It’s Amazing What Some Paint Will Do


This row of houses on 13th Street used to look a bit beat up but now with some fresh paint they look, well, fresh.

16 Comment

  • The paint does make them look more cohesive and fresher, but I generally don’t like to see brick get painted. To me, it means taking a building material that needs maintenance once every hundred years and making it so you now have to update the paint every five to ten years.

  • I’m with you, hipchick, but once the paint’s out of the can and on the brick, there’s not much the rest of us can do but continue to paint. That’s the case with my house, and it’s the case with many, many others. Perhaps you need to initiate a mass mailing to the owners of unadorned brick houses imploring them not to paint in the first place. The rest of us are stuck, so the best we can do is make it pretty.

  • Oh, Perry, it’s an ongoing crusade. I’m also a purist whe it comes to original interior woodwork. My friend and I practically had an intervention with the wife of another friend of ours who was intent upon painting the stained, previously never painted pristine wood trim all over their new old house.

  • Ah, yes, the interior trim debate. I’m with you there, too, and unlike our exterior brick, we luckily got a home with most of the original trim unpainted. For some reason, the previous owners couldn’t help themselves in a few of the rooms, but the living room and dining room remain pristine. For that I am grateful.

    As for the paintless brick, maybe we need to start a PoP Patrol. Anyone spotting painters setting up outside an unpainted brick home sounds the alert. hipchick and crew will be right over to stop the assault! 🙂

  • I have an unpainted brick house, and have no plans to paint it. All of the houses on my block are unpainted. However, I love some of the fun paint jobs and really think it livens up some blocks. Pictures of many of these blocks have been posted here. I think it’s fun. Maybe not maintenance free, but it’s fun to be able to change the look of a house with a new color and fresh coat of paint.

  • Anon, I hear you. It can definitely brighten up a block. My favorite paint jobs (and, of course, the most expensive) are the ones where they leave the brick alone and go wild on the trim and the slate roof. (Well painted slate is rare, but a treat.)

    @Perry…you know it!

  • I LOVE the painted brick. LOVE LOVE LOVE. If I could I’d paint every brick rowhouse I see.

  • saf

    [email protected]:00 – you’ve never owned a home and had to worry about maintenance $, have you?

  • i can’t wait to paint all the brick on the back of my house to stop water infiltration

  • Hi Eric. Wouldn’t that be more of a pointing or a gutter issue? I’ve never heard of paint preventing infiltration, although it is used to treat efflorescence.

  • I love the aesthetic of painted brick. Maybe I’m biased because I grew up in a brick house that was painted pink, and it was incredibly cool. It is more expensive, for sure, but I love the way it looks.

  • You can put lipstick on a pig but…

    Oh wait.

    Once the brick is painted you might as well make the best of it. Most houses in DC are painted way too conservatively for my taste or do a poor job matching/contrasting with the houses around them. For instance I painted my house light yellow with dark green trim. My neighbor, whose house is a twin of mine painted his house cream and dark beige. Yeah…not exactly Martha Stewart-land…

  • Saf, yes I am a homeowner. So there!

  • saf

    Ok Anon, obviously you have a lot more time and money to do needless work on your house than I do.

  • Herb, I agree, if you’re gonna paint it make it fabulous. The only painted brick on my block is pale yellow withe beige shutters and a tan roof. Why bother?

  • The house was painted before – and was in disrepair – this is a FRESH coat of paint. And it looks good.

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