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Primitive Ways to Decorate a Shed

Garden sheds, once relegated to storing tools, are being given new lives. Outfitted with country primitive touches, they now offer inviting spaces to pot plants, do some woodworking or inventory your tools, as well as a spot to sit back after a long day's yard work. In some cases, the tools move to another storage area and the shed becomes a studio, guest cottage or back yard getaway.
  1. Roof

    • To give your shed a more primitive look, swap out asphalt shingles for wood ones. As the wood ages it will develop a silvery patina, adding to the shed's vintage look. Another idea is to install a tin roof. As it weathers and develops rust it will give your shed the look of an old cabin. If moss is beginning to grow on your existing roof, let it continue. This gives your shed the look of a rustic, primitive structure in need of a little TLC. Top off the shed roof with a small cupola with a rusty weather vane on top. You can buy an antique weather vane or choose a new one that has been weathered to look old.

    Outside Walls

    • Climbing plants and vines enveloping a shed add a punch of color while giving the structure a primitive flair. Install a trellis and encourage a climber like trumpet vine or wisteria to trail along the sides and over the roof. For more color, fill window boxes with bright summer flowers like red geraniums and yellow marigolds. Barn stars of different shapes and colors will rust as they age, complimenting rusty vintage tools. Hang both on the shed walls, forming a collage of eye catching shapes. Another idea is to create a focal point with vintage laundry items like a large galvanized tub and wash board. There's nothing like the slam of a screen door to evoke a primitive country feeling. Hang an old one or finish a new one to look old by sanding off the paint in spots to mirror years of wear. A grapevine wreath sporting a raffia bow or one made from faded quilt scraps will give the door a welcoming look. If your shed has a porch, wrap the railings with grapevines coupled with grapevine furniture or weathered wicker chairs with faded cushions.

    Inside Walls and Floors

    • Whitewash or milk paint will lend a primitive patina to the shed's inside walls. If the shed has a wood or cement floor, stencil a "rug" or paint the entire floor in a checkerboard pattern and dot it with rag rugs. Don't be afraid to drag tools and furniture across the floor to hasten the weathering process. Garlands of dried flowers, grasses and pine boughs bordering the windows make fine substitutes for more traditional curtains, and you can tie them in bunches to hang from the rafters. If you prefer the softening influence of fabric at your windows, keep the primitive theme going by thumb-tacking pieces of linen or old feed bags to the window frames.

      Old wooden crates stacked along the walls make a good place to corral small tools and gardening pots and implements. For further storage, be creative by hanging vintage chairs from peg boards to serve as primitive decorations when not in use.