painted white gate
colonial farmhouse,  gardening and landscape

I Painted Our Front Gate

Try not to be jealous, but we have a gate to nowhere.

Well, not nowhere.

If I walk from my front porch straight down the uneven sidewalk (thanks a lot, tree roots!) to the gate it leads to my mailbox. Two steps past the mailbox is certain death. People drive way too fast on country roads!

I could also walk around the driveway to the mailbox and never have to use that gate or trip on the uneven sidewalk, but where’s the fun in that?

painted white gate

I suppose if you want to get technical about things (apparently, I do today,) it really isn’t a gate to nowhere. It’s just a plain ol’ gate that was supposed to look cute, but is not designed to keep anything or anyone in or out of our front yard.

I’ve been looking at that gate all summer long and every time I do it screams at me, “For goodness’ sake, paint me already!!”

Or at least take down that wreath.

painted white gate

So I finally did.

Of course I think projects like this will be a one-hour job.


I don’t know why, after so many years of home improvement projects, that I seriously still have this delusion.

These projects never take one hour. If I’m lucky, they’ll only take an afternoon.

My delusion was so strong that I actually got out the primer, took the lid off, stirred it up and then realized that I should probably clean the gate first.

What a bummer, but no need to put the lid back on the paint because cleaning the gate will only take a second.


I also decided to do this project while we were out of water. Timing is everything! The short story is the pressure switch on our well pump busted and Handy Husband was attempting to repair it.

This meant I couldn’t wash the gate and I didn’t really want to do that anyway because then I’d have to wait for the gate to dry and this was going to be a ONE HOUR PROJECT, DANG IT!

I decided to sand the gate instead, which was probably the best option to get all the grime off and freshen up the wood.

There went my hour!

painted white gate

Now, in case my feelings on this gate aren’t clear, let me put it this way. I don’t mind the gate, but if it fell over today, I wouldn’t be sad. That meant I was willing to paint it, but not spend money on paint for the project. I had to hope we had enough paint and primer in the garage to get the job done.

The seller left a lot of paint cans in the garage, which I think is normal when you buy a house. It’s a bit like paint can roulette to open up the rusty old cans to see if we have a winner!

Nope! That one is dried up!

Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner! Well…hold on…maybe if I peel off the crusty top we’ll have a winner.

Yes, that’s exactly what I did to use up the last bit of one can of primer. When that can ran out and I still needed more, I luckily found some more exterior primer. It was tinted grey, but I was reasonably sure that wouldn’t matter.

Then I used some white house paint to paint the entire gate and the mailbox post white. Interestingly enough, it’s not the same white house paint that’s on our house. Mysteries abound.

painted white gate

Then I had to wait a few days to put on the third coat of paint because it rained. And rained. And rained.

So, not bad for a multiple day hour-long project, huh?

The gate looks SO MUCH BETTER painted white. I think I actually like it now!

painted white gate

Since the gate now matches the Colonial Farmhouse, the gate looks like it belongs here instead of being an afterthought. Therefore, I’ve decided that I would indeed be sad if it fell over.

Not super duper sad because I think the white paint will be a maintenance nightmare, but definitely not happy either.

P.S. I think the mailbox itself would look better black, but I’m fresh out of spray paint, so that will have to wait. Plus, I’m not sure that I care THAT much.

P.P.S. Handy Husband fixed the pressure switch on the well pump so we have water again. Yay! He really is quite handy. I wonder if he knows how to fix a rock wall? That’s on the list to do now that my gate looks all pretty. Maybe do something about the landscaping in the front yard. It never ends…

I sure enjoy it when you stop by the blog, so thank you! If you want to keep reading, here are some other posts you might enjoy.

That time Handy Husband built me a bench.

How I make our wood floors looks like they’ve been refinished when they haven’t been.

That time my daughter painted peg doll place cards for Thanksgiving dinner.


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  • Sandy Smith

    I love the “new” gate. It sure stands alone. It makes me wonder why. I am amazed at how much you are accomplishing on this house. Jeff is definitely a winner to get up at 5 am on Sunday and sand the kitchen ceiling. I am like you-that is the last thing I want to do. I don’t want to do any prep work but I know it is necessary and therefore I do it .

    Keep on sharing your projects.

    • annisa

      I have no idea on the “why” for most things in old houses. Ha! And, thank you. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like we are accomplishing much, but I know it has already come a long way.

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