Drought makes painted lawns more popular

How can you keep your lawn green during a drought? Rather than spend money on water, some homeowners and businesses are choosing to paint their grass green.

By Teresa at MSN Real Estate Jul 30, 2012 12:08PM

Joseph Perazzo, owner of Grass is Greener Lawn Painting, demonstrates how he spays lawns at a house on the Staten Island borough of New York.

© Mary Altaffer/AP
This summer's drought has brought new popularity to the latest in lawn-care trends.


Do you want the greenest grass in the neighborhood? Paint it.


Unless you live in a place with abundant rainfall, you may have discovered that achieving that verdant, lush, green look in a traditional lawn of grass is not easy. You have to fertilize, and you have to water — a lot.


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In this time of heightened environmental consciousness, we are learning that using precious water to maintain lawns is not the best choice for the environment — or for your pocketbook.

In Staten Island, N.Y., Ronnie and Terri LoPrimo paid $125 to have an organic green dye sprayed over their 830-square-foot lawn. "It looks just like a spring lawn, the way it looks after a rain," Terri LoPrimo told The Associated Press. "It's really gorgeous."

Contractor Joe Perazzo said he had painted about 20 lawns this summer and was booked for the next week, making this his best year ever.


Lawn painting is more commonly used for athletic fields and golf courses, though arid regions of the West have been painting home lawns for a while. The foreclosure crisis has accelerated the trend.

"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," Brian Howland of Arizona Lawn Painting, based in Phoenix, told The AP.


If a painted lawn is not quite natural enough for you, you could consider a landscape that uses real plants but requires less water. Among your options are more hardscape, such as pavers, xeriscaping and using native plants and other vegetation that does not need as much water as grass does.

Oct 10, 2012 4:22PM
I painted our dried-out, brown lawn in our small, front yard with a product called LawnLift.  It looks wonderful. This product is non-toxic and biodegradeable. They include a MSDS/Material Safety Data Sheet. This is so easy to apply. I just sprayed it on and it took 30 minutes to dry in the sun. It is supposed to last for 3 months. If it fades from heavy foot traffic, I just have to spray some to touch it up. I love it!!!!  
Aug 1, 2012 10:47AM
Organic paint was only one entry in this discussion. As I assume, organic paint can't be assumed and other methods of color could be used. So I still wonder if this stuff gets into ground water and/or stays in the surface ground-still not good.
Jul 30, 2012 9:42PM
What a ridiculous, pointless luxury. Grass grows, grass fades, grass dies, grass regrows. Let nature do it's thing and stop worrying about making it "perfect". 
Jul 30, 2012 9:14PM
The lawn painting is something that I'm not very familiar with, but it sounds like a decent alternative for drought stricken areas.   I just wonder how safe the paint is on the eco-system, or primarily, the ground water supply.
Jul 30, 2012 8:41PM

If there is no such thing as global warming, then why are there always record heat temperatures?  I mean, if the world wasn't getting hotter, you'd think we wouldn't be seeing temperatures break records so often?

Jul 30, 2012 8:12PM
In the news a couple of years ago a guy in Dallas put Astro Turf in his front yard. He had the best looking yard in the neighborhood. Good on water conservation and no pollution mowing it. City of Dallas said he was violating city ordinances and they made him rip it out. Go figure!
Jul 30, 2012 7:33PM
Can they do highlights?  Or maybe red and green stripes for Christmas?
I prefer a natural effect, not  golf course.
But then I like nature and have better things to do
Jul 30, 2012 7:26PM
I wish we could go over to astroturf lawns.LOL Maybe just the infrequent vacum in summer. Save the water for better things such as growing vegetables and flowers.
Jul 30, 2012 7:20PM
While I was reading this I had the Alice in Wonderland song "Painting the Roses Red" stuck in my head:

"Painting the roses red
We're painting the roses red
We dare not stop or waste a drop
So let the paint be spread!
We're painting the roses red
We're painting the roses red!

Oh, Painting the roses red
And many a tear we shed
Because we know
They'll cease to grow
In fact they'll soon be dead!..."
Jul 30, 2012 7:05PM
Jul 30, 2012 6:31PM
I remember when LBJ was President, he and Lady Bird would fly into Bergstrom AFB in Austin.  The Air Force would paint the grass green on the main street so LadyBird would be happy .  Sad but true. 
Jul 30, 2012 5:38PM
Is there any concern about that paint on the lawn getting into the ground water?  The organic stuff would be fine. But the paint on large areas of ground seems like a bad idea. In Arizona I saw lawns simply covered with colored wood chips. Maybe that would be a care free yard, but not too nice to walk on barefooted!!
Jul 30, 2012 5:24PM
I'm been picking around the edges of the lawn for a few years, converting it into evergreen & rose hedges and other gardens (fruit & nut trees & bushes, figs, strawberries, Chinese dates, asparagus, etc). They seem to use less water than grass and the shade underneath them seems to reduce evaporation.

I have 2 1/4 acres (originally half woods & half grass/driveway/house. Of course, 4 small streams makes water a little less of an issue.
Jul 30, 2012 4:55PM
Apparently, Teresa Mears doesn't know that verdant and green are synonyms. Being from Florida is no excuse.
Jul 30, 2012 4:32PM
I wanna be the first on my reservation to do this!! Where's my paintbrush ???
Jul 30, 2012 4:30PM
New thing? In the early to mid sixties my father and I worked for Bruce Terminix pest control. We also painted lawns- including our own in summer time Arkansas, as well as special jobs for Razorback games. We even made light green concrete for jobs around our  house. It is pretty striking when a straight line of deep green divides your lawn from the dead yellow of the neighbors on either side.
  As to why we have lawns: Over 100 years ago only very wealthy could afford to maintain a lawn, so it was a status symbol. As commoners improved their income having a lawn was a sign that they "had made it" too.  Over time most have grown up thinking having a manicured carpet is only natural since nearly everyone except urban dwellers was born into a home with a lawn.

Jul 30, 2012 4:04PM
Jul 30, 2012 3:39PM

This is one of those moments........ these people who are spraying their lawns green must have more

money than brains ! 

Jul 30, 2012 3:18PM

To the people putting the lonely ads on here: The reason you are lonely is because you are very very very annoying!!!! quit posting crap on here.

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