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  1. #1
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    Nov. 13, 2010
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    Default Cheap ways to give a grungy barn a fresh look?

    Don't say paint. I know, I know, but I just can't bring myself to take on painting a 70 ft long barn right now. Not. Gonna. Happen.

    Anything else? Barn is approx. 50 years old and built by morton. Metal siding, metal roof. I'm just really sick of looking at it...



  2. #2
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    Dec. 12, 2010
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    Power wash it, get all the cobwebs/dust out of the corners, and add some cute decorations. I don't know, that's all I can think of.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/NBChoice http://nbchoice.blogspot.com/
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    Dennis The Menace Too- 1999 ASB Gelding
    Dreamacres Sublime- 2008 ASB Gelding



  3. #3
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    Nov. 2, 2001
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    yep, give it a good cleaning. Paint the trim, like doors and windows. (or not, if it makes the rest look worse)

    Get some Hex signs (better yet, make them yourself)

    add some decorations. It's too late for flowers, but that could be done in the spring (though there are cold season plants.)
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  4. #4
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    Nov. 4, 2003
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    Dallas, Georgia
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    Default

    Ditto the powerwashing... Just that one simple thing will make you go "wow."

    A few nice planters for seasonal flowers (Mums for fall)

    And while you can't paint the whole barn (and I don't blame ya), maybe just a fresh coat of a new color around the framework of the windows and barn doors?

    Also, if possible, some new spot lights in key areas.
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- "When they try to tell you these are your Golden years, don't believe 'em.... It's rust."



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 23, 2001
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    Catharpin, Virginia
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    Yes...power wash. Get some good cleaner (I use Clorox cleanup) and wipe fingerprints off of door jams and trim. Yep...decobweb and if you can, power wash inside as well -- and consider a coating of clear poly for the aisle wall.

    If some of your bridle hooks and barn hardware is rusty or worn, consider replacing them. That's not particularly expensive. That should spruce things up..



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 26, 2005
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    1,668

    Default

    Can you spruce up the floor/ground around the barn? For example, a fresh layer of crushed stone or grooming the dirt? If it's concrete, a good power wash.

    Window boxes.

    Bushes.

    Shiny matching name plates for stalls.

    Maybe you would consider posting some pictures and aesthetically-minded COTHers can give you some easy suggestions?



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug. 11, 2008
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    MD
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    Default

    Are we talking inside, outside or both?

    Outside - powerwash, paint trim, and add shutters if there are any windows. Planters with seasonal flowers (mums and pansies for fall) give things a festive look. If you have some basic areas for landscaping, add some inexpensive and easy to maintain shrubbery. Fresh footing around the barn like crushed stone also makes thinks look fresh and maintained.

    Inside - give it a good cobwebbing then get out the blower to clean crevices and get rid of that icky layer of dust that almost all barns collect. New stall plates, bridle hooks, and painting trim also goes a long way towards making the place feel a little more 'special'.

    Never underestimate the uplifting feeling of a good 'clean and purge'. Its hard work, but just start in one sections and don't leave it until you can look at it and feel proud! It will motivate you to tackle the next section.
    Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
    Witherun Farm
    http://witherun-farm.blogspot.com/



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep. 2, 2005
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    Upstate NY
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    Default

    How do others get the grunge off the stall walls? Manure from a mare that backs up to the wall to manure. The layer of yuck on a corner where the horse rubs all the time, etc.

    I can not power wash inside the barn because all my hay is stored right there.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2003
    Location
    Windward Farm, Washougal, WA- our work in progress, our money pit, our home!
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    Scrub brushes, strong arms and TSP or similar cleaner: read the directions and wear gloves!! to get the manure off the walls. Elbow grease and prepare for wet stalls for a little bit (not too bad).

    Shop vac, blower to get rid of the dust.

    Budget paint for next year, use a sprayer--takes about a day.
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!



  10. #10
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    Aug. 11, 2008
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    MD
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    Instead of old/grungy, think of what you'd picture as being 'old and quaint'. If you don't want to tackle painting the whole thing right now, why not put up a 'trim' board about 3-4 feet from the bottom and paint that area a darker tone of the base color to make it look like wainscoting? It will give it a facelift, help preserve the lower section of siding, and make the whole facade look a little more interesting and less drab.

    Or just paint a big, wide stripe through the middle of the whole thing.

    Once you've freshed up one sections with some new paint, find some type of the biggest, most cost effective decoration you can find to put up in the largest, plainest part of the upper area. Heck, even nailing a bunch of boards together or a painting big piece of plywood and hand painting it into a sign would look better than a huge expanse of plain, drab, aged siding. (says the woman who still needs to power wash and paint the door trim on the moldy north side of her barn, LOL)
    Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
    Witherun Farm
    http://witherun-farm.blogspot.com/



  11. #11
    Join Date
    May. 10, 2011
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    177

    Default

    Just did the blow cobwebs and power wash in "small doses" (half a day at a time) over the last few weekends. What a difference! Might tempt me to tackle a deep tack room cleaning before it gets too cold.

    How about a few corn shalks with pumpkins and gourds to add a little exterior decor for the season? Easy to get rid of when done, just compost on the manure pile.

    Mums or fall asters hold up to the weather at this time of year if you want something more long lasting with minimal work.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov. 23, 2001
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    Catharpin, Virginia
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    I have a Morton barn/indoor...metal as well. Light gray, with dark gray roof. White trim. Black cross bucks on the dutch stall doors.

    Is your paint peeling or something? It shouldn't be. I wouldn't think you'd need to paint it. Mine is good as new and is 20 years old.

    Dirt and/or algae growth is easily cleaned up with power washing. And a little elbow grease on stubborn dirt.

    What color is yours? I have noticed that the darker colored barns, like green or red, show dirt a whole lot more.



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by trubandloki View Post
    How do others get the grunge off the stall walls? Manure from a mare that backs up to the wall to manure. The layer of yuck on a corner where the horse rubs all the time, etc.

    I can not power wash inside the barn because all my hay is stored right there.
    you a screwed then

    you can scrub it with one of them heavy duty brushes though.
    Not nearly as much fun as the power washer (wear boots, rubber apron and goggles) but hey, clean is clean, right!
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  14. #14
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    Nov. 13, 2010
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    The whole property was used and abused before I got it. The siding is in ok shape, there is some rust at the bottom but I think that is to be expected after 50 some years. Roof looks pretty good too, although it is leaking in some places.

    The biggest eye sores are on the inside and the Dutch doors. Chewed wood, peeling paint, rusty metal fixtures, etc. IMO the barn needs a complete overhaul but that just isn't in the budget. We are trying to plan to get our ring (225x120) leveled and footed, so every cent is going towards that. A complete overhaul is at least 5 years in the future as the ring is going to wipe us out (but at least I can raise board to a respectable amount!).

    I did cobwebs today, it definitely felt brighter in there! I still have to get the ceiling, I need a ladder for that. Unfortunately power washing is out, I use empty stalls as hay storage.

    I think I'm going to take a blower to everything one morning though, there is so much dust!

    I'm going to wash the windows in the feed and tack rooms and scrub the stall fronts.
    I know I should probably sand and paint all the wood (wood is already painted) but it just feels like a waste when I know what I really want is to redo the whole barn interior.

    I get so frustrated with this place, if only I had the ring footed and the barn redone, it would be beautiful! I really can't complain though, I'm so fortunate to keep my horses at home.



  15. #15
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    Dec. 15, 2011
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    Default

    id say powerwash, or if you cant do that, at least try and hose off things.

    and this is going to sound silly, but if you clean off all of the "shiny" metal fixtures, and maybe smooth down some of the wood with sandpaper, it will really spruce it up!



  16. #16
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    Sep. 5, 2005
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    Mass.
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    If you can take the rusty metal hardware off, you can sand it and then spray-paint it with Rustoleum. It will look brand-new and it's so easy even I've done it with some hinges in my house.

    Rustoleum comes in lots of colors - you could get a nice dark green or blue or red. That would brighten up the stall fronts.
    I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by SAcres View Post
    The whole property was used and abused before I got it. The siding is in ok shape, there is some rust at the bottom but I think that is to be expected after 50 some years. Roof looks pretty good too, although it is leaking in some places.

    The biggest eye sores are on the inside and the Dutch doors. Chewed wood, peeling paint, rusty metal fixtures, etc. IMO the barn needs a complete overhaul but that just isn't in the budget. We are trying to plan to get our ring (225x120) leveled and footed, so every cent is going towards that. A complete overhaul is at least 5 years in the future as the ring is going to wipe us out (but at least I can raise board to a respectable amount!).

    I did cobwebs today, it definitely felt brighter in there! I still have to get the ceiling, I need a ladder for that. Unfortunately power washing is out, I use empty stalls as hay storage.

    I think I'm going to take a blower to everything one morning though, there is so much dust!

    I'm going to wash the windows in the feed and tack rooms and scrub the stall fronts.
    I know I should probably sand and paint all the wood (wood is already painted) but it just feels like a waste when I know what I really want is to redo the whole barn interior.

    I get so frustrated with this place, if only I had the ring footed and the barn redone, it would be beautiful! I really can't complain though, I'm so fortunate to keep my horses at home.
    well, since you won't do it right now, go ahead and paint.
    Replace the worst of the chewed down parts with fresh wood, while you do that, sand it and paint it. That can be done a door at a time. (my sister capped her dutch doors with a metal channel over the top. Kept them nice looking for the time she had them)

    And a big ditto on the hardware. You can get those neat attachments for the Dremel, sand it and spray paint (use an old cardboard box as 'booth' to contain overspray) and the old place should look spiffy in no time.

    The roof leaks you need to address tho. You can probably plug them with a dollop of roofing cement or rubberized compound of some sort. Leaks are bad for the interior.

    Oh, what else you can do: treat the rusty parts on the siding and paint about the bottom 2 feet of the barn. use a complementary color, one that does not show dirt well. Common practice where I am from to keep the nice white house looking presentable for a long time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov. 16, 2004
    Location
    NE Indiana
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    5,530

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SAcres View Post
    The whole property was used and abused before I got it. The siding is in ok shape, there is some rust at the bottom but I think that is to be expected after 50 some years. Roof looks pretty good too, although it is leaking in some places.

    The biggest eye sores are on the inside and the Dutch doors. Chewed wood, peeling paint, rusty metal fixtures, etc. IMO the barn needs a complete overhaul but that just isn't in the budget. We are trying to plan to get our ring (225x120) leveled and footed, so every cent is going towards that. A complete overhaul is at least 5 years in the future as the ring is going to wipe us out (but at least I can raise board to a respectable amount!).

    I did cobwebs today, it definitely felt brighter in there! I still have to get the ceiling, I need a ladder for that. Unfortunately power washing is out, I use empty stalls as hay storage.

    I think I'm going to take a blower to everything one morning though, there is so much dust!

    I'm going to wash the windows in the feed and tack rooms and scrub the stall fronts.
    I know I should probably sand and paint all the wood (wood is already painted) but it just feels like a waste when I know what I really want is to redo the whole barn interior.

    I get so frustrated with this place, if only I had the ring footed and the barn redone, it would be beautiful! I really can't complain though, I'm so fortunate to keep my horses at home.
    I love the look of a well broke in barn . Tidy it up and decorate with gourds and flowers, wreaths (where the horses can't eat them). Use painted milk can to hold your whips, put up a neat clock, some antique tack on a fancy hook.....hmmmm....new door knobs and latches, bridle hooks.



  19. #19
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    Nov. 23, 2001
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    Catharpin, Virginia
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    All super suggestions. It's amazing if you just sand down the wood-chewed stalls, replace bridle hooks (after you've power washed everything) how much better you will feel.

    Is the bottom outside of the barn all one piece or wainscoated at the bottom where it is rusting (sp?). If so, you can replace the bottom part via Morton...or take it down and put up a facade with T1-ll that you can paint, or perhaps pre painted.

    While I LOVED my barn when it was spanky new, I also love it as it ages...but then I've been a nut about keeping it up.

    These "little" things that all have suggested can really make you feel a bit less depressed about what you inherited..



  20. #20
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    Apr. 14, 2006
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    As everyone else says....powerwash. It is NOT a whole barn experience...you can aim at small sections at a time and/or cover any hay that is endangered. THAT is the best perk-up for a place!!! Sweeping, removing all clutter and some pots of artificial flowers (off season) near the entrance really jazzes the looks up. But ya gotta get the dust/dirt/grim off first.
    www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
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