We've made a couple of improvements to our house since moving in almost 8 years ago this week. In the shot below, you can see where we finally replaced the shingles in year 3 with something more substantial (and properly installed) as we had grown weary of finding shingles on the lawn every time the breeze got up a bit. You can also see the front door and shutters are black. This was paint applied shortly before we bought, judging from the small can of touch up I found squirrelled away in the basement under the steps.
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This weekend, we made a very inexpensive upgrade. The black paint was wearing thin and looking pretty weary itself. So, we painted the front door and shutters a new color, one that better suites the newer, slate colored shingles.
We also invited twenty some-odd flies to live with us during the time I had the door open to dry between and after coats.
The end result is amazing. We love it and it only took about 4 hours total effort and some bravery atop a rickety wooden step ladder. My mother-in-law and mum both love it too, which means I have truely succeeded. :-)
On a side note, if you look at the weeping cherry to the left o the window, you'll also note it is much fuller now than 5 years ago thanks to aggressive and careful pruning on my part. I've been careful to prune it to spread and then allowed it to waterfall down into different levels. Great tree for recreational pruning... invasive though, gotta keep cutting back the leaders.