barn painting$$

Wed May 17, 2006 9:16 pm

Been having a hard time finding someone to paint my barn, there are a lot of barns out there but apparently not a lot of people to paint them. I got a estimate from somone for my barn alone red with white trim, $4,200.00 He said he would do the red barn and the corn crib, goat barn, chicken coop and two other outbuildings for 5 grand. Now I figured it would be expensive but I wasnt really expecting (or hoping) it would be that much. Im thinking about doing it myself. Pressure washing off loose paint this summer and renting or buying a sprayer. If anyone has ever used a sprayer for this type of painting Im wondering what kind and how well it worked. Any advice would be appreciated. I imagine Ill be using a latex base barn paint and cutting it with something, (diesel, linseed oil,etc). Im also wondering if I painted the whole thing red and went back and trimmed with white if the white would cover the red??? Now I know why you see so many barns in need of painting :) On the plus side I have gotten my boat painted and will hopefully get some time to work on my cub soon :D :D

Wed May 17, 2006 9:43 pm


Painting is very labor intensive and expensive. The prices you were quoted don't seem out of line to me.

Wed May 17, 2006 10:26 pm


Spray alone won't cut it. You need to have at least one coat brushed on. Spray alone will make it look nice, but won't get any paint where it really needs to be. For that money you can buy a lot of ladders and brushes.

Sat May 20, 2006 6:16 am

Don't use latex paint unless it was already painted with latex.
Most latex paints don't last on a barn well. ( don't mix oil with latex or you will get a mess that looks like spoiled milk & will never dry.)
Use a good brand of oil base paint & cut it with 1 cup linseed oil per
gallon. ( do not thin further) Do not cut with diesel it will not let the paint cure properly!!
You can spray it all you just have to turn up the paint so you are really putting it on.(Don't scrimp).

If you think the price is high think of it this way.
1. go price the paint needed for the square footage you intend to paint.

I have a good friend that paints houses,barns + for a living.
Here is the formula he uses for an estimate.
1 hour labor ($52.00 per)for every 200 square to prep for paint.
1 hour to paint the same with spray gun 2 hours for brush painting.
Then add paint to the price.
he also adds travel time & set up time to the price.
(for the $52.00 you get 1 bucket truck + ladders , tools and 2 laborers.)
I painted my uncles barn in 1977.
I don't remember the footage but I do remember it cost him over $1000.00
in paint & linseed oil alone.
Price of a top of the line wood 36' ladder over $500.00.
He paid me $7.00 per hour + room and board.
It took 9 days at 12 + hours per day.
Bottom line you can do most any thing cheaper your self as you don't have to pay Insurance, unemployment & so on. But what is your time worth & do you have the time to do it right & all at once if you don't
you will have a barn that will be many diff. shades of color.

Sat May 20, 2006 5:15 pm

Don When I was 15 years old and after I left the circus I worked for a barn painter. He was an intinerant painter. We primerally painted roofs. He made his own paint. It was 10 gallons of Montgomery Ward liquid asphalt. 1` pound coffee can of Aluminum flake and the rest cut with gas to 55 gallons. You mixed it good and sprayed it on Hydroligically. If I remembed correctly the paint was under 55 lb of pressure. We used Surplus Navy diving hose. There was a squeeze handle similar to the ones on hand held sprayers. From the end of thet there was a 10 ft copper tubing belt with an ell near the end terminating in a shower head. The paint went on a horrorable purple but as the gas dried out it lifted the flake to the top. The asphalt kept the metal roof from rusting and the flake protedted the asphalt fom the sun. He had painted in that area (near Ohio Illinoise) 7 or 8 years earlier and when he konocked on a door and explained he was tha one did neighbors place he had no trouble getting new jobs.
The occassions we did barn sides it was all red or no do at any price. The paint was 5 or 10 gallons of Montgomery Ward Red pigment (don't remember which) 20 gallons of used crankcase oil also cut with Gass to make 50 gallons. Man did that soak in to the dried wood. Sounds like a hell of a way to do it but it worked and again there were jobs done 8 years earlier the held up well and the paint dried. For the roofe he would clinb up to the peak with sneakers on the lead headded nails. I would come up the hose as if it were a safety line and sit at the peak while he painted. We only knocked off loose flakey scale. Otherwise we painted right over well attached rust. We used scrapers on poles for loose paint on wooden sides. We only used ladders to the milk house roof or to the edge of the roof and climbed the rest of the way. We did 2 roofs and 1 barn in a day or 3 roofs. He and his and 2 kids in a trailer and had a maid. There was a second small trailer for the helper. There wasn't enogh money in the world to have him do white trim.
Am I telling you to do it that way no It really did look good and the oil would be less of a problem today because of the no lead in the gas. old wood with the surface weathered will just flake off under paint and not last long or look well long.
This was in 1948



Sat May 20, 2006 6:21 pm

OK Bill. I'll bit. What did you do in the circus?

One of the women at work remarked that she had worked as a paralegal for a lawyer at one time. She said she did more illegal things for the lawyer than she did when she ran away at age 17 and joined the carnival. I never did have the nerve to ask her what illegal things she did while she was with the carnival.


Sat May 20, 2006 11:31 pm

Nothing big. I was a roustabout for the side show. We set up the side show tent in the morning and the poles and banners for the midway. Later we sold tickets for the fat man . bearded lady Etc. after the evening show (there were 2 A day0 we knocked down everything and loaded it on trucks. The luckey ones slept in a truck, the rest of us under one. Next morning we moved to the next town. There we had breakfast and started all over again..Very Very seldon played the same town 2 days in a row. Sundays was a day off and only 2 meals breakfast and a late lunch. This gave the kitchen crew a break. They packed up and moved to the next town in the evening. About the only thing illegal I did was lie about my age and go into town to buy the wine. I was the only one they trusted. If one of the others left with the money he would drink it all up before he got back. Only time I was questioned was in Ohio. I was 15 but looked over 21. They made me fill out some sot of paper. All I remember is that it was printed in red. Not very exciting in all. I had arrived in St Louis on a friday before Memorial day that Monday. Had enough for a meal and a paper. Only job was Mills Brothers Circus if I hitched to Bellville Ill. After the painting job I ended up in Cheyanne Wyoming for Frontier days if I remember it correctly. At that point I saw that the world was not ready for me, saved enough for airfare home and finished High School and well -today is today. Two good things came of it. I got my stuff together and when my sonwent through a similar bit of angst I was able to cope with it and we worked it out ok to the point he is my best friend. Bill was no where as stupid as I was. Oh from 15 to 17 it seemed that my father had gone from dummy to PHD. Never ncould figure how he did it so quick.


Sun Jun 04, 2006 9:55 am

Howdy all, this is a timely thread as i'm having a hard time finding someone to paint my pole barn also. Toyed with the idea of doin it myself, but the way i work it'd take all summer-not to mention the cost of renting a lift for that duration.
Its a 50'X80' (i think) corrugated steel sided barn with corrugated aluminum roofing. Contacted a few painting contractors and apparently the size is scarring is em off! I managed to get one estimate of around $3500 including pressure washing. But he will only use and swears by latex-based paint.

This is a 30+ yr. old barn with the original siding paint and i'm sure they didn't use latex back then.
Not sure whether this discussion here pertains to wood or steel barns but is latex paint OK to use for this barn? Oil-base would of been my 1st choice also but what kind or type?

Last thing i need is for the (wrong) paint to start peeling after a couple years!

Appreciate any comments, any relevent links or ideas