Tips and Guides

Building 101: Finishing Touches (Part 2)

These outdoor finishes will make your home look brand new


From indoor finishes, we now delve into outdoor finishes. If you're working with a budget in mind, remember that repainting is the easiest way to change the look of any space.

Photographed by Ocs Alvarez (main article photo).

Read the original article ("The Finishing Touches") in the December 2005 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to for more details. 

Outdoor Finishes

Wall Bricks and Veneers

Brick has this certain characteristic that makes it a favorite material for homeowners who want their house to be warm and inviting. Especially for exteriors, they create an interesting look—a cross between traditional and modern. A good idea for your exterior renovation would be to use bricks for just a few of the exterior columns or as facing for specific areas of your exterior wall. Don’t go overboard and cover the whole house with bricks

Exterior-Grade Paint

The easiest way to freshen up the look of your home from the outside is with a new paint job. First, you must decide on what new color to use for your exterior. This is a crucial decision because this will create the most impact on what your home looks like and what personality it projects. Many modern homes are painted  in Mediterranean-style shades of orange, terracotta, or yellow, or you can go for the more minimalist shades of white and off-white. But if you want a different look, you can find the color of your choice at paint-mixing stations at various hardware stores. They’ll even let you give them the specific color you want and they’ll find the closest match in their existing catalogue. 

Stone Veneers

This is probably the most expensive material on this list but it can make the most difference in the facade of your home. If you want a distinct rustic look to  your home’s exterior, this is the finish for you. If you don’t have enough resources, what you can do is limit the use of this material for only small specific areas to accent your exterior facing. The finished product will far outweigh the small dent in your budget. Also, recent styles are quite realistic, maintenance-free, and easy to install.

Concrete Paving Stones

These are practical, flexible, durable, and inexpensive alternatives to cobblestone and will make your exteriors look put together. They can instantly accent your yard or garden and you don’t need any major landscaping. You can install them yourself; just follow the instructions provided by the supplier. 

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