painted carriage house
colonial farmhouse,  DIY

Check Out Our Newly Painted Carriage House

Cue the celebratory dancing because I am beyond excited to be able to share our newly painted Carriage House on the blog today!

I’m still pinching myself because the transformation, thanks to paint, was so dramatic. I hate to use the cliched phrase “the power of paint,” but I haven’t come up with a better alternative phrase!

The power of paint is next level on this project.

But first! What is a Carriage House? 

It sounds so fancy, doesn’t it? Trust me – ours is not at all fancy.

Originally, a carriage house would have been a building to store a horse-drawn carriage and the related horse tack. It could also be called a coach house.

We guesstimate that our Carriage House is around 250 years old.

Carriage houses have been converted in a number of ways. Ours has a studio apartment on the second floor, which we use as an office and guest space. The first floor was used for a while as a stable based on anecdotal evidence from the previous owner. There’s also a huge fireplace on the first floor, so it is possible cooking was done in there too, but hopefully not at the same time as when it was used as a stable.

I have a feeling we’ll never know all the secrets our Carriage House holds.

Below is how the Carriage House looked two years ago.

We’d owned this property for about 5 minutes and this was the day we had a roofer come out to make an emergency repair to the existing slate roof. It was missing a slate tile by the chimney and water was pouring into the building every time it rained.

It definitely wasn’t the best of times.

Insight on Repairing a Slate Roof

In the summer of 2020, we took all the vines off the building and started patching holes in the building where squirrels could get into the attic (!) and repairing the building’s rendering.

You do not want to know what happens when squirrels get in a building and then cannot find their way out.

Let’s just say we had nightmares some messy, tedious work to do in regard to squirrels and fixing the outside of the Carriage House.

Then in the fall of 2020, we bit the bullet and had the Carriage House roof replaced.

What you’re looking at below is what we presume to be the original roof planks. Before plywood, roofs were sheathed or decked with planks. In the case of our roof, the slate tiles adhered directly to the planks without an underlayment.

There were a few holes, but the majority of the planks were still solid. The roofers left the planks on, as it adds to the structural integrity of the roof and helps balance out some of the sway the roof has developed over time. They then added plywood sheathing over the top.

Slate roofs have a lifespan of about 100 years, give or take, depending on the quarry the slate came from. Given that this roof was long overdue to be replaced, our roofers estimated that it was much older than 100 years.

Our guess is what was removed was only the second roof this building has ever seen. That’s pretty wild to think about!

When the roofers were done we were left with a very rough-looking building sporting a gorgeous black metal roof.

While we would have loved to have kept the authenticity of a slate roof, we flat out could not justify the price. Plus, I love the modern look of a black metal roof.

Our thought is we have saved this building by adding a new roof. It can be someone else’s job to restore the roof to its original glory with slate when this metal roof fails.

It takes a village, people! It takes a village to save the village all the old buildings.

black metal roof carriage house

Honest to goodness, it is a good thing we put that metal roof on when we did because the winter of 2020/21 was HARSH in terms of snowfall. The old roof would not have survived and I would not be writing this celebratory post.

Thankfully, it all worked out because after owning this property for over two years, we were finally ready to paint the Carriage House.

As you can see, it was a family affair.

Painted Carriage House

We ended up rolling the paint on the Carriage House instead of spraying it because we were not 100% confident we could tape off that black metal roof in such a way that it would prevent any overspray from occurring.

All in all, between the four of us, it only took us seven hours of work to paint the Carriage House. I’ve spent seven hours procrastinating on doing projects that only take a few minutes to complete, so seven hours of actual work doesn’t seem that bad to me.

Oh, and I promise I helped. I did all the scary stuff. Do I ever want to crawl up on that ladder again? No. No. and Definitely NO.

Will I brag about doing the scary work at every dinner party I attend from here on out? Yes. Definitely, yes.

It’s probably a good thing I don’t go to dinner parties.

Painted Carriage House

Finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for!

Drum roll, please!

Here’s how the newly painted Carriage House looks now!

Painted Carriage House

Can you believe it?

Did you think this building could ever look this good?

It looks nicer than our main house thanks to that snazzy roof!


But, for real.

Painted Carriage House

I have said it before and I will say it again. I am so thankful no one else wanted this property. It sat on the market for 13 months with no takers before we came along.

We feel honored to be the current stewards of this Carriage House and the rest of the buildings on this property.

We knew this property had so much potential. If you haven’t experience the pain and pleasure of owning a fixer-upper yet, let me tell you that it is incredibly rewarding to take a dilapidated building and breathe new life back into it.

Painted Carriage House

Are we done yet?


Our Carriage House is and will continue to be a labor of love.

The project punch list is long, but next up is replacing the rotten trim around the doors and windows. The disastrous state of the trim is not super apparent in these photos because I slapped a quick layer of paint over most of the rotting stuff.

Was it a waste of paint? Maybe. However, I was there. The paint was there. It just seemed like a good idea in case we don’t actually get to the task of replacing the trim this fall.

In the meantime, we are incredibly happy to have our backyard view be improved so drastically with a few coats of paint on the Carriage House.  We keep looking outside and saying, “Wow! That looks so much better!”

The power of paint never gets old.

P.S. We used Behr masonry, stucco, and brick paint. It was custom color-matched to our main house, so I don’t have a specific paint color for you.

P.P.S. We have this 22-ft Gorilla ladder and it didn’t fail me when I was 22-ft high up in the air painting the Carriage House. I did kiss the ground when I got down though.

Thanks for being here today! I hope you love old houses and transformations as much as I do. Here are some other posts you might enjoy. 

Shed Makeover with Black Stain

How to Put a Pedestal or Console Sink on a Vanity Base

Colonial Farmhouse Two Year Anniversary


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