Dry lawns just need a new coat of paint

Company takes a novel approach – for B.C. – to dry, brown lawns

Despite the summer heat

Jacob Zinn

Black Press

With July’s rains long gone, our long, hot summer has brought the   dry, dormant lawns across the region.

Dormant, brown grass can be a bit of an eyesore, but a new venture is spreading across Vancouver Island to take care of unsightly lawns with a coat of paint.

Chris Peereboom, operations director of Victoria Lawn Painting, is greening local lawns with an environmentally friendly pigment as an alternative to watering, especially when water restrictions are in effect. He got into lawn painting with his business partner Jeff Meyer after seeing it gain popularity elsewhere.

“We’d both seen and heard of it in various areas, and we thought it was something that could work in Greater Victoria,” said Peereboom. “We have lots of water restrictions here, which is the main driving factor to lawn painting.

“It’s a big industry in California – they’ve had a lot of issues with droughts over the years. People are still wanting their lawns green, so they’ve come up with this solution.”

It may sound like a gimmick, and Peereboom is the first to acknowledge that.

“It’s just because most people don’t know about it yet,” he said. “It’s common in other places and it’s going to be common here.”

Peereboom said he uses an organic, plant-based pigment that’s child and pet-friendly. The pigment mixes with water, and depending on the ratio, determines the darkness or lightness of the paint.

“It works best if the lawn is fully dead and consistent,” he said. “We can do touch-ups – we can alter the colour a little bit.”

According to Peereboom, the average front lawn costs around $250 to paint and takes about 90 minutes. Within an hour after, the paint is dry and lasts for two to three months.

“I have one client who constantly sees his neighbour out there watering the lawn,” said Peereboom. “He just had us paint it and his lawn is still greener than the neighbour’s.”

With global warming leading to hotter weather year after year, Peereboom foresees lawn painting becoming a cost-effective solution for those wanting to keep their lawns green in the heat.

“It’s a cheaper alternative to spending all the time and money watering it, even if there aren’t restrictions,” he said. “It’s a wonderful solution to a problem that is just going to get worse and worse as we have warmer and warmer summers every year.”