Our Freshly Painted Black A-Frame

October 31, 2018

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Painting our A-frame black was one of the best decisions ever! Even though I pinned 50 black houses and cabins, when it came time to pull the trigger, I was still so nervous–but as soon as they started, it was clearly the right choice. The painters finally wrapped up last week and I’m here to share a few photos. These were taken two separate days, one overcast and one REALLY sunny (you’ll be able to tell which is which–ha!) The overcast day they weren’t completely finished, but I was able to catch some really true-to-life shots of the cabin. And the sunny day, everything is a lot more vibrant.


Here’s how the cabin looked in the listing. It actually didn’t have all the railings on, but you can see how vibrant the red stain was on the cabin.

Here’s an in-progress shot where you can see the deep orange stain a little more true to life. Also note the multicolored railings that were never painted. The more black they added, the more it felt like home.

Exterior Stain on the cabin

Here’s how it looks today!

We used Cabot’s solid acrylic stain in black. It’s a great warm black and has a 15 year warranty. We also put a fresh coat of black (using rustoleum’s satin black spray paint) on all the railings.




As I was sharing some progress in stories, we got a lot of questions if we are keeping the roof the same–YES! The roof will probably out-last us. It’s in great condition and the copper color is so pretty and warm. I love the way it pops in the winter especially.

I took this photo when the painting was still in progress, hence the ladders everywhere. They ended up bringing a crane in to paint the chimney, so there was a little delay in getting the project done. All in all it took 3 weeks to paint the entire cabin (they used brushes and rollers for the entire thing!) and 15 gallons of solid stain.

Our total (not including the stain) was $3600 for the paint job, that included putting a clear coat on all the decking. I think we would have paid more to have someone do it quicker–but the only rush we were in was against the weather.

Inside, the contractors have all but finished the upstairs and have started framing in the new bedroom and bathroom downstairs. We are (somehow!) hosting Christmas up here this year, so the fun part has officially commenced!


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What do you think?

  1. Samantha says:

    We just gutted our new A-Frame in TN. Just finished painting the beams inside today. Exterior is coming this spring. Can I get the brand and color of your roof? My husband wants metal roof in a battleship gray color with dark gray board and batten siding. Bit I really feel in love with the richness on your colors. It’s beautiful!

    Sending love from TN,


  2. Carrie says:

    We have a copper roof and I’m trying to convince my husband to go black for the siding! Did you find that the black siding made a difference in the internal temperature? He swears the black will make the house hotter in the summer.

  3. Patrick says:

    I’m in love with this look! I know it’s an old post and the cabin sadly didn’t survive the fire, but how special to have these photos to look back on. Question for you: what kind of prep was involved prior to staining? Did you have to sandblast or remove the existing stain at all?

  4. Janie Claiborne says:

    The color of your cabin inspired me to paint our house black. It’s under construction now so it is still a ways off but we’ll definitely try paint samples directly on the house. I am definitely nervous since it has a lot of roof.

  5. Gwen says:

    I want to paint our workshop this color. Was your stain already tinted black or was it tinted at purchase?

  6. Kotti says:

    Were your French doors leading out to the deck white before? I’m pretty sure they were and so I assumed they were vinyl and you couldn’t paint vinyl. Help solve the mystery bc if they’re in fact vinyl and you’ve discovered a way to paint vinyl I will die of happiness and paint my house black too!!

  7. Gordana says:

    Love that you chose black for the cabin, it really looks so much better, but I would suggest adressing that concrete wall. You don’t have to necessarily paint it or cover it, you can leave the concrete exposed. And there are few ways to make concrete look nice and intentional and not shabby and worn out. I like the combination of those materials and colors you have on your cabin, I just think it could look so much better if that wall was in better shape :)

  8. I. LOVE. THIS. Black was the perfect choice. I love how the copper and natural wood decking and stairs pop. It’s. PERFECT. And perfectly CLJ! Did I mention that it was perfect?

  9. Eileen says:

    Looks absolutely amazing. All the heart eyes from here. And not that you need my affirmation but I think the grey foundation is a great contrast. A little seasonal power washing and some tending to the natural landscape and I think you’ll be psyched that everything isn’t dark. Looks beautiful. Loving these simple and doable but magnificently transformative changes.

    Serious Question: Did you guys add railings? Or am I losing my mind?

    • Chris says:

      Thanks Eileen! Some of the before photos are from the listing, so the previous owners added them sometime between when those were taken and when we bought it.

  10. steph says:

    All I can see is that blaring white of the concrete! Why didn’t you guys paint that? I kept waiting for it during the in progress photos! Would love to know your plans for that.

  11. Cassie says:

    Whoa, that price seems unbelievable!! You must be pinching yourself when you drive up to it now. It’s so so gorgeous. Living the dream, guys :)

  12. SG says:

    This is GORGEOUS!! <3 My boyfriends family has a log cabin with a green metal roof – it's stained an orangey-brown and I've been collecting inspiration photos of black painted cabins to start my case for staining it black when it needs to be restained (soon!)….definitely adding these to my arsenal!

  13. Mira says:

    Am I the only one that now wants the foundation/cement painted black too? Is that possible?

  14. Jessica says:

    Wow it’s beautiful.

  15. Julie S says:

    The black is fantastic by itself, and with the copper roof and fall foliage it looks off the charts!!! Soooo dreamy.

  16. Lauren Albright says:

    So beautiful! Can I ask where you got the round chairs and table in the 5th photo down? Sorry if you’ve already linked it!

  17. Brynn says:

    I feel like that is an amazing price to paint the entire exterior! Looks so so so good.

  18. Victoria says:

    Soooo much better in black! So envious of Christmas in that cabin. Looking forward to seeing the Christmas decor.

  19. Jen says:

    Gorgeous! Perfect mix of natural wood and black.

  20. Emily says:

    This is the most beautiful thing! Great choice and the end result is amazing!!!

  21. MARA SMITH says:

    Love the black. BUT, I love it even more with that copper roof! Good choice!

  22. Emily says:

    It looks great!! Did you think about stripping those logs that act as columns to their natural wood color and then clear coating them?!

  23. I am on the fence about what color to paint my lake house. This gives me inspiration – It looks AMAZING! What a difference. Perfect setting.

  24. Natalie says:

    It’s really beautiful & I know you will make some incredible memories there! Well done!

  25. You’re right! It was an excellent choice. The cabin looks beautiful.

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