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Light at the End of the Tunnel

October 15th, 2013

We’re so close to getting the garage/barn painted, so very close.  Most likely I’ll spend most of today putting an extra coat of paint on much of the trim, the upstairs window and doing a few touch ups.  We have invested hours and hours of time painting this beast of a building.
Most people gave us a crazy look when we said we were going to paint it black, but we were inspired by black barns we have seen in our travels.
garage  1
Unfortunatly the projest isn’t 100% complete and won’t be until next year. On the back of the barn there’s a lean to that has a clear plastic roof (well, it’s so old it’s no longer clear). It needs replaced, but we don’t have time to do it now. We also can’t reach the upper middle portion of the main wall with the roof in place. We painted much of the back of the barn, but some of that painting will have to wait until next spring when we have the time to replace the roof.
garage  2
But we got 80% of it finished. Luckily all the parts we can see from the house are done. Originally I thought about painting the door to the side room a different color, but I didn’t feel like buying more paint. I may do it next spring though. I was thinking bright yellow, robin’s egg blue or maybe a limey green for the door.

If you had to choose a color to compliment a black/white building what would you choose?

31 Comments to “Light at the End of the Tunnel”
  1. Jaye on October 15, 2013 at 5:53 am

    While red is my favorite color, I like the “limey green” idea, it would really pop and be different.

    Barn looks GREAT! I love the black and white and haven’t seen it before. Is that The Sweets in front?

    Reply to Jaye's comment

    • Susy on October 15, 2013 at 8:25 am

      That is the sweets, she loves the new look of her home!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  2. Adelina Anderson on October 15, 2013 at 6:25 am

    I am a sucker for yellow! Painted my front door a bright yellow. Such a welcoming color.

    Reply to Adelina Anderson's comment

  3. Lisa on October 15, 2013 at 6:40 am

    Sage green, The black barn looks fabulous.

    Reply to Lisa's comment

  4. Susie on October 15, 2013 at 7:12 am

    It looks great. Looks like a DARK GRAY to me. WONDERFUL.

    Reply to Susie's comment

    • Susy on October 15, 2013 at 8:26 am

      Yes, I suppose in photos it can be tough to get true black without losing too much detail, I suppose it might look gray in photos, but in person it’s definitely black, especially when the light is good. One of my other friends though it was purple at first.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  5. Canned Quilter on October 15, 2013 at 7:44 am

    Love that black and my vote is yellow for that door : )

    Reply to Canned Quilter's comment

  6. Natasha on October 15, 2013 at 8:32 am

    I vote for limey green. The barn looks fantastic!

    Reply to Natasha's comment

  7. Nebraska Dave on October 15, 2013 at 8:50 am

    Susy, it really looks good but I’m still trying to wrap my head around a black barn/garage/workshop. Here in Nebraska they are traditionally red with red trim. Yeah, not really to creative. Sadly the barns are slowly becoming in worse shape than yours due to the large scale farming. Farms keep getting bigger and the buildings for small farms that have been bought by large scale farmers are deteriorating in place. Contractors will buy the barns for the wood and make indoor paneling for upscale houses in the city. Other barns as well as homestead houses become practice for rural fire departments.

    It’s feels good to get a big project completed doesn’t it. Hopefully, I can get my fence completed soon. I’m almost back to the point before the van skidding through it. One more day and it will be back to where it was a month ago. But then garden cleanup has to begin. Today is the first frost day for my area. It doesn’t look like frost just yet but soon.

    Have a great day in the Maine fall weather.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  8. Misti on October 15, 2013 at 9:13 am

    I told you I mentioned your barn to my husband, we had just drove past a new house which I think looks similar to ours as it has a metal roof as well, and it was painted a very nice sage-green color. I thought it would look great when we painted our house which needs to happen in the next year. First up are a variety of smaller projects though, including redoing our laundry room.

    Reply to Misti's comment

  9. Johanna on October 15, 2013 at 9:16 am

    I love how there are always kitties in your barn photos :). I’d go with the robin’s egg blue for the door.

    Reply to Johanna's comment

    • Susy on October 15, 2013 at 11:01 am

      The black on is “The Sweets” she is our little feral cat and this is her home. The other cats are pretty much indoor cats that spend some time outside.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  10. DebbieB on October 15, 2013 at 10:42 am

    Wow, it looks terrific! Very elegant, yet practical. I like the suggestions of sage green for the door – that would look great.

    Reply to DebbieB's comment

  11. amy on October 15, 2013 at 10:52 am

    The barn looks spectacular! I love paint :) For your money’s worth it does more to spruce up.. than about anything else. I vote for Robin’s egg blue.

    Reply to amy's comment

  12. Angela on October 15, 2013 at 11:16 am

    My house is dark grey,( almost black) with white trim, and my door is egg yolk yellow. I get MANY MANY compliments on it! I vote for yellow!

    Reply to Angela's comment

  13. Tammey on October 15, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    LOVE the black barn…Limey green!

    Reply to Tammey's comment

  14. Myra S. on October 15, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    Love the black barn! The white trim sets it off. Aren’t you glad you have projects that can’t be completed in a short amount of time? What would there be to look forward to if everything was done quickly? And easily… well, maybe easily. :)

    Reply to Myra S.'s comment

  15. kelly on October 15, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Are you going to put a barn quilt on it? That would be sooo cool!

    Reply to kelly's comment

  16. Susan Ingle on October 15, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    I love the black barn too. I first saw them in Kentucky at those huge horse farms….miles of painted white fences and black barns. I thought it was striking and I think your barn is too! I vote for whatever door color floats your boat and makes you smile. There is a group here in NC that paints quilt squares to put on barns/sheds/outbuildings of all kinds. Usually they are 2 feet square and if you want a quilt it is usually 4 feet square and consists of 4 blocks.

    Reply to Susan Ingle's comment

    • Susy on October 15, 2013 at 7:39 pm

      Those quilts sound interesting, I think I’ve seen them before in my travels. I’ll have to google them to look at a few pictures.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  17. Wendy on October 15, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Love the black with the white trim–I’d go
    with the lime green or robin’s egg blue for the door. Looks great–what a huge project!

    Reply to Wendy's comment

  18. kathi Cook on October 15, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    Being from New England(and a traditionalist), I was a skeptic about the black barn, but I think it looks fantastic! I like the idea of sunflower yellow for the door.

    Reply to kathi Cook's comment

    • watermelonpunch on October 15, 2013 at 8:21 pm

      Yes, I was thinking that myself. Sunflower yellow. Nice accent to black & white.

      Reply to watermelonpunch's comment

  19. watermelonpunch on October 15, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    I’m rather partial to red barns, but I must say, the black is pretty spiffy, and less usual. Good!

    Reply to watermelonpunch's comment

  20. Beau Willis on October 15, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    Susy and Brian,

    Thank you for what you do with the blog and podcast. I have recently discovered your site in the past few weeks, and have really enjoyed hearing how you make things happen around your place. I am in my mid twenties, and have recently purchased a house in the country that has about an acre that I plan on using for a garden and chickens; my parents own the 12 acres behind it, and I plan on utilizing that at some point as well. My goal is to live more seasonally based upon what I grow and raise, and hopefully be able to supplement at least 50% of my produce and protein.

    I am very interested in feeding my “to-be” chickens with natural sources. I have heard you say you use potatoes for your ducks, will that work for chickens too? Do you ferment them? I have LOTS of grasshoppers, and would like to find a way to harvest those so that the chickens can eat them. Perhaps acorns? Do you grind them somehow. I recently purchased the Small Scale Poultry Flock by Harvey Ussery, and he has some good ideas; however, I want to try to find other means than mixing grains if possible, although it may be necessary.
    Would you be willing to do a podcast on feeding chickens based upon all of your reading and experience?

    Thanks again!


    Reply to Beau Willis's comment

    • Beau Willis on October 15, 2013 at 11:14 pm

      I forgot to mention, I am in Texas, if that has any bearing on how you would go about obtaining natural feed sources for poultry besides purchased grains.

      Reply to Beau Willis's comment

    • Susy on October 17, 2013 at 11:28 am

      Birds really are perfect grain eaters, they naturally eat loads of seeds, generally smaller. If you want to feed them most naturally, millet and amaranth are great options, though you’ll have to buy those somewhere. I mix my own feed of local grains, mostly what, oats and barley. I’m happy that they’re not eating soy. In the future I plan on growing some field corn for them. Potatoes do work for chickens, they have a great protein ratio. My chickens love them. They do need cooked though. Acorns can be used, but they have to be cracked open for them, turkeys can eat them as is since they’re bigger. I don’t grind any of my grain, though I do ferment it to make the nutrients more available. For the most part, allowing your flock access to a very large pasture is your best bet and then you can supplement with grains/feed. Then they’re getting most of their diet naturally with supplementation for their additional egg laying. Jungle birds can exist on only forage, but they don’t lay eggs all the time, it’s the extra egg laying in our home flocks that makes it necessary to give them supplemental feed.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Beau Willis on October 19, 2013 at 10:18 pm

        Thank you for the reply Susy! I appreciate your input and time. I will look for some local grain options.

        to Beau Willis's comment

  21. laura on October 21, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    i love the way the barn turned out. i also love the idea of the robin’s egg blue for the door.

    Reply to laura's comment

  22. Chris on October 22, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    Lime green is my vote! I love lime green in the garden, bouquets, clothes and barn doors! :) It would look fabulous with your black and white!

    Reply to Chris's comment

  23. Michelle on November 6, 2013 at 11:20 am

    I know I’m late to the game but wanted to say how great the barn looks! I’d never have thought to paint it black but it looks wonderful! As for the door? I vote lime green. ;)

    Reply to Michelle's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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