Why would you paint stonework!

Why would you paint stonework!

This is a classic example of what's wrong with America. Here, the school across the street from me is being painted. Normally, that's a good thing, but this doorway is a classic example of art deco municipal architecture being defiled by a slap-dash paint job. The concrete isn't crumbling or cracking, it's just dirty. Any type of stonework, including concrete, should never be painted; instead, it should be powerwashed, sandblashed, or maybe just scrubbed with a soapy brush.

There are two reasons for this. First, paint messes with the physical properties of stone! Stone actually breathes and expands depending on conditions. Humidity, temperature, and even air pressure can affect stone. Painting it restricts it's ability to self-regulate and in the long term this can lead to structural damage.

The second reason is less damaging to life and limb. It just looks bad. Stone is beautiful in its own way. It endures better than paint, it goes with everything, and it reinforces the sense of permanence that a building such as a school is meant to portray. Paint looks cheap and requires re-painting on a regular basis. So it's actually more economical and more environmentally sound to leave the stone exposed than to keep painting it over and over.



Aug 2011

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