Who: Robin Martin
Where: Manchester, Mich.
Her story: "When my husband, Chris, and I bought our house, we knew it'd be a struggle to restore its exterior. The paint was peeling and cracking, and some clapboards had rotted. With estimates topping $10,000, we couldn't afford to hire out the job. That's when our neighbor Doug, a former pro painter, volunteered to help, working for next to nothing.
"I wanted colors that would make the original gingerbread details pop while staying faithful to the home's history. So I researched Victorian-era paints and created a complementary scheme of pale olive and red with cream accents. With my choices in hand, Doug got busy replacing damaged boards and painting while Chris and I were at our office jobs. On weekends Chris sanded, primed, and painted the shutters while I gave the picket fence a face-lift.
"It took countless trips to the home center, two weeks off work during the summer, and a few do-overs to get all the corbels, columns, and posts to match—keeping track of all the parts' designated colors was a real challenge! Now that we're done, we receive so many compliments from passersby. We even got some unexpected praise from a once color-shy neighbor, who said he'll now have to repaint his place just to measure up!"
Take a video tour of this winning exterior.
Shown: A bold three-shade scheme now makes the house a standout on its street.