Farmhouse Restoration – The Spring House

A month ago I shared some before pictures of the spring house, the only original outbuilding that remains from what was once the dairy farm on our property.

The concrete building is from the early 20th century, around the same time period as the farmhouse. Spring houses were an older method of refrigeration before ice delivery and electricity were around. We’re just using it as a storage shed right now, but someday I would like to restore at least part of system inside.

The previous owners had added a plexiglass window and plastic lattice to keep pests out, but otherwise than that it had been left like this for a long time.

To start out with, we removed the old ice hut that was beside it and tidied up the area around the spring house.

In it’s place, we put the chicken coop and built a chicken run around the area too. My dad made us a cute farmhouse gate beside the springhouse to make it easier for me to get in the coop.

Over the summer we’ve made a few repairs, including removing old wires and patching up the cracks in the concrete.

We also used a wire brush to remove the existing paint that was falling off the sides. I laid down a sheet on the ground before we did it, just to make sure that the chickens didn’t pick up any little flakes. They have a habit of pecking at things on the ground!

Made dad found two old windows in his shed that perfectly fit the upper transom window and the window in the door. Once he put them up I could really see how it was going to change. Painting the spring house was not something we planned to do so soon, but while I was between coats of Behr Marquee Exterior Semi-Gloss Paint in Limousine Leather on the shutters, I thought I’d just do a little swatch of the black paint to see how it looked. Within minutes I was hooked (as I usually am when painting) and suddenly I was up on a step ladder with a brush in hand.

While that was drying, I thought I’d do just one section of the door…and before long I’d done that too. Nothing is straight and it’s all a little wonky, but that’s part of what I love about it. I’ve already been daydreaming about twinkle lights at Christmas and a wreath on that door!

With the black looking so sharp now, it was only a matter of time before Garrett got to work on the concrete. He was touching up some spots we’d missed when painting the stucco on the farmhouse and thought he’d just start one wall to see how it looked. From there is snowballed and we painted the whole thing with the same Behr Masonry, Stucco & Brick Paint in Mountain Summit. I think the chickens are pretty happy about their freshly painted run!

It’s harder to see in the larger photos, but up close you can see that we kept it quite rustic. We wanted it to have that time worn look with rough edges, but still look clean with new white paint.

My dad helped us replace the bargeboard on the gable of the roof. He cut the boards to size and then I primed and painted them with Behr Marquee Exterior Paint in Cameo White (same paint as the chicken coop) before he put them up.

I can’t believe it looked like this only a couple of weeks ago. I’m think we’ve managed to find a way to keep the rustic charm that I love about this building while still keeping it fresh and updated like the farmhouse.

On a side note…you may have seen on Instagram yesterday morning that we had a jailbreak! I was out taking these photos before work, and thought I’d let the chickens hang out in their run for some exercise while I was outside with them. Suddenly I heard lots of clucking and squawking to see that I hadn’t latched the gate properly and they’d all gotten out. Poor Whiskey was just in shock. He finally had his chance to catch a chicken and he froze. They were just happy to get out and pick at all the flowers in the garden. I lured them back in with frozen strawberries…and you better believe I’ll be double checking the gate from now on.

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Psst! – I’m sharing more details about the farmhouse restorations at Colorfully Behr. Come on over and see more projects by the Behr team.

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  1. Diane says


    I have been a long time reader of your lovely blog but never commented. I love reading your blog as you progressed from a single, successful young woman, living on your own in your very nice apartment to married to a great partner and now a proud homeowner building your new life in the country! Your blog is well done, always positive and upbeat. Really enjoying reading about your renovations and life in the country with your chickens and your dogs, keep up the excellent work!

  2. Rhonda says

    Wow! You rock – what a difference in the look of the buildings and property and in such a short time. So fresh. I love the screen door.

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