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3413 Marion Drive
Tampa, FL 33637

There’s nothing that I love more than the planning and creating process of transforming a space into something I adore. I love a little modern, fun, contemporary, mid-century, romantic boho (you should see the kid’s playroom that I’m working on! I’ve realized that I haven’t asked for much advice from anyone about our home because I want it to reflect everything I love instead of someone else’s style or trend. And honestly, I’m so opinionated about my funky style in our house that I’m afraid to hear that someone else doesn’t like it, haha.

By making sure that I’m undeniably obsessed with everything I put in our home, it’s become a sanctuary that sparks joy. We started planning in the spring, began the 1st project beginning of July, and finally finished everything in late October.

A true german smear uses a sand mixture (mortar) to cover the brick while a whitewash uses a thinned-out paint mixture to cover the brick exterior. Since I love a thick, slathered brick I opted for the German Smear. Also, a whitewash application requires maintenance since exterior painted surfaces always weathers and fades. I went on our local FB city group and researched all the information I could find on “masons” and “mortar work”. He doesn’t know that I blog, but if you’re needing any type of brickwork, email me and I’ll send you his phone #! We did a lot of research into changing the mortar color, painting brick, lime washes, but fell in love with the look of a german smear.

We worked with the crew manager for a few minutes until everyone understood the look and style we were going for. When they came over the first morning, they also did some samples on the wall to let us choose how yellow or white to go with the mortar. We talked to Mario and decided to pressure spray it off the house and instead add less “color” to the mortar, leaving it much more white. Since we hadn’t yet received approval from our HOA, we only completed the backside of our home.

Before this project, all of the trim, siding, gutters, garage doors were the same yellow-beige color. Now that we had the brick covered with the German Smear, we loved the idea of doing a complementing bright color for the siding, and a very dark paint for the trim/garage doors/shutters to create fun outlines by highlighting the details.

So when you’re putting paint samples against the house, make sure to see what it looks like in the shade AND the sun. It looks creamy on the paint chip, but on the house it’s a pretty bright white in the full sun.

Initially, we painted the garage door with the Expresso Beans, but I could not stand how shiny and brown it looked on such a big surface, so we bit the bullet and had them repaint that with the flat black and now absolutely LOVE it!

(UPDATE: Texas Star Painting, Casey helped us with our project 817-891-7255) We also had them refinish the front door with an Ebony stain to make it darker and take away the yellow/brown stain that was there before.

I could have painted the door a black but I LOVE the woodgrain beneath the stain. To finish off this huge project, I wanted to add black shutter on top of the white german smear.

We weren’t sure the exact style we liked, but after visiting Waco with my sister-in-law and going to Magnolia Table, I saw shutters there that I loved! He bought cedar fence boards and cut all the wood in our garage using a miter saw.

Aaron and his brother-in-law hung them with concrete anchor screws drilled into the mortar lines. I had been searching high and low over the last year for a swing set.

I eventually found this gem of a swing set for $50 on a FB garage sale site! I’ve had TONS of y’all message me on Instagram asking where this set can be found and it’s been discontinued.

Have a comment or question about the German Smear process or exterior painting project?

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