Reader Redesign: Curb Appeal Insanity

When Krystol sent over her unbelievable before & after exterior photos we just had to share the gorgeousness. Here’s her letter:

I love your blog and I thought you might like our recent porch renovation. We’re trying to take our rancher to a french country cottage. First we the removed the porch railings and moved the posts a bit further apart. One of the posts was right in front of the door (not too welcoming!). Then we sheathed the existing posts in rough cut oak and added a second set of posts for a little extra oomph at the front door. We also added arches (carved from a single curved tree trunk section- go hubby!) and painted the house. Well, actually we limed it. This is an ancient process where agricultural lime is mixed with water, then applied to the brick. Instead of sealing in moisture like paint can, the lime allows the brick to breathe. Eventually it does wear away, but I like that “old” look. It is also totally eco friendly and cheap! A bag of lime is around $10 and it took about 8 to do our house. I think paint would have cost around $400 or more. The house trim is Farrow and Ball’s French Grey and the “new” front door is from the Habitat ReStore and we just added new hardware from Emtek. Oh and the seagrass rugs are from World Market. Anyway, like I said I love your blog.  It’s an inspiration to all of us DIYers out here! I hope you enjoy the front photos. – Krystol

Here’s what Krystol started with:

Here’s the house in progress after getting limed:

And this is finished product with new posts and arches along with a new door and furnishings:

Isn’t that amazing? It doesn’t even look like the same house! And the fact that they limed the entire exterior themselves (for around $80!) and carved those arches from a single block of wood is incredibly envy inducing. Thanks so much for sending the gorgeous before and after photos our way Krystol! What do you guys think? What’s your favorite part? We can’t decide between those arches and that pretty limed brick…


  1. says

    Amazing! I’m bummed that there’s not a blog link to this before and after. I’d love to know more about the liming process as it’s something that I’d like to do to our house. Great job, Krystol! You definately acheived the french cottage look you were after!

  2. says

    Y’all… that is CURB APPEAL INSANITY! Please tell us how they applied the lime? Do you spray it on or what? It looks fabulous… love the wood columns, the door… the whole 9 yards! Thanks for sharing!!! Keep it up and give that little bambino a pat for me!!

    • Bippy says

      You take type S hydrated lime from the home improvement store, mix it in a bucket until it’s about pancake batter consistency, and then you can roll/spray/paint it on. It WILL dry the heck out of your hands, so apply olive oil to your skin before you start, and it looks transparent when wet and gets more translucent when dry, so don’t freak out after your first coat. I always need three coats. The lime will last in the bucket two months, easy, so don’t worry if you have to take a break between coats to get it all looking nice.

  3. says

    Oh…I LOVE what they did!Talk about a beautiful transformation…and they carved the arches themselves out of a tree. That just takes the project to a whole new level!

    I think you youn’uns should lime your casa?? No?

    • says

      Hey Linda,

      Unfortunately due to the mold here in Richmond many painted/limed brick houses have a nice coat of green mold and mildew (and need to be scrubbed down with bleach a few times a year), so in the interest of our home’s blissful zero maintenance exterior we’re resisting the urge to lime the heck out of it!


  4. says

    It looks amazing! Take it from someone who did a complete exterior makeover, that nothing is more satisfying than finally driving up to a house you love to come home to! Congrats — you did an amazing job!!!

  5. elizabeth says

    WOW. WOW. WOW!

    I love the white brick, and I think what they’ve done here makes the house look really inviting and friendly.

    • says

      Hey Ginger, Karrie, and Darby,

      Here’s hoping that Krystol drops in with more detailed liming info, but in the meantime you can google around for terms like “how to lime wash” for a tutorial (there might even be some how-to videos on You Tube)! Here’s one link we dug up with a formula for water to lime if you scroll down a bit:

      Hope it helps!


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