Let's Paint the Barn Red!

4 Days
Our barn is prominent in the view out of the picture windows, and while it didn't look bad, it was lacking in the barn appeal department. And really, what other color do you paint a barn besides red?
Before: barn prep and paint samples
One of the reason's we bought our house and property is because it had a barn. I wish I could take you through our thought process on this one, because we didn't have livestock and we weren't planning on getting any, either. It was more like - "How awesome would it be to have a barn?!" which is probably not the way to buy a house. The previous owners didn't have horses either, and most of the corral fencing has fallen down, but they had re-sided the barn when they bought the house and cleaned it all out. In truth, it's really just used as a glorified shed for now, but that doesn't mean it needs to look like one.

It's pretty prominent in the view out of the picture windows, and while it didn't look bad, it was lacking in the barn appeal department. And really, what other color do you paint a barn besides red?
Inspiration: Red and white house in Kristians
I have long been enamored with photos of little stugas in Sweden, and fell in love with Falu red for the color. It's a naturally occurring pigment left after production of copper, and named after a famous mine in Sweden called the Falun mine. You can actually try to import the paint, but I can just imagine my dear husband's face if I ran that idea past the budget committee. But after a lengthy Google search, I ran across the recommendation of a Sherwin-Williams paint named Vermillion. I got a sample pot of that along with a pint of B-M called Million Dollar Red and used some of the left-over paint from the playhouse trim to see how they looked on the barn. The playhouse color was a little too raspberry in a big area, and the Million Dollar Red looked remarkably like tomato soup, but we really liked the Vermillion red. And Sherwin-Williams has a store right in downtown, and they were having a sale on their exterior paints. Excellent! We chose their Resilience paint - it was still getting cold at night, and it guarantees its application as low as 35 degrees. We needed six gallons, so at $62.00 a gallon, their 30% off sale was a big savings.
The barn paint was in pretty good condition, so my husband mostly had to give it a good power wash to get it ready. He took down the downspouts and swept the roof, removed the sliding barn door and hardware for me to paint. He bought a sprayer last summer to paint the back of the carport, and so he was familiar with using that. In theory you should use a primer, but our paint was in great shape, and we knew with the red that we would need to do two coats anyway so he went straight to painting.
The dog got surprisingly less red paint on him than you might have guessed!
I stuck with the lower painting!
My favorite-ever-after!
It took about three full 8-hour days to get it finished and back together, so it really took us about two week-ends to complete. But worth it? I'll say. It looks so beautiful. I don't know about you, but I'm often not confident about my paint colors and have had to repaint a room more than once. But on this occasion, we got it exactly right. I'm not sure the photos do it justice - it is rich and lovely and works so well against the green of the evergreens surrounding it. We've had endless sun this summer and it looks fantastic bathed in sunlight, but I'm also looking forward to that beautiful pop of color on the grey and rainy days that will be sure to come this winter. And can you imagine how it will look in snow? Just lovely.

I can't think the last time we made such a difference to the house for only $285.00. Honestly, we can't stop looking at it, and I'm sure we sound a little nutty with how often we stop to admire it. Don't you love it when a DIY project turns out even better than you hoped?

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