My Country Farmhouse – The Work Continues: The Driveway & Garage

On Saturday September 26th I noticed my neighbours across the street paved their driveway. After talking to them they mentioned that several others on our streets were also employing the same company to do theirs as well. So I jumped on the band wagon and got mine done too. And here’s why – the original quote I got in March to pave my driveway was over $8000 (absolutely insane)… This company was only going to charge me $4500. Even though it wasn’t on the top of my priorities list this year, for that price I decided to just get it done. And I couldn’t be happier. NO MORE GRAVEL!

What a difference. I can now tell what is driveway and what is lawn. The grass was taking over the gravel and now there are distinguished lines.

Since I can’t park in the driveway until Monday (and I’m out of town) my car is on the street and Peanut is parked on the front lawn (she looks tiny next to my 2500 sq.ft house). I continued the clean up in the garage. Two weeks ago I hired a company to come in and do a major purge removing several loads of garbage, removing old framing and removing the old rotten flooring.

With all the garbage gone all that was left was a massive sweep (which turned into using a leaf blower to get rid of the dust) (be sure to wear a mask and glasses – I did). I took the old work bench from the West wall to the East wall and used two old wood doors as the table tops. I sorted through all the gardening bins and gardening tools and created ways to store items off the ground. I used a large planter to store shovels, tools and rakes and I hung some items on the wood nail rack and put all the electronic tools on the work bench.

And to finish up my weekend my lovely neighbour Jean gave me some of her perennials to transplant. This meant I needed to create a garden bed. I took all of the dirt out of one of my raised garden beds, levelled the lawn and laid landscape fabric. Moved the garden bed over to the wall to the left of the garage door and planted some lovely flowers, thyme and flock.

Yet another productive weekend is in the bag. Can you believe it’s already October??? Yikes! However, I will be glad when 2020 is over. My fingers are crossed 2021 is a much kinder year to everyone. Next on my list is to decorate for Halloween (since it will be the first time since owning a house that I will actually be at it). I already have the candy.

I hope you are all happy, healthy and staying safe. Be kind and wear a mask. Let’s kick Covid in the butt so we can all go back to planning our lives and working towards the things we want.


My Country Farmhouse – The “Cheap” Garage Make-Over (Before & After)


Sunday I began the process of sanding and washing the garage doors. They had an old dusty coat of red paint, rust and dirt all over.  The wood frames were white and are in terrible shape. They will have to be replaced once I get the new doors as they are beginning to crumble. As you can see above the doors weren’t actually red all over.

The total time to transform the doors was approximately 6 hours over 2 days. Always make sure to let the paint dry for the recommended time as per the packaging. You don’t want to ruin your “cheap” fix… it’ll cost you more money in the long run (and time).

Day 1 –

I sanded and washed both doors thoroughly. The old red paint bled the more I scrubbed it. To make sure I didn’t end up with pink doors I had to use some serious elbow grease to strip the old paint.


I did all of the grooves first with a paint brush. Because some of the grooves were pretty deep I knew I would need to do two or three coats to really cover the old red paint.

Day 2 –

I completed the second coat in the grooves and began straight away at rolling out the first full coat on both doors. By 11am I was finished the first full coat and had to let them dry for approximately 6 hours before finishing the second. And so I went for a drive to kill some time.

At 4:30pm I was already on to the second coat of paint and finishing up the work on the wood trim. And 45 minutes later I was cleaning up the mess.

And what a transformation using a large can of Tremclad Matte white paint for the low cost of $60.


They almost look new again. And man are they OH SO WHITE! They definitely brighten up the space as you look down the driveway.



My Country Farmhouse – A Fresh New Exterior for Lady Mathison

Lady Mathison

When I first drove up to this house I knew it had the potential to be one of the most stunning victorian homes in the area, the kind you see and just dream of living in. Large porch, large windows, a balcony, hooks to hang planter baskets, original posts and original solid wood doors. What the house needed was a fresh coat of paint. The sun and rain had left it feeling a little tired looking.

It all began with me removing the balcony door to give it a new high gloss Hunter Green coat of paint. Once the door was rehung I knew it was time to get the rest of the exterior work done. And so I moved right downstairs and completed the front side door in the same colour.

I painted the balcony with white Sico Exterior Woodwork paint in a semi-gloss. After two coats it was complete. However, with all the rain that week it took about 5 days to actually complete the work. To the right of the balcony is an original wood window that also needed a good two coats of paint. It takes 4 hours between coats to ensure the paint lasts the 5 years it claims before it starts to chip off.


Moving down to the porch I started filling the holes in the posts back in April. As the weather improved. In May I began the painting  which took about two weeks (again because of the rain and dry times) to complete. It also took a bit more time because I was painting them two colours. I had to tape off the areas I did not want green. I did a coat of the white paint first and used the Hunter Green Rust-oleum waterproof spray paint for the accents in a high gloss.

The next task was to paint out all the trim and sills of the 3 bay and dining room windows. These windows will need to be replaced in the coming years but for now a fresh coat of paint will have to do. The white paint will help them feel more cohesive with the white windows that have already been replaced.


The original front door had a hole at the bottom right corner. Since I do not have the tools to fix it myself I asked Chase a local handyman who actually builds custom wood doors and who did a couple small wood cuts in the past for me if he could take it and fix it. And he agreed to it. He cut 6 inches off the bottom to remove the damaged area of the door, drilled out 5 holes to insert dowels, cut a piece of pine to the size removed, drilled holes in the new piece of wood, added glue to the holes and attached the new piece to the door.  Once the glue was set he plained the door to make it look  as though there were no changes made. And it looks perfect!

While the door was away being repaired I worked on repairing the glass insert that I kept in the house for safety. I used some wood filler and did two coats of white paint to keep the original look. And when the door was retuned I did a nice coat of Hunter green paint.

After repairs & paint

This afternoon I finished the final 3 coats of white paint on the side front door.  Having painted it solid green originally, looking from the road to that side of the house was too dark.  I decided to paint the interior of the frame around the glass white to mimic the front door and to help the door stand out – and it worked.


And finally the moment we’ve all been waiting for – The before and after of the exterior of the house. Full disclosure: at some point the porch will also be transformed. But for this year I am super happy with the outcome. The total cost to liven the exterior of the house was $196.  A somewhat inexpensive cost for a high impact look.





I hope you like the outcome as much as I do.






My Country Farmhouse – Week 1: Exterior Work

What a perfect week to spend outdoors. It has been so hot out that I’ve even got a pretty nice sun burn (as far as sun burns go). I decided this would be the week to start the exterior work on the house.  First on my list was to paint the natural wood balcony white to match all the trim and windows on the house. It took only 7 hours over a couple days to complete. I purchased outdoor wood paint in a semi-gloss from Ronas that was regular $65 a can and when I checked out it was on sale for $55. Score! Money saved! Here is a before and after of the balcony. Once the balcony was done I went right to the window on the right, sanded and painted it. What a difference!


With the old window painted upstairs it was time to move down to the porch to sand and paint the dining room window and sill. I was also able to do one of three bay windows. Slowly the house is transforming. I’m just so motivated to see it complete.



The side entrance door has a new coat of hunter green to match the eaves and roof of the house. Which also matches the balcony door. And a fresh coat of white around the frame to brighten the entrance.


Monday May 25th I will be removing the front door and will fix the hole at the bottom by cutting a straight line from the left side to the right, inserting dowels, and glueing a new pieces of pine on. Once that is complete I will be adding a fresh coat of hunter green and white paint to freshen up the look. (Hole bottom right)


And while the door dries I will be working on sanding the 6 posts on the porch. Once that is complete I will be painting them the white and green (as seen) to liven them up.


Once all the painting is complete I will see where I am at financially and decide if replacing the wood on the porch is the right next move. It does eventually have to be done but I’m in no hurry. The current lattice will be coming off and being replaced with vertical planks and the floor boards will all be replaced. Once that is all done I will be painting the top of the porch green and the vertical slats white. I think this would tie in quite nicely with the look of the house.

(Note: the floor boards in this picture have been replaced in this section)


Hope you are all enjoying this incredible weather. Stay tuned for the progress on the exterior of the house.