Our Front Of Home Makeover

A 1930s Home Makeover

It feels like such a long time since I last wrote properly about any of our home projects. It’s not because we haven’t been doing anything, more because I keep waiting for some kind of definitive finishing point before writing. One of the biggest projects we’ve undertaken this year is now finally done and I’m so excited to share it with you right here. First of all, here is a little reminder of what the house looked like when we bought it:

Our current windows

Some of you may know that back in the summer (which feels like such a long time ago), scaffolding went up around the front and side of our home. When we moved in in February 2014, it was at the end of an exceptionally wet winter. There were huge damp patches under the landing window on the first floor and also on the second floor, caused by structural cracks on the side of the house. There was no denying it was in pretty poor condition.

After spending our first winter here in the coldest conditions, we decided last year to focus on keeping heat in and improving the curb appeal became a by-product. We started with new windows across the front of the house and yes, they are PVC. But I was determined to keep them as sympathetic as I could to the style of the house and coupled with plantation shutters which followed later last year, it’s made all the difference.

Next on the agenda was our front door. Oh, the front door. We replaced the light and number very quickly on moving in because the old ones were hideous but the front door has been the most epic of sagas. To cut a long story short, right after we moved in we found the front door of our dreams but it also came a a price that was well beyond anything we could dream of. Fast forward two years and despite scouring the entire country (or at least, that’s what it felt like), we hadn’t seen a front door that even came close to the one we wanted and so managed to save up enough pennies to go ahead, only to find the company had gone bust.

A narrow escape but back to the drawing board and so we decided to use the money to get the house re-rendered, conscious that the cracks on the side would only hold for so long. A depressingly wet June saw the scaffolding go up, the rendering stripped back and then nothing, not a thing, for 4 long weeks. The rain lashed our unprotected home and the stress felt never-ending.


Eventually though, the sun came out and the rendering completed along with new downpipes and fascias, painted hanging tiles and a beautiful white coat. One of our last remaining projects to be done are replacing the hopper heads and I love the look of cast iron hopper heads. The hanging tiles didn’t go quite to plan as the grey we chose for them was far too light, so armed with a spare weekend and a B&Q at hand, Pete and I scaled the scaffolding and set about repainting the hanging tiles in dark grey and knew as soon as we saw it that it was the right decision.

Finally, all that was left was the front door conundrum. In the end, we decided to tackle a makeover. We replaced the glass in the panel at the side to rid ourselves of the horrible leaded leaf pattern and then began the painstaking process of stripping and sanding, stripping and sanding. This took months of weekends, as it would do when 80 years of paint upon paint upon paint need to be removed. It was a worthwhile project though as we began the painting process and watched our front door transform from one we couldn’t stand to one we now really love. Instead of spending £4,000 on our front door, we spent about £200 for the paint and replacing all the door furniture.

I still can’t quite believe that this is our home, one that looks so very different to the house we bought. There are still little bits and pieces I’d love to tinker with, it would be wonderful to train a plant of some sort up and around the door and eventually try to add a little bit of front garden (all that we have out of the picture is a double car driveway which of course is handy in London but not the most attractive).

For now though, I’m done with the front of our home and so very proud. It’s taken us a while and hasn’t been cheap but in my humble opinion we’ve taken an ugly duckling and turned it into a swan.

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  1. December 7, 2016 / 8:25 pm

    You really have made a good job of this Lins. It is gorgeous now. I wouldn’t worry about a front garden for now. With pots and plants, you can have a lovely display AND change the colour to suit what you like.

    • Lins
      December 7, 2016 / 10:13 pm

      Thank you so much Fionnuala, we’re so delighted with how it’s all turned out. Yes you’re very right – pots and plants would be a good step I think to give it a bit of life but it does feel like such a smart house now for sure 🙂 X

    • Lynne Hinchliffe
      March 3, 2023 / 5:07 pm

      Hi where did you get these tiles from please?

      • Lins
        March 5, 2023 / 5:52 pm

        Hi Lynne, I’m not sure if you mean the tiles on the front of the house? They were part of the original build in the 1930s 🙂

  2. December 8, 2016 / 11:18 am

    This looks so amazing! What a great job x #HomeEtc

    • Lins
      January 1, 2017 / 10:05 pm

      Thank you Becky, we’re really over the moon with it. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year X

  3. December 8, 2016 / 3:06 pm

    Lins it looks gorgeous I love the style and colour and the windows look great, they are exactly what I would choose, and whilst wooden is great we have had wood windows and they take a lot of looking after x

    • Lins
      January 1, 2017 / 10:15 pm

      Thanks so much Sarah, it was hard to see the bigger picture in the beginning but little by little it all started falling into place. Happy New Year! X

  4. Lucy
    December 13, 2016 / 8:21 am

    What a fantastic makeover, your home looks so smart and inviting!

    • Lins
      January 1, 2017 / 9:45 pm

      Thank you so much Lucy and lovely to hear from you, are you back now or just dipping your toe in and out? A Happy New Year Xx

      • Lucy
        January 16, 2017 / 12:22 pm

        I want to say I’m back properly but nervous of stating something and falling again, aaargh! Really enjoying following all your updates 🙂 xx

        • Lins
          January 19, 2017 / 10:49 pm

          Ahh thank you so much, well just take it easy and see how you feel 🙂 Xx

  5. December 13, 2016 / 11:49 am

    It looks a million dollars Lins (apt as you’re in Nova Yorkie at the mo!!!)! What a difference — painting the tiles grey has made the world of difference. You must be absolutely thrilled to bits! Wishing you a very merry Christmas — look forward to seeing you for more #HomeEtc next year!! xx

    • Lins
      January 1, 2017 / 9:44 pm

      Gosh it’s a sign of the times when I’m finally catching up with last year’s comments on the first day of 2017! Thank you so much for all the love and support in 2016 and looking forward to being back with more home projects in 2017!! X

  6. diane jones
    February 4, 2017 / 9:21 am

    Your house looks fabulous. Just wondering did you use masonry paint on the bay tiles. I have red tiles at the mo but really want to paint them black

    • Lins
      February 5, 2017 / 2:14 pm

      Thanks so much Diane, yes we used a masonry paint from Valspar which is available at B&Q. They turned out really well! X

      • May 8, 2018 / 9:07 am

        hi the wall tiles look great im going to do mine, did you use a undercoat or just paint straight on them with the colour?

        • Lins
          May 8, 2018 / 8:48 pm

          Thanks so much! It’s probably worth doing an undercoat, we actually did the wrong grey originally (it was too light) so that kind of acted as an undercoat for the correct one. Good luck!

  7. March 31, 2017 / 10:09 am

    wow!!!! your home front end looking cool ha!!

  8. Joy Hickman
    June 20, 2017 / 1:46 pm

    Hi could you tell me what paint you have used for the hanging tile?

    • Lins
      June 20, 2017 / 6:35 pm

      Hi Joy, thanks so much for getting in touch. Absolutely it’s a Valspar masonry paint from B&Q in colour ‘carriage grey’. Don’t hesitate to ask if you have any further questions X

      • Nasreen
        May 23, 2022 / 7:18 am

        Hi Lins and partner

        Nice project I’m currently been renovating my house especially with lock down as working from home.
        I’m looking to do something with my outdoor tiles and saw that you painted yours. How is the tile paint now that it’s been 7 years. Did the B&q tile exterior paint need redoing and if yes. How often. Also is your project on Facebook?

      • Amrit
        August 19, 2022 / 9:25 am

        i am going to be starting a renovation Feb 2023! Think this might be an option for me too as removing and replacing the tiles may end up being very expensive. Thank you for the colour! did you have to clean the tiles or any prep before hand?

        • Lins
          August 21, 2022 / 4:23 pm

          Good luck! No cleaning, just removing any flaking paint, moss etc.

  9. Pam Farman
    October 16, 2017 / 6:35 pm

    Hi, love the colour of your front door, could you tell me the make & colour please?

    • Lins
      October 16, 2017 / 8:27 pm

      Thanks so much Pam, it’s Dulux exterior woodwork and the colour is Gallant Grey. Hope that helps! X

  10. Stephanie Larbey
    February 18, 2018 / 8:52 am

    Lovely transformation! Can I ask what paint you used for the front door and hanging tiles? X

    • Lins
      February 20, 2018 / 9:54 pm

      Thank you so much Stephanie! The door paint is a Dulux exterior wood in Gallant Grey and the hanging tiles we painted in Valspar masonry paint, I think the colour was called Carriage Grey Xx

  11. Paul Harrison
    March 4, 2018 / 12:37 pm

    Wow! We bought a similar 1930’s semi detached last year and have been looking for ideas to make the front of our home better. I have to say yours is one of, if not the best we have come across! We’re most definitely gonna take inspiration from your lovely abode. We really like the casement windows u’ve installed. That’ll be one of our things to get done. Our house has the same late early 90s double glazing yours came with. How long did it take to install?



    • Lins
      March 6, 2018 / 10:54 am

      Hi Paul, thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment! It’s funny, we started with the windows since we endured one winter with the older style and it was SO COLD. But then once we did the windows it really showed up the rest of the house, so it made sense to keep going on that project.

      The windows were fine actually, I think it took about 10-12 week for them to be made once ordered (from memory) but the installation was done across two days. SO so pleased with them.


  12. Shannon
    June 9, 2018 / 12:49 pm


    Love the whole design! We are looking to get our windows done in a similar pattern to yours. If you don’t mind me asking who installed yours?


    • Lins
      June 13, 2018 / 11:21 pm

      Hi Shannon thanks so much! We used a company local to SE London called The Window Clinic and cannot rate them highly enough.

  13. Michael
    July 17, 2018 / 8:00 pm

    Just wanted to say what a great job you guys have done! Did you have to prepare the tiles before painting them and how do they look now? (Have they lasted well)

    • Lins
      July 23, 2018 / 11:06 pm

      Hi Michael, thanks so much for your comment! The tiles did actually have a coat of the wrong paint before we corrected them so I suppose that acts like a primer of sorts. But they’ve lasted brilliantly.

  14. Melanie Brzonkalik
    August 9, 2018 / 12:43 am

    Hi there
    Can I ask did you paint the tiles above the bay window? Or did you replace with grey tiles? Sorry if I’ve missed this somewhere!

    • Lins
      August 16, 2018 / 10:33 pm

      Hi Melanie, thanks so much for your message, we painted these using a Valspar exterior paint. Hope that helps X

  15. scott calver
    September 3, 2018 / 5:12 pm

    hi there ,what was the colour in the vesper range you used please.

    • Lins
      September 23, 2018 / 9:32 pm

      Hi Scott, the colour was called Carriage Wheel, hope that helps!

  16. Lindsay
    October 27, 2018 / 9:44 pm

    Hi, I really love the transformation of the front of your house. Can you tell me how you painted the tiles? Was it with a wide brush or a spray?
    Many thanks.

    • Lins
      October 28, 2018 / 8:47 pm

      Hi Lindsay, thanks so much for your comment! I just used a regular paint brush, it took a fair while but was worth it! Hope that helps X

  17. Emily
    January 11, 2019 / 10:49 pm

    Wow! This is the best transformation I’ve seen of this type!!
    I know you painted the hanging tiles (this is what I was looking for inspiration with, so thank you!) But did you also paint the porch roof tiles? Or did you replace them with grey tiles?
    Thank you! X

    • Lins
      January 12, 2019 / 3:20 pm

      Oh thank you so much EMily, that’s really kind of you to say. We’re definitely over the moon with it! We painted the porch roof tiles too, same colour as the hanging tiles around the bay window X

  18. Cath Navarro
    February 8, 2019 / 10:24 am

    Love what you’ve done with the front of your house. Do you remember what paint you used on your bay tiles. It’s exactly what I’m after.

    • Lins
      February 11, 2019 / 9:22 am

      Hi Cath thanks so much! Absolutely it was a Valspar paint from B&Q (specialising the exterior/masonry rather than interior) and I think it was called Carriage Wheel.

  19. Cath
    February 11, 2019 / 9:42 am

    Hi Lins, thank you What did you use for your render?

    • Lins
      February 25, 2019 / 1:22 am

      Hi Cath, this was actually done by our builders so I’m afraid I can’t help with that one specifically X

  20. Karen
    February 19, 2019 / 10:00 pm

    Looks fab. One question, the hanging wall tiles are they standing the test of time? I have the top half of my house which I’d like to paint but not sure if it’s worth the effort I’d it doesn’t last and needs touching up.

    • Lins
      February 25, 2019 / 1:19 am

      Hi Karen thank you so much for your message! Yes absolutely, we did this back in 2016 and it looks as good as new 🙂 Hope that helps! X

  21. Jan
    March 8, 2019 / 4:08 am

    Hi, looks amazing, exactly the type of transformation we are looking at doing. Bit of a strange one but have you had any comments from other residents on your street or neighbours either side of you? I know I shouldn’t as we don’t need any permission but I am wary/anxious of what they may think when we do ours? All the houses on our Walk have the same old 1970s frontage and we’ve modernised the majority of the inside over the last 18 years we’ve been here. This is the only thing that’s been putting us off doing it…what would the neighbours say? X

    • Lins
      June 3, 2019 / 8:06 am

      Hi Jan, thank you so much for your comment and I’m sorry for the delay in replying! Actually whilst the houses are all of a similar style on our road, most of them have some kind of adjustments/differences like having changed the windows, changed the doors etc so they’re not all completely uniform. We do have a great relationship with both sets of neighbours which probably helps but no, it hasn’t had an impact on the character of the street X

  22. Lesley
    April 29, 2019 / 5:32 pm

    Can’t believe the vast difference in prices down south to here in the East Midlands. £4,000 would get a couple of doors and most of the windows required

    • Lins
      April 29, 2019 / 9:35 pm

      It’s absolutely mad isn’t it? The same when we look in estate agents windows in other parts of the country and think about how much more space we could have. Although we don’t really need it but yes, when you get used to prices down here everything else seems so reasonable!

  23. David
    August 8, 2019 / 7:47 pm

    Stumbled across this when looking for tips on painting tiles. The house looks great!

    Bless you for your patience in answering the same question over and over again. I’m going to pick up the same colour as you and paint my tiles.

    I don’t need to ask what colour it is since I read the comments lol


    • Lins
      August 9, 2019 / 10:48 am

      Oh thanks so much David and good luck with your project!

  24. James
    September 16, 2019 / 4:34 pm

    An amazing transformation! Can I ask the rough costs to strip, render & paint?

    • Lins
      September 22, 2019 / 6:38 pm

      Thanks James, to be honest I can’t remember exactly as it was a few years ago and we did some of the work ourselves. Maybe around £5-£6k? A lot depends though on the work you need doing and where you live – everything is much more expensive in London #sigh

  25. Nicole
    October 13, 2019 / 5:08 pm

    Hi, I’m wondering did you paint the lead flashing around the top of the bay tiles? If so what with/colour?

    • Lins
      October 13, 2019 / 9:36 pm

      Hi! Yes we painted them just with a black paint suitable for metal – you can also use the same paint for cast iron drainpipes too. Hope that helps 🙂

  26. Emma Croucher
    March 28, 2020 / 7:15 am

    What a fantastic job!! Well done, could I ask how much paint it took to paint the tiles? We’re looking to do it to the front of our house and porch. But with the current situation we won’t be able to go into a shop to enquire. Thank you

    • Lins
      March 29, 2020 / 6:07 pm

      Thank you so much for the comment. I think maybe a 2.5l tin, to be honest it was so long ago I can’t actually remember! We also had effectively a primer coat because I didn’t like the grey that we painted first, so you’ll need two coats. But a 2.5l tin should be ok.

  27. Lauren
    April 21, 2020 / 3:02 pm

    Hiya, I love what you have done! Could you tell me what you used for the black edging around the bay tiles?
    Thanks x

    • Lins
      April 30, 2020 / 12:55 pm

      Hi Lauren, thanks so much for the message. It’s just a black metal paint since the flashing is made of lead, I think ours may be a Hammerite one. Hope that helps! X

  28. Katrina
    April 23, 2020 / 7:24 am

    Hi, really love this transformation. Will hopefully be painting our 60s tiles this year. Can I ask if the paint colour has run at all onto the white windows when it’s rained over the years? This is the only thing I’m a little worried about. Many thanks

    • Lins
      April 30, 2020 / 12:54 pm

      Hi Katrina, thanks so much for your message. No, it’s outdoor masonry paint so it’s designed to be long-lasting and withstand any types of weather conditions. Hope that helps!

  29. tracey bragg
    May 6, 2020 / 8:02 am

    I was looking what to
    Do with our hanging tiles as we are having the windows sprayed and I’m now going to ask him to spray them dark grey so thank you as I wasn’t sure you could paint them. Our house is very similar style to yours and you have done an amazing job well done

    • Lins
      May 6, 2020 / 9:57 pm

      I’m so glad it’s provided inspiration for your project!

  30. Noemí
    June 2, 2020 / 11:00 pm

    What a beautiful transformation! It’s exactly what I’m after! Can I ask for the name and brand of the white paint on the render? I also have red brick on the ground floor and sandstone render at the top. I’m struggling to find a colour to modernise the render which doesn’t clash with the red brick and yet looks good next to white windows.

    • Lins
      June 3, 2020 / 12:38 pm

      Hello Noemi, thank you so much for your kind comment. I’m ever so sorry but unfortunately I don’t know about the render as our builders sourced and completed that section. Good luck with your project!

  31. iolo Griffith
    June 17, 2020 / 9:41 am

    Hi, I’m looking to paint our bay window tiles, could you tell me what kind of prep work is needed and what kind of paint you used to do this. Yours looks amazing and we want the same kind of effect as I can’t stand the red finish on ours at present. Many thanks

  32. Rachel Barling
    July 15, 2020 / 5:55 pm

    Firstly can I say that you have done a superb job with this make-over. I also am interested in the ‘painting’ of the Bay hanging tiles. I have just has a builder over to quote replacing or having render done but I am at sixes and sevens as to what to do to compliment the rest of the house. I love the idea of painting them but hadn’t considered that as an option … well I am now! Mine are brown on a 70s ugly as house!! Could you let me know what prep work you did … clean? undercoat? two top coats? Google search isn’t throwing up much. I assume any good quality masonary paint will do the trick?
    Many thanks and congratulations on your make-over… I do love a 30s house!
    Kind reagrds,
    Rachel B

    • Lins
      July 16, 2020 / 10:42 pm

      Hi Rachel,
      Thank you so much for the message! Yes, just a simple clean to get rid of any moss is fine, although I will caveat that by saying ours were in pretty good condition so I think a lot would depend on that. Then we have used two coats of masonry paint from the Valspar range at B&Q, you can get it mixed to any colour you want. It was done in 2016 and still holding up just fine. Hope hat helps!

  33. Barry
    March 20, 2021 / 7:39 am

    Would you be able to let me know what you used to paint/treat the flashing above your painted tiles or was this replaced?

    Our flashing is looking rather weathered and I would like to paint it but fear any paint will flake off over time. Also intend to paint our tile a dark grey and want the flashing to compliment it.

    I hope you can help


    • Lins
      March 21, 2021 / 5:17 pm

      hi Barry, sure we just used a paint suitable for metal since it’s lead flashing, the kind of stuff you would use to paint railings or cast iron drainpipes. Worked really well!

      • Barry
        March 25, 2021 / 5:01 pm

        That’s good to know, I’ve seen many people say not to paint flashing as it’s likely to peel off.
        I assume yours is still looking good?

  34. Paul Paton
    March 31, 2021 / 12:49 pm

    HI, Looks great!

    Do you know the tiles used. we have to replace some before we work so need some replacements.


    • Lins
      April 5, 2021 / 4:18 pm

      Hi, thank you! I’m afraid not, these I believe are the originals from when the houses were built and we haven’t needed to replace any. Good luck!

  35. Helen
    April 1, 2021 / 10:10 pm

    We have been thinking about changing the front of our 1930’s semi as don’t like brick work and your transformation. is amazing. I am looking for a porch canopy shaped like yours but they are either flat or too pointed. Was yours an original feature or do you know where I could source one please? many thanks

    • Lins
      April 5, 2021 / 4:17 pm

      Hi I’m really sorry but it was here when we moved in, I think it’s probably an original feature from when the houses were built. Sorry I can’t be more use and good luck 🙂

  36. Nasreen
    October 19, 2021 / 9:43 am

    Hi Lins and partner

    Nice project I’m currently been renovating my house especially with lock down as working from home.
    I’m looking to do something with my outdoor tiles and saw that you painted yours. How is the tile paint now that it’s been 7 years. Did the B&q tile exterior paint need redoing and if yes. How often. Also is your project on Facebook?

    • Lins
      November 14, 2021 / 1:25 pm

      Hi Nasreen, thank you for your message. It still looks as good as new and we haven’t had to re-do it or touch it up 🙂 I’d definitely recommend it!

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