Let’s paint a “Barn Quilt” on the shed!

I promise this is going to be a post about painting a barn quilt but first I have to say that while I’ve been having a bit of fun, I cannot look away from what is going on as the coronavirus cases increase across the country and the election LOOMS. I’ve been feeling emotional and a little sick at heart. The air feels charged and not in a good way. That’s why I’m really glad I both have time for my projects and feel creatively energized while all this is happening.

So what, you (probably) ask, is a Barn Quilt? That’s what I would have asked too a few days ago before someone mentioned the idea to me. Barn quilts are apparently a “thing” in the country, and by that I mean, rural locations. I don’t live in the country, never have, and have no particular affinity for country style decorating; it’s just not my thing. All that said, when I saw a picture of what a barn quilt is – a huge painting resembling a fabric quilt displayed on the side of a barn – I was charmed.

From what I viewed online a barn quilt is typically painted on an 8’x8′ square board which is then attached to a barn. I realized somewhere along the way that it makes total sense for the painting not to be applied directly on the barn itself since that would be a lot trickier: getting up there, standing on scaffolding or what have you, braving the elements, and so on. A 3’x3′ square was suggested for a shed. I don’t have a board like that or any thought of buying one, so I figured I’d do the painting directly. I am just tall enough to do this project without a ladder.

Barn quilt designs can be very intricate but I wasn’t interested in getting too crazy, not for a shed painting and not for my first attempt. Getting intimidated would be counter-productive to my purpose! I googled painting a barn quilt on a shed which led me to a very basic pattern. I took this simple pattern, looked over what house paints I have here and adapted it to them. I made little mock-ups on paper to see how the designs would look.

The shed is a dark chocolate brown (from the last time I painted it) so I looked at each of my samples against the back of this pillow which fortuitously was dark brown.😊

I easily ruled out the first one butΒ  was torn between the 2nd and 3rd. I thought the middle one with the light green was prettiest (the one I’d choose for my bed) and decided to go with it, thinking that should I change my mind & want the one with the dark green, it’d be easier to later paint over a lighter color than the reverse.

The first step was using painter’s tape and a yard stick to create a 3’x3′ square on the shed.

NextΒ  I filled the square in with white paint; I figured a white base would be better than dark brown for adding lighter colors. (This proved true; I only needed to do one coat of color.)

I didn’t take a picture but next I used a pencil and the yard stick to draw the pattern on the white square. Part of why I went with the 3′ square was so that dividing it would be a fairly simple matter and I wouldn’t have weird measurements like 14.75″ for instance, which I’d be more likely to screw up. I did this pen & paper design just to show you what I drew on the shed lightly in pencil.

I had the little color mock-up with me so I could consult it while I painted (which I did so I wouldn’t accidentally fill in the wrong color somewhere 😯).

My completed shed “Barn Quilt” – I am delighted!

28 thoughts on “Let’s paint a “Barn Quilt” on the shed!

  1. Kate Crimmins

    I’ve never seen this. It’s interesting and adds something to a utility building. I too am feeling a sense of gloom over all that is going on. My hope is that by this time next week, some of it is resolved and hopefully in a good way. I don’t understand how a health issue has become so politicized. While most people recover, many don’t and many have lingering issues. Why would anyone want to take a chance on that?

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    1. Colette Post author

      On the news last night they talked about 28 cases of re-infection, suggesting it might be a new strain of the virus. I don’t even know what to think about that; we can’t control this strain and the idea it might be mutating is so disturbing. Fauci says it might be 2022 before things normalize. It IS mind-boggling how health is politicized. I’m so with you hoping that next week things change somehow for the better. In the meantime, little, happy distractions like shed painting (and blogging!) are keeping me calm-ish.

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    1. Colette Post author

      Thank you so much, Ally. Now I want to go to the country & see these things. I didn’t look at many online but it’s got me thinking. You could paint them on inside walls too… Big ones.

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  2. Sheila Moss

    Very Pennsylvania Dutch looking. You come up with the most creative things. I love country style decorating and have a quilt hanging on the wall in one bedroom. I think it would be charming to paint one inside too. The shed looks great.

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    1. Colette Post author

      Thank you so much.😊 I come alive when I’m making things. I do think quilts are beautiful and bet yours creates a warm atmosphere. I think a painted one inside would be cool and easier to hang & clean!

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        1. Colette Post author

          Understood. This shed pre-dates me so its size is happenstance. It looks like one of those “tiny houses” that are in vogue! The thing is, I expect most of us, me included, tend to fill whatever space is available to us, a tendency I’m actively fighting in myself….

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  3. Maggie Wilson

    I’ve been aware of the barn quilt for some time now. When I first saw one, I thought, so that’s a “thing” is it? You can see them on just about any drive through rural Ontario – more in the south, but we have one or two up here as well. You can make a day of it on a barn quilt tour. Hey, now you can add your shed to the list! Nicely done –

    Re: the mounting anxiety/dread – full moon isn’t helping.

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    1. Colette Post author

      Thanks Maggie. When I consider some of the things I’ve seen in past years trending in country decor, the quilt thing looks pretty good! 😊 I guess an abundance of anything can wear thin; fortunately, in the “urban suburbs” where I live, I’m about dead certain I’ve got the only “barn quilt.”πŸ˜€

      Yes, full moon and Halloween.πŸ‘» And a US election I just want to be over.

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