Sarah and I have been working for the past couple of days on the exterior of our house. We're getting ready to paint, so that means lots of scraping, sanding, spackling, and swearing. Now, however, we need your help.

We're going to paint the house a combination of blue, yellow, and purple. The majority of the house will be a flat, blue that is darker than the current blue, but not anywhere near as dark as navy blue. Much of the white trim that isn't around the windows will become yellow. The soffits will stay white as we're going to cover them with aluminum soffits once we're done painting. The window trim will stay white as that's aluminum trim, as well. The front door will become purple, and the garage door may become purple and yellow, or purple and blue, or purple and blue and yellow. There is an accent panel on the front of the house that previously was a dark blue. The dark blue accented nicely with the light blue and white that covered the rest of the house. The panel was covered in one coat of blue paint that was starting to flake badly. Rather than scrape the whole panel, we got out the drill and a sanding disc. After an standing for an hour or so in a cloud of sawdust, we removed most of the paint from the panel.

Now the question is whether or not we should paint or stain that panel. My initial thought was that if we were going through all the trouble of removing the paint down to the wood that we should stain it. However, now that all the paint is off, I'm leaning back towards priming the wood and painting it purple.

On the other hand, one of our neighbors walked by this morning and suggested that it would look really good if it were stained because it would look quite nice with the stone underneath and the garden in front.

So, we need your opinions. Should we paint or stain the panel on the front of the house? There are some photos in the gallery to give you an idea of what it looks like in its raw form with the garden in bloom.

When you've made up your mind, e-mail us and let us know what you think.