw how impressive spray painting bricks could be (mainly on Pinterest), while still being cost-effective and having a huge impact, so we decided that would be our first renovation. 

Have you done any renovations/DIY-projects before?

Prior to painting the outside bricks, we had only completed a few DIY projects. We pulled all of the wallpaper off the internal walls and pulled up the shag carpet to reveal our lovely pine floorboards. Since then we have also completed a kitchen facelift using the Dulux Renovation Range again on a tight budget of $500. 

beofre
Before
after
After

What kind of look were you after?

I always wanted a cottage-style feel that was light and airy, but because we were painting brick we were limited in regards to colour and we found that the lighter the paint, the more obvious imperfections were. So we settled on a darker colour, Dulux Domino and Dulux Lexicon Quarter for the windows.

What were the biggest challenges of the renovation?

We realised that the bricks were textured and had small grooves in them, so rolling the paint on wasn’t an option. Luckily we were able to borrow an industrial spray gun from my uncle. 

We started painting the eaves and the fascias ourselves but our hands were not steady enough for the intricate paint job, leading us to outsource that task, which blew the budget a little bit. However, it was worth it for a clean finish.

half painted wall
Before committing to a colour they made sure to take their time and sample a few.

The renovation process

  • Picked and committed to a paint colour, after buying sample paint pots and painting small test patches on the wall. 
  • Once decided on a colour, painted one wall of the house to ensure it was the right choice.
  • Sanded down all of the wooden window frames.
  • Cleaned the exterior with brooms to remove built-up dirt, dust, and cobwebs. 
  • Taped up all of the windows.
  • Spray painted wall, completing a first coat and then second coat to finish it off. 
  • Once the spray was completed we went back and painted all of the windows white.
house and flower bush

How much did you roughly spend?

We roughly spent $1000 to paint the bricks and windows. We had our roof restored (painted, with 50 tiles replaced) which we left to the professionals and it cost $3,500.

Budget breakdown

Our Budget was $1000

Dulux Domino Exterior Paint 10L x 3 = $789

Dulux Lexicon Quarter 4L x 1 = $84 

MonashPaint Brushes x 1 = $20

Spray Gun x 1

Brooms x1 

= $893

house exterior

How long did it take you?

Many many hours, I would say roughly 50 hours. So a few solid weekends.

Favourite part of your renovation?

Definitely the end result, considering the price. We felt a real sense of accomplishment when our neighbours would come outside and compliment us on the house and encourage us to keep going when we were close to the finish line.  

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