Street appeal! Improving our home with render + paint

Colour Life Painting Sydney
The painters from Colour Life Painting

Thinking about painting the exterior of your home anytime soon? North Shore Mums Founder Rachel Chappell recently updated her home with rendering and exterior painting with Colour Life Painting, and shares her experience… 

2018 was a year of home renovation for our family. Hubby and I had deliberated about whether to buy a new home, but soon realised we loved where we lived and could pretty much spend the same amount of money that we’d spend on Stamp Duty in buying a new house, on improving our own. So this seemed like a much more sensible option!

In July, we started with our ensuite and laundry (which were very 80s, and starting to fall apart), then we finished the interior with plush new carpets in the bedrooms and stylish white plantation shutters.

When the interior jobs were completed, it was time to start thinking about improving the ‘street appeal’ of the house. Our home was comprised from a combination of mottled red-brown bricks and cream cladding, and olive green trims on the windows and doors. I’m sure it was very stylish when the house was built in the 80s, but it was never quite to my taste!

It was also time to paint the house out of necessity. I didn’t know the last time it had been painted (we purchased the property in 2014), and some of the wood trimmings looked like they were on the verge of deterioration. According to the experts, wood should be repainted every 3-7 years to protect it from rotting – and putting off the job ultimately makes it more expensive! So it really needed to be done.

And while I was getting quotes, I thought it was the perfect time to see how much rendering the brick would cost too. I’ve always loved the look of rendered houses, and knew it would be a great way to modernise it!

Step 1: Getting quotes

I’ve always had a bit of a ‘rule’ about getting three quotes for any job – not necessarily to always get the best price (although of course cost does come into it!), but to meet a few different tradesmen to get their professional knowledge and advice on the job too. I’d rather find someone who I know I can trust and who I believe will do a high quality job the first time… because a cheap and cheerful can often end up costing you much more in the long run.

Step 2: Choosing a painting company

After meeting with three painting companies, I couldn’t go past Colour Life Painting, who actually did an interior painting job for me about a year earlier (I wrote a review about that experience too here!), so I knew I could trust them with the exterior. Although they were always really my number one choice based on previous personal experience, I thought it was still important to get a few other quotes for such a big job. I was amazed that given the high quality, professional job that they had done for us previously, they actually came out with the best price for the whole job. It was a no brainer!

Colour Life Painting is headed up by a lovely guy called Sam, who not only very knowledgeable about all things painting, he’s also a really genuine guy who seems completely focussed on ensuring his team does a brilliant job to achieve complete customer satisfaction

Step 3: Choosing the colours

We knew we wanted to go for a grey colour scheme, but that’s where it ended. What shade should we choose? How would it work with our existing colours? And the environment? Should we paint the render and cladding the same colour, or different? And what about the gutters and eaves? I had a million questions, and I really didn’t want to make a (very) costly mistake.

So when Sam suggested that I use a Dulux Colour Consultant, I jumped at the idea. When Cherie arrived for the 1-hour session, I took her for a tour of the house to explain what we wanted to do. She instinctively knew the shades of our rear deck poles and roof (which were 100% correct upon holding up the swatches), so she knew which greys would work best with the existing Paperbark and Woodland Grey. She suggested Klute, a darker shade of grey, for the render, and Milton Moon for the cladding, and Whisper White for the window frames, door frames and eaves. To avoid extra painting of the metal deck, we would stick with Woodland Grey for the gutters, fascias and verandah posts.

The colour scheme

She wrote down detailed instructions complete with a colour-coded diagram for Colour Life Painting, so they could go off and purchase the correct amount of paint. Too easy!

I’m so glad we got a professional to help us with this massive decision. It not only saved us hours of anguish, but it also gave me complete confidence that we were selecting the right colours.

The cost for the 1-hour consultation is $195, but we received a $100 Paint Cashback Voucher from Dulux, so effectively $95. Worth every cent!

Colours chosen:

  • Rendered brick = Klute (Dulux), darker grey
  • Cladding = Milton Moon (Dulux), lighter grey
  • Door frames, window frames = Whisper white

Step 4: Render

Usually Colour Life Painting would have the renderer and painters working at the same time to reduce the overall time the job takes, but it was late October and I was really keen to get it completed before Christmas. So lovely Sam agreed to squeeze me in around other jobs, though advised that the total job duration would take a little longer than usual, as he’d need to stagger the stages – that is do the render first, and follow by the painting – usually he’d get all the trades in at the same time. I didn’t mind at all! It meant we’d have a new home by Christmas (and also my belated 40th birthday, which i was hosting on 15 December!).

The first stage was getting all the brick rendered… and there was a lot of it, probably 80% of the house! It effectively took one renderer ten full days to do two layers of acrylic render over all the brickwork. Acrylic is more expensive than cement render, but it much lasts much longer and is less likely to crack.

When the render had finished, I was absolutely delighted with the new brick-less look. He had done a seamless job, with every wall and corner covered to perfection – no cracks & no bumps – just smooth and clean.

Rendering the front deck

Rendered (but not painted)

Step 5: Painting

Now for the fun stuff… laying down the colour! Colour Life Painting had a team of three guys who worked solidly from 7am – 4pm daily for about two weeks, to paint the whole outside of the house.

They arrived punctually at 7am each day, and quietly got to work. They had an area set up on our top deck where they kept all their supplies, and were meticulous in their preparation and work. I honestly couldn’t fault their painting!

I was also amazed at the speed at which they worked – every day I could see huge progression, and knew they were working as hard as they could to get the job completed in time for my party.

The Final Verdict: Colour Life Painting

I was seriously impressed by the whole experience. Although Sam was managing multiple projects at the time, he did lots of site visits throughout and went around the house with me to ensure I was happy with everything. He also made it very clear that I could call him any time if I needed – but I was so happy with the team he’d appointed for the job, there simply wasn’t any issues to be discussed.

And the end result? We were absolutely delighted with the new look of our home – happy with the colours, and happy with the meticulous finish of the job. Nothing speaks stronger than these Before & After pics.

The front deck. Cream cladding with olive green trim is freshened up with Milton Moon grey and Whisper White windows.


Render Exterior Before & After

The back of the house. Brick is rendered and painted in Klute.


Painting Exterior Before & After

The rear deck. Cream cladding and brick has been replaced by Milton moon rendering and paint.

So if you’ve got a painting job to do – whether it’s just a few rooms or a whole house – I would highly recommend you get Colour Life Painting in for a free quote. They’ve exceeded my expectation for two different jobs, and I’d use them again without hesitation!

Colour Life Painting: Essential Details

If you’re looking for a reliable and high quality painting service, give Sam from Colour Life Painting a call on 0424 089 747. You can also find them in the North Shore Mums Directory

Want more? Read our review of Colour Life Painting interior renovation.

colour life painting

Disclaimer: Colour Life Painting have been an advertiser on the North Shore Mums website for several years. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed are her own and not influenced by the company or its affiliates in any way.


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  1. Claire Dewar
    Claire Dewar

    We totally agree. Sam and his team at Colour Life Painting were fantastic for us too. We’ll definitely be using them again anytime we need painting done

    1 March 2019 at 9:27 pm

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