A blog about the restoration, remodel and renovation of a 1929 Chicago-style brick bungalow

The White Has Got to Go

I’ve never hidden my displeasure about the white storm windows on the front of the house. I really hate the starkness of them next to the limestone ledge and the dark brick colors.

Over two years ago I intended to take care of that with wood storm windows, but that never happened. I seemed to have lost my motivation about everything around that point. Then all of a sudden it was winter and ever since then, other things became a priority.

It doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten about them. Oh no. Every time I look at them I just cringe. They’re always there, taunting me. They’re so IN. YOUR. FACE.

ugly white storm windows

I can’t help it. Good or bad, the graphic designer in me is driven by color and aesthetics and I just have a need to fix it. And that’s what I intend to do.

Unfortunately, there’s no way we can afford wood storm windows right now. So I’m going to do what I always do to fix something I can no longer stand to look at: paint them.

There are plenty of how-tos on painting aluminum trim and/or siding, and as long as you do your prep work it should leave a lasting finish.

So, now that that’s decided, my next task is to choose a color.

The inner part of the windows is a no-brainer. I’ll match the color of the attic windows, called Cashmere (from Marvin Windows). The outer part and the mullions between the windows are a more difficult decision. With the variety of colors in the face brick I have several options and I kind of like all of them in different ways. So here goes:

I could do a dullish/mauve-y red that matches the tuckpointing color. I think this is the “safest” color choice.

storm windows color option red

Or an olive-y green. This is probably the boldest choice and I would say it ties the house to its exterior natural surroundings nicely.

storm windows color option green

Or an orange-y brown. This color is along the same lines as the roof color and complements the Hardie Plank® siding on our dormer.

storm windows color option orange-brown

Your thoughts, dear readers?


  1. Carolyn on August 23, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    I really prefer option 3. I like it when the colors between windows tie together with another color on the house and the mauve color is just too dark.

    I really like the green, but it’s out there all by itself. If the upstairs window was trimmed in green, that would then be the winner for me.

  2. denise on August 24, 2012 at 8:04 am

    Thanks Carolyn! I showed my husband the paint chips and although he liked the green he preferred the last one too. I really like the green version but I had reservations for the same reason you pointed out. I do agree that another color shouldn’t be introduced at this point and stick with what’s there, so I think the orange-y-gold-ish brown is the winner!

  3. Devon @ Green House, Good Life on August 24, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    FYI, Sherwin-Williams has a formula to match Marvin’s cashmere color — see page 1.10 of the PDF here: http://www.integritywindows.com/download.aspx?DocumentID=789. (I also have Marvin windows in cashmere — with off-white trim — and painted my screened porch cashmere as well.)

    • denise on August 27, 2012 at 1:28 pm

      Thanks Devon — I tried searching for that information, so this is very helpful!

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