Well, I'm proud to report our shed is looking a little less shoddy these days. After all, this is what used to greet us when we pulled into the driveway of our new home.

A couple weekends ago my parents were in town visiting, and true to his word, my Dad gave us a huge hand with the shed project. (Not to mention, my parents were able to help us out with a short list of other nagging items and upgrades, like dividing and replanting a bunch of items in the garden.)

As we previously detailed, Alex and I spent a frenzied evening a few days before their visit trying to beat a rain storm in order to get the shed prepped, trimmed out, and ready for my parents' arrival. 

As luck wouldn't have it, the weather wasn't cooperating again the weekend they were in town, so we needed to work quickly as it looked like storms were rolling in. My Dad started by giving the shed a light once over with the orbital sander to knock off any loose and flaking paint. He also wiped it down to remove any dirt and bugs that had accumulated over the, I don't know, 20 years since it was likely last painted.

While he worked on the cleaning I removed the rusted and sad looking hinges and took off the doors to the shed. 

Since we're trying to reserve money for other projects, I opted to give the hardware a good sanding and apply a coat of oil rubbed bronze spray paint rather than invest in a new set of hardware. 

With these two steps underway, we were ready to begin priming. I started cutting in while my Dad rolled behind me. The shed sucked up an incredible amount of primer, and before long, we had gone through our one and only gallon. 

Unfortunately running out to the home improvement store isn't as convenient as it is in the city, so my parents offered to make the hour round trip trek while Alex and I stayed back to continue working on projects (like getting a "working" toilet in the house, you know, the little luxuries in life). 

When they returned with paint and supplies we got back to it. Rain was still closing in on us and the temperatures were dropping, but we felt like we could get enough knocked out and dry before the skies opened up.

In our race against the weather, we also had to fix up the doors we had removed from the front of the shed. The years of exposure had left the bottom of the door trim warped and rotten, so Alex and my dad removed those battered lower pieces and replaced them with new trim. This picture really shows what bad shape they were in.

While they worked on the doors, I finished priming and began painting. My Dad then joined me back on the painting crew and we split up the rolling/cutting in work. We were back in a groove and making quick work of it.

No sooner than we had just finished rolling the paint onto the entire shed than the first sprinkles started to hit the ground. I was a little panicked, worried our hard work hadn't had enough time to dry and the paint would end up running all down the sides of the shed, but we all crossed our fingers, hoped the wind was calm enough to keep the rain from hitting the freshly painted areas, and wished that the paint had enough time to dry before the rains left their mark.

Well, it rained, and it rained, and it rained some more the rest of the afternoon, evening, and night. But lucky for us, the shed was dry enough before the rain really got heavy, and it was in good shape the next day when we went out to inspect the damage. Seriously, what is it with rain and painting projects lately? 

After breathing a huge sigh of relief, we were able to wrap up the final details including reattaching the doors and hardware. 

The good news is that we had gorgeous weather while installing the doors. Figures!

Reattaching everything was easy with two people, and took less than 20 minutes.

So we stepped back and took in the new and improved shed. Here's a look at the shed now, in all its glory.

It's amazing what a little prep, some new trim, and a fresh coat of paint can do to transform an eyesore. While I loved the ideas left in the comments about painting it an earth tone hue to blend into the neighboring trees, we decided to stick with our original plan of mirroring the house color scheme (in large part because we already had paint on hand we color matched to the house's shade of white). I also decided that it was best to just keep it simple. While painting the doors Wythe Blue to match the house's front door would have been a nice accent, I didn't want to call more attention to the shed. 

Overall I'm thrilled that for a weekend's work and about $125 in supplies, we have a shed that not only looks better but will likely last longer now that it's better protected from the elements. I've also started playing around with a few plantings. The larger bush that's seen in a few of the pictures was intended to go on the corner, except when my Dad started to dig the hole for it we hit several substantial tree roots. Knowing that such a large plant wouldn't work, I turned to Plan B. That bush is now planted in the garden and since then I've been working to divide and transplant a few existing plants that we inherited from the previous owner. They look a little small and sad now, but I'm hoping they might take and turn into a better layer of disguise for the uneven surface after a little time and a lot of TLC.

I'd be remiss if I didn't extend a huge thanks to my Dad for all his time and efforts on the shed, as well as to my Mom who spent the weekend to help tame the unruly garden, as well as painting the laundry room and office doors in Wythe Blue as well. Now all three doors that face the brick courtyard/garden area at the front of the home are all consistent. 

While the inside of the house is still a disaster between the lack of plumbing, our paused renovation of the living room, and now the demolition of all radiators in every room in preparation for the HVAC work, it's so nice to see the outside coming together, bit by bit. While it's a reminder that things will happen slowly, and will take a substantial amount of effort, even for the small items, It gives me a glimmer of hope that one day the house will be what we want it to be.

Oh, and we also have news on our osprey neighbors, Ben and Sally. 

Sally has been extremely vocal lately, and spending a lot of time in the nest. We believe she probably has some eggs in the nest and if we're lucky we'll see and hear some babies in the next couple of weeks. Fingers crossed on that one.

Comments 11


5/21/2015 at 3:23 PM

Is there any concern about lead paint? Or wood garage door is flaking and I'd like to scrape and paint but am worried about lead.

It looks great!


No, we weren't worried about lead paint in this case, Emily. While we don't have an exact year on when the shed was constructed and painted, it's unlikely it dates back to 1978 (or earlier). If you're concerned about it for your garage door, you can always pick up an inexpensive home testing kit at your local home improvement store (or hire a company to do the testing). Then you'll know for sure what you're dealing with. Good luck!

Margaret Schleicher Bjorklund
5/21/2015 at 4:24 PM
Enjoyed your tale as usual. Strange spring weather!

Strange spring weather indeed!Alt smile

5/21/2015 at 4:38 PM

I don't think I have commented yet but I want to say I absolutely love your blog and homes. I check it everyday. I found myself about to click on the blog today thinking "I don't know what I'm going to do with myself if they still haven't posted anything new..." and Ta Da there it was. Thank you! The shed looks awesome! My husband and I are in the middle of turning our shed into a studio for me, so to see the easy paint job you did gives me ideas.


Thank you so much, Kimberly! We really appreciate hearing that.Alt smile It's so nice to know that people are interested in what we're doing...and are reading along. Good luck with your shed/studio project!

5/22/2015 at 7:48 AM

It looks great! Painting is the kiss of death around here too. I seem to avoid rain, but on the days I want to paint, it seems like we always have a unusually low temperature that will mess with the paint curing. Arg!


Thanks, Stacy! Haha. I suppose if we need rain or cooler temperatures this summer, we should start a new painting project.Alt smile

Ursula Ellis
5/22/2015 at 2:05 PM

Truly an amazing transformation! Great work. Your blog always gives me hope that we can turn some of our long-delayed projects around.

5/23/2015 at 1:29 PM

Maybe just a tiny touch of blue, in the triangle space above the doors? A simple line design, not your initial say, but something classic or area related. (Leaf, shell, medallion).
Thanks for sharing your adventures--good and not-so-good ones!

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