The order of all the projects in and around the house doesn’t probably make a lot of sense when you’re not actually here, but today I want to show you one of our summer projects that we just finished: the garden barn! On our lot there are several buildings, like this large barn that used to be a horse stable. The previous owner kept his two horses, a donkey and one pigeon called Kiki in here. With our three kitty cats, and all the wildlife around us (badgers, foxes, eagles, goats, boars, bunnies…) we didn’t feel the need to expand the cattle. So for now we’re using the barn to stock some random stuff.
But, the barn didn’t have a door, so this summer we started a family project: installing a sliding barn door. From leftover wood and new barn door hardware my family members created a new barn door. It was very fun to watch Robert, my brother-in-law and my parents trying to figure out what was the best way to re-use the wood, saw and screw it all together. The final door looks really good, like it has always been there. My papa created a traditional farm door handle that allows to pull the door: it slides very nicely!
Choosing the right paint for the project
Unfortunately the wood of the existing barn walls was in a rough state: the weather here in Ardèche gets pretty extreme with very high temperatures in summer, rain and thunderstorms in the fall, lots of Mistral wind, sometimes snow in the winter. We first thought of applying a regular wood stain, but part of the barn was already wood stained, while the door was still bare wood: we needed a high quality outdoor paint that would resist the extreme weather circumstances (hot & dry and cold & wet) and that would cover both the dark and lighter areas of the wood. As the barn is part of the landscape we wanted a neutral color with a contemporary look. No creative mural or design that will attract the eye; but a more subdued scandi color choice: anthacite. Dulux Valentine was so kind to support our project by sending us their Ecran + Bois Satin paint, which is available in a selection of 20 colors, like the Anthracite we choose. This particular paint is known for its excellent coverage and durability. This means we won’t have to paint the barn again for at least a decade, as the paint is guaranteed up to 12 years. It is also UV-proof, washable and weather resistant. And an extra bonus: no need to prime the wood!
The painting experience
My mama has over 40 years of outdoor painting experience, so we tackled the painting job together. A big surface project like this is lovely to clear the mind and when you do it in a team: you go twice as fast as well! It was extra special as during the painting project last week a dear family friend passed away so we could share memories and enjoy each other’s company.
The Dulux Valentine Ecran + Bois Satin paint was particularly nice to apply. My mom was pleasantly surprised by how well the paint “spreads” and generates an even coverage: it’s not too liquid and not too firm to apply as well. As recommended we applied two layers and the result is really nice: the wood is super nicely covered and looks SO much better. From a weathered barn it now looks like it’s from 2021. The finish of the paint still looks a bit glossy: according to Dulux Valentine: the final “satin” finish will appear after around 3 weeks. So it will look even better soon!
With the big transformation of the barn, there’s not a lof of styling that I wanted to do as it looks so pristine now. And of course the view from the barn takes all the attention: the valley between our home and our village with its vineyards, olive and almond orchards and lavandin fields. In the wheelbarrow I drove my big Yucca in an XXL ball pot from Capi Europe out here, because I wanted to see how the green leaves contrast with the deep anthracite walls of the barn, as we will plant some more greenery around the barn in the future. As expected: it looks so good! We’re all very happy with the result, the barn is now fully functional, it looks fresh and modern and the garden barn is future proof as well.