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Our barn is pretty in pink at the Reese house

I am pretty sure that I am the only guy in the county with a Pepto-Bismol pink barn. Cars drive by really slow now and the neighbors are starting to talk, but that is the price for my policy of NEVER turning down free help.

It all started when we bought our old farmhouse more than two years ago. We were set to close on our home when the economy when down into the dumps. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were in crises mode and all lenders panicked.

We had been pre-approved for several months, but when President Bush held a special press conference to address the economic collapse, we suddenly had a number of new requirements from our mortgage lender before we could close on the house. One of those requirements was to paint the barn (with the potential for lead based paint being cited as the reason). It was funny how the possibility of lead-based paint on the barn was not a problem prior to the economic issues that had surfaced in the economy.

At any rate, the previous homeowner said that he would paint the barn, so we did not worry with it. Unfortunately, though, just a couple of days before we were supposed to close, the previous homeowner told us that he would be unable to do it and, all of the sudden, along with packing up our old house, we had about a day-and-a-half to scrape and paint a barn. This also happened to be during the county fair where my wife is the very busy Poultry Superintendent. YIKES.

As a result of the crunched time frame, I power washed the barn to remove most of the peeling latex paint from the early 1990s (clearly not lead based). We ran to the local hardware store and got the cheapest “Barn Red” paint we could find and started spraying. I sprayed as fast as I could as the hours to our closing disappeared.

About two-thirds of the way around the barn, I went back to see how the paint was drying and gauge what the actual color was going to be. It seemed that instead of a traditional barn red, this color was more akin to a maroonish, purplely hue. I went back to spraying hoping that further drying would reveal the barn red I expected based upon the label. It didn’t.

“Oh well,” was all we could say as we were out of time.

We figured that the maroonish, purplely color, while far from ideal, would be tolerable for a year or two when it would need to be re-painted anyway because of the very rushed job and very cheap “Barn Red” paint. So, here I am two years later. We got very good paint this time around and took great care to precisely match the shutters of our home and the trim on the garage, which are a much more typical barn red color. We also opted for two coats this time – one coat of primer and the second with the red color.

My brother-in-law, who painted professionally last summer, was kind enough to offer his talent and equipment to do the job. This project was shaping up nicely. So, we waited, and waited, and waited for suitable spring weather and coordinated schedules to paint our purple barn. When nice weather finally arrived we started scraping and continued to scrape for four days (mostly in the evenings), then I power washed the barn.

It was a perfect Saturday for painting and my brother-in-law showed up with his equipment and was ready to put on the first coat, with one interesting condition. He would only have time to get the first primer coat of paint on before leaving for a week. Now, I did pause for a second at this caveat because the white primer for a red barn is tinted red so the second coat covers better. It does not take much artistic conjuring to imagine the resulting white paint tinted with barn red — Pepto-Bismol pink. The idea of being the owner of a pink barn for a week was tough for me to stomach, but I’ll get over the trauma some day. After all, the price was right and I can NEVER turn down free help. Plus, my three year old daughter loves it.

I am the (not so proud) owner of a pink barn for a week.

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