fifty sheds of grey

back in april, when phase one of our backyard transformation got underway, we decided to replace our 8′ x 6′ aluminum shed with a 10′ x 8′ carriage house-style shed from a bolton-based company called duroshed. our neighbours to the south have a smaller version of the carriage house and, back before they put up a privacy fence, i got a good enough look at theirs to decide it was exactly what i had in mind for our own yard.

anything’s better than this, right?

my dad estimated it would cost us around $3000 to build the shed ourselves, cement pad included. we ended up building the pad ourselves, but since the carriage house from duroshed started at about $1700, it seemed pretty cost effective (and way easier) to hire them to build us a shed. we made a few upgrades to the basic model — increasing the footprint, adding double doors, a second window, and gable vents — but all in, working with them only cost us about $2400 and we didn’t have to lift a finger.

until we did.

hence the reason i have been alluding to this mysterious new shed for months now without doing a post. once it was built, we had to paint it. i had every intention of painting it over our two-week stay-cation in august, but didn’t. then, i was definitely going to do it over the labour day long weekend, but didn’t get far. so when the thanksgiving long weekend rolled around, and it started to get freaking cold out, i knew i had to get out there.

but let’s back up to choosing the paint colours.

i thought it would look pretty nice (and continuous) if the shed matched our front porch, which, as you can see, is white and slate blue-grey. previous little bungalow owner paul painted the porch before putting the house up for sale, and i loved the porch on sight. it’s probably the only part of the house that i haven’t changed the colour of (and don’t plan to).

as i’ve mentioned in some previous posts, paul helpfully left us all his extra, half-used gallons of paint when we took possession. i found the two leftover cans marked “porch” and wrote down the colours and id numbers to take to the home depot paint counter. both in behr exterior latex tins, one gallon was stickered “graceful grey,” which i assumed to be the blue-grey that the majority of the porch is painted, while the other was marked “mineral,” which seemed likely to be the white that the pillars and posts are painted.

without opening up the cans, without looking at any colour swatches, i took my post-it note into home depot and had the paint department mix me up two new gallons of paint. mineral came out just as i anticipated, but i got a surprise when it came time to inspect graceful grey. it was nowhere near the slate blue i was expecting — it pretty much looked exactly the same as mineral.

indignant, i went over to the colour wall and — too late, obviously — hunted down the mineral and graceful grey colour swatches to find that they’re pretty much the same colour — and that same colour is not slate blue. paul must have finished off the gallon of blue-grey paint and not left any behind; everyone in the home depot paint department (bastards!) refused to add more pigment to graceful grey to turn it slate blue. (i was maniacally waving around a swatch called “pencil point” to no avail.)

i really wanted to abandon the unwanted gallon of graceful grey somewhere deep in the recesses of the lumber department (i hadn’t yet paid for it), but pierre (who clearly had a more moral upbringing than i did) insisted we buy it. i spent the car ride home alternately bemoaning the waste of $60 and wondering where the hell paul used graceful grey on the porch.

after we pulled into our driveway, pierre jumped out to inspect the porch and it was “just as he thought” — graceful grey was a pointless accent to mineral. if you squint really hard you can tell that the caps on the posts are a different shade of grey-white than the posts themselves. i’ve been sitting on that porch for close to two years now and never noticed there was more than one colour on the railing. so now we owned nearly four gallons of might-as-well-be the same colour paint.

the original plan was to paint the majority of the shed slate blue and to do the trim in mineral. i thought the darker colour would hold up in the backyard better than white. but with all the river rock surrounding the shed to keep splashes of dirt to a minimum and, let’s face it, having paid for two gallons of grey-white paint, in addition to what we had left in the basement, we decided to do the opposite.

i still had to purchase a gallon of slate blue paint and, not knowing what paul used on the porch, i picked silver hill by behr as a best guess. it’s a little more blue than the porch, but i think it turned out okay.

we also did quite a bit of planting this summer (that’s what i was doing in august when i was supposed to be painting the shed) and our new beds are filling in nicely. we’re too late to fill the window boxes on the shed with flowers this year, but next spring i’ll be set to add some shade-loving annuals and hopefully everything we’ve planted in this back corner returns with a vengeance.

and what’s this? a fence? yes! my dad, brother, and husband worked hard over two weekends in september auguring holes for eight fence posts and then putting up 56′ of lattice. our neighbours’ dog no longer uses our lawn as a toilet and i can’t begin to explain how much better this makes our yard. full post on the fence to come, once it’s all finished. (we need a gate, caps, and the lattice propped diagonally near that bush is just a temporary beagle barrier.)

looking at the yard today, we’re pretty amazed by our progress this year. this is what we started with: lots of unwanted bushes, a shed that could’ve doubled as a haunted house, and a chain link fence or no fence at all.

still a ways to go in the backyard — a patio is planned for spring 2013 — but with the shed finally done we’re ready for a winter indoors.

12 thoughts on “fifty sheds of grey

  1. Another beautiful transformation! Your backyard looks so inviting to sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee or a glass of wine or at this time of year I can see you sitting out there with a cup of mulled cider. Well done! (clever post title too!)

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