While building a state-of-the-art barn is a dream for many horse people, the reality is that most of us end up buying a property with an existing barn which has maybe seen better days. 

Personally, I love an older barn—one which has stood the test of time and has a bit of character, but I also know that some of these structures may be in need of a bit of help. If you have an oldie-but-goodie barn, here are a few ideas for how you can spruce it up:

For the Outside

For wood barns, replacing rotting or damaged boards or beams is important and will not only help to improve your barn’s look, but also add to the structure’s longevity. Adding a new roof may also become necessary at some point, and a metal roof is often your best option, as they tend to last much longer than other types of roofs. 

Painting a wood barn can really freshen it up, as well as help protect it from weathering, and installing a new barn door is another great way to add to the aesthetic value of an older barn. 

Another idea that will be sure to add plenty of charm is to hang a barn star or quilt board on the outside of your barn. You can also spruce up the perimeter by adding some landscaping, a few flower pots, or perhaps an outdoor table and chairs. 

For the Inside

Most older barns need some help on the inside, too. Wood beams, lumber, and/or poles may need replacing and you may want to install a few other modern conveniences as well. If you really want to go all out, installing custom stalls or perhaps new hardware on existing stalls or gates can really add a nice touch. 

Since many older barns may have inadequate lighting (or no lighting at all), you will likely want to address this issue as well, but it’s wise to hire an electrician to update your barn’s electrical needs. 

With some help, these outdated barns can really shine up and may even give those new barns a run for their money! 


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Casie Bazay

Casie Bazay is a freelance and young adult writer, as well as an owner/barefoot trimmer and certified equine acupressure practitioner. She hosts the blog, The Naturally Healthy Horse, where she regularly shares information on barefoot, equine nutrition, and holistic horse health. Once an avid barrel racer, Casie now enjoys just giving back to the horses who have given her so much. Follow Casie at www.casiebazay.com or on Instagram @casie_bazay and Twitter @CasieBazay.