Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
This July 25, 2012 photo provided by Grass is Greener Lawn Painting shows the company's owner, Joseph Perazzo, working on a lawn in Irvington, N.J. With drought spanning about two-thirds of the nation from California to New York, some residents and businesses in normally well-watered areas are taking a page from the lawn-painting practices employed for years in the West and South to give luster to faded turf. (AP Photo/Grass is Greener Lawn Painting)
Turf painting spreads as drought ravages lawns
Brown to green » Properties turn lush with no watering needed to sustain the color.
First Published Jul 27 2012 11:42 am • Last Updated Jul 27 2012 11:45 am

Indianapolis • When this summer’s drought turned her prized lawn brown, Terri LoPrimo fought back, but not with sprinklers: She had it painted green, making her suddenly lush-appearing yard the envy of her neighborhood.

The Staten Island, N.Y., resident and her husband, Ronnie, hired a local entrepreneur to spruce up their yard by spraying it with a deep-green organic dye. By Monday, the couple’s property was aglow with newly green blades of grass and no watering needed to sustain it.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"It looks just like a spring lawn, the way it looks after a rain. It’s really gorgeous," said LoPrimo, a 62-year-old retiree.

With two-thirds of the nation covered by a drought that stretches from coast to coast, residents and businesses in normally well-watered areas are catching on to the lawn-painting practice employed for years in the West and Southwest to give luster to faded turf.

LoPrimo paid $125 to green up her roughly 830-square-foot lawn. She said it was worth every penny to keep her home of 33 years graced by an attractive yard.

Neighbors and friends have complimented the LoPrimos on their lawn’s appearance, and she said one envious friend asked for the number of their contractor, Joe Perazzo.

Perazzo, who teaches physical education at Brooklyn’s High School of Sports Management, began painting lawns during his summer break three years ago. His Staten Island company, Grass Is Greener Lawn Painting, has touched up close to 20 lawns this summer, making it his best year to date.

"I’m booked solid for next week. If you look around, most of the lawns need some TLC," Perazzo said.

He charges 15 cents per square foot to spray on a non-toxic, environmentally friendly turf dye that he said is commonly used on golf courses and athletic fields to give them a lusher appearance.

Perazzo said the dyed lawns will hold their verdant look for a few months, in some cases up to five months.


story continues below
story continues below

"It’s a night-and-day difference," he said. "People are amazed by how natural it looks."

Kansas City, Mo.-based Missouri Turf Paint Inc. has been selling latex turf paints for more than 40 years. Company president Jon Graves said his primary customers are golf courses looking to keep their greens attractive and athletic fields "getting ready for show time."

But he said he’s seen a slight increase this year in calls from people interested in either greening up residential lawns or wanting to get into the lawn-painting business.

"We’ve had calls primarily from people saying ‘Hey I think I’d like to do this for a business,’ but we’ve also had them about houses in foreclosure, homes they want to look a little bit better," for potential buyers, he said.

In the frequently parched Phoenix area, Brian Howland has been painting lawns for about five years as a side business to his full-time job with a sign- and banner-making company.

Howland said he started Arizona Lawn Painting after the foreclosure crisis left scores of Phoenix-area homes empty and their lawns neglected. He charges $200 for up to 3,000 square feet, and more if there are numerous lawn features to paint around.

Some of his customers have been residents fearful that their homeowners’ associations will penalize them for letting their lawns fade.

"Usually it’s people who don’t feel like messing with their yard or it’s a rental or a foreclosure or a sale — something where before everything gets going they want it to look nice," he said.

A newer entrant into the lawn-painting business is Tim Birdwell, whose Imperial Painting normally paints Indianapolis-area homes and commercial properties. But this month, Birdwell painted his own desiccated lawn.

His first paying customer was a Meineke muffler shop on the south side of Indianapolis, which, like most of Indiana, is in the midst of an extreme drought.

Last Friday, two of Birdwell’s workers sprayed the long strip of brown grass in front of the store with latex paint, creating an oasis of green in a suburban strip mall filled with faded grass.

Next Page >


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.