If you have been putting off that home or business exterior paint job, it's time to get started. There is still time to be included as a winner in the 33rd Annual Chicago Paint & Coatings Association's "Chicago's Finest Painted Ladies & Her Court Competition."
What's the secret to a winning Painted Lady?
The Painted Lady came into vogue in San Francisco between 1840 and 1900 and the homes were built as a result of the Industrial Revolution and railroads. Skilled craftsmen throughout the country could now sell ornate exterior decorations, like spindles and scrollwork, to a wider audience at affordable prices. Thus a whole new world of whimsy was opened up to architects throughout the land.
Victorian architecture is admired everywhere, with its dramatic cupolas, looming towers, fancy turrets, rounded porches and balustrades.
According to HGTV, the upkeep of these historic treasures and maintaining curb requires regular maintenance.
"Think of it like owning a classic car, and since you can't garage your home, weather is going to factor into your Victorian's overall state. The weather can wreak havoc on all the exterior elements. Where you are on the map is definitely going to affect how often you have to paint, as well as the different types of flora and fauna complementing the home."
HGTV notes that the quintessential Victorian home's exterior is comprised of at least three colors; some have as many as nine different hues and shades. Darker colors are meant to enhance unique architectural details, and outlining windows lends character to the home. The decade that your house was built can impact the colors you select in terms of authenticity.
"But keep in mind that the historic palettes are just a starting point. Always get samples and look at them for a few days and all different kinds of light. Don't follow a trend, and you certainly shouldn't waste money on colors you don't like. Keep in mind that the historic palettes are just a starting point. Always get samples and look at them for a few days and all different kinds of light. Don't follow a trend, and you certainly shouldn't waste money on colors you don't like."
How to enter the competition
The competition is lively with winners being honored at a special dinner this fall, and presented with a photo of their winning home taken by renowned Chicago photographer, Hal Baim. There are a number of books available at local libraries to assist you in doing your best in creating a stand out masterpiece. Size and style are not a factor in the judge's decision. The only consideration is quality of craftsmanship and the beauty of paint application. In some neighborhoods one work has inspired others.
Winning Categories may include: Best… Color Combination To fit the Geographic Location; Use of Paint Detail Professionally Painted; Non-Professionally Painted Use of Expressive Colors; Use of Color for a Residence; Use of Color for a Business; Use of Color for a Victorian; Use of a Bold Color Combination; Use of a Bold Color Combination; Use of Color for a Non-Victorian; Craftsmanship of Paint Application; and Use of Color for the Style of the Home.
The entire Chicago Area is eligible, as well as Northwest Indiana. There will be a division among the entries between "self-painted" and "professionally painted."
"So there's plenty of time to paint, to change and provide a fresh look to the interior and exterior of homes at a reasonable cost. It's a solid investment for the homeowner" commented Bill Heiden, CPCA spokesperson, who invites home owners to research a list of categories for this year's competition, which can be found on the on-line entry form. Link to
The Chicago Paint & Coatings Association is a 100-year-old non-profit trade association made up of member companies who are manufacturers, raw material suppliers and distributors for the paint and coatings industry.