Never an Old Barn a Little Paint couldn’t Hurt...

From the exterior views, Farmdale Cottage is shaping up. It is looking like a real house. “Never an old barn a little paint couldn’t hurt!” That’s my mantra these days.

Painting has started. Gallons upon gallons of Valspar and Ben Moore are soaking into my pine board and batten, and I am loving it! Shutters have been made and are awaiting their installation. I even spread some pine straw around the foundation to keep the mud from splattering on my custom brick blend. This folks, I’m afraid, will be the extent of my landscaping. It’ll be all I can afford! Inside Farmdale is another story.

So much work is being done where we can’t see, but I must appreciate it nonetheless. Wiring and plumbing and HVAC are running a subfloor marathon. Miles of wires and yards of pipe shall ensure that I can turn on my lights and have running water – a fete accomplis for my neck of the woods – ha! My floors are here but not installed – waiting on walls. Some the shiplap boards are awaiting to be installed for walls too, but we must pass inspection. First inspection failed as it always does in my county. The old “the hip bone is connected to the leg bone…”song is so apropos for building a home – it runs through my mind all the time. Can’t put the insulation in until the wiring and plumbing passes inspection. “It’ll fail the first time, trust me…” I was constantly reassured by my contractors. “What a joy…” was all I could muster. After the passing inspection, insulation, walls and ceiling finishing can take place. “The leg bone is connected to the knee bone…” la la la…

Seeing paint and progress outside makes the interior look too far ill advanced than the exterior. The railings are starting to take shape and the bones of the house are really visible. I love my chimney and the old brick on my back hallway wall and soon to be floors. I decided to paint the brick on the rear façade of the house for added texture and that “added on over time” look and feel. My floors are antique heart pine planed from nearly two hundred year old beams. The beams once spanned a cotton mill and now will be underfoot for me and my friends and family. A few beams left untouched and boasting their patina of flaking paint, will span my kitchen. Oh the stories they could tell! My house smells divine – fresh cut lumber, fat lighter (heart pine) and some paint… if I could bottle it I would!

I’m still a long ways from being able to move in, but there may be some light at the end of the tunnel. A glimmering match lit in the cave maybe?

So here’s the painting schedule thus far:

Board and batten body of the house: a custom blend but for a quick match Valspar “Dark Chocolate” will give you a great color.
Shutters: another custom blend by Benjamin Moore. “Zeus” by Sherwin Williams will get you close to it.
Trim, columns and railings: “Linen White” by Benjamin Moore. This is my “go to” white and I love it with the dark brown with a hint of green.
Painted Brick: Valspar “Gentle Lamb” – the name alone made me want it but it is the perfect neutral cream – not yellow but not gray either. The primer is still on the brick but Gentle Lamb cannot frolic onto my brick fast enough!

I’ll post some finished shots of the paint job, but what’s going up now is so fun! Paint goes on quick and is instant gratification. Deciding on the scheme is what will send you to the looney bin. Speaking of heading to the nut house, I just about checked in there recently. Enter my banker, my builder and my accountant – the three horsemen of the apocalypse – ha! No these gents just have to reign me in and keep me on the straight and narrow. I wouldn’t won’t their jobs working with me! Ha!

So after meeting with my banker and my accountant, my builder was next in the firing squad.  This is a dark, Southern gothic even macabre comedy or sorts. My builder gave me the final projections for completion costs. I looked at that gigantic, huge, mind-numbing figure five times my calculated tally and I just smiled. I said “thank you” and walked away. My builder, who I work with on nearly every design job and know quite well, grabbed my shoulder and turned me around. “You ok, James?” I just kept smiling. Smiling that dumb smile of bewilderment a person can express only in total shock.

In my mind, I was talking but nothing was coming out of my mouth… just an odd smile. My builder asked me again, “James, are you ok?” I somehow managed a nod in the affirmative but my builder was not convinced. “James, say something. You ok?” my builder kept asking. Finally, after what I thought was an eternity, I spoke. What I said I’m sure did not make any audible sense. My builder just looked and said, “James, you were silent – for so long. You didn’t say anything at all. I told you about…” and he went on and on about lumber and paint and brick delivery etc. etc. etc., while I simply stood there and smiled in silence. “James, don’t ever do that to me again. I was really worried!”

“What did I do that worried you so?” I replied. My builder said, “James, you were silent. You were quiet. You didn’t say a word. I knew something was wrong!!!” Silence is not a natural reaction for me, y’all. After meeting with the Big Three, dumb silence with a wry smile was all I could afford.

So, somehow I must now finish Farmdale but not in the quintupled budget as of late. Sweat equity is going to be key, but I love being a part of the process. At least the outside looks kinda/sorta/almost done. Keeping up appearances is what I’m doing now, y’all! Let’s just hope the inside will come together before I enter another silence.

From Farmdale to your homes, happy fall y’all!