Monday, March 23, 2009

Dorkyness of flashing painted copper green?

Breakfast nook roof

Among the plethora of projects around the house, one is painting some of the galvanized flashing here and there where the paint is peeling off. There are two possible choices for the paint color here: we can either go with the brown of the rest of the trim on the house, which we still have to decide upon, given that there are no fewer than four shades of brown used on the exterior trim on the house, and I'd really like to just have one; or we can paint the trim a patined copper green.

Painting the flashing brown has a certain amount of merit. It will require less work, becuase for uniform results, we won't have to repaint everything. It'll be a little more subtle, too - it won't scream "look, there's copper on this house, come and steal it!". But it'll be boring, and what's the point of having commer gutters if you're going to be boring about them?

In the past, I've tended to think of the idea of painting flashing green to look like patinaed copper was somewhat dorky. Now, I'm not so sure. I've come to realize that there's more copper on this house than I had thought - the gutters and downspouts are all copper, though some have been painted. Would a bit more green look good or would it just be silly?

Anyway, I'd love to hear some thoughts on the subject.


PlantingOaks said...

I think it all hinges on how convincing your paint job is. If it really looks like copper, I think it's a great idea, and, as you say, will add character.

However, if it looks like it's supposed to look like copper, it will come across as dorky. Particularly, will it still look convincing after a few years? I am in no way familiar with the quality of faux finishes these days, but tend to be skeptical of them by default.

Above all, do not paint them a solid colored seafoam green, like the people down the street from us. I really need to post a picture of that house, as it is beyond belief.

NP said...

I have yet to see a convincing job with paint that is trying to look like copper. It usually just ends up looking like someone couldn't afford copper and cheaped out.

There's a beautiful church down the street from us with a slate roof and tons of copper flashing. Recently, they've had some copper work replaced and decided to try to paint it to look authentic. It stands out so badly, especially where the paint has started to fade.

I'd match it up with a nice brown colour that works with the rest of the brown. Just my opinion though...

Jayne said...

I don't know what you should do, but I love the word "dorkyness".

Why S? said...

I don't think I've ever seen this attempted, but it sounds like it might be a lot of work with the risk that when you're done you may be disappointed in the effect.

Kurt said...

I'm surprised you still have gutters after the ice storms this winter. Were you affected much?

Paint the galvanized stuff that is already painted to maintain it. Painting oxidized copper is futile. Live with the two different materials and concentrate the effort where it is required the most: The roof!

For a faux-copper finish that looks convincing you'll want to get a matte black base coat down and then dry-brush a patina green over that. Stay away from sea-foam. It should look dingy like old copper really looks. Good luck!

Christopher Busta-Peck said...

Kurt, we didn't really have ice storms here. My issues with ice were primarily with the massive sheets that built up on our shed dormer and then proceeded to fall down onto our breezeway gutters - not having insualtion in the attic is a very expensive proposition indeed!

As for your suggestion about putting the time and energy into the roof, I agree wholeheartedly. I'm waiting on a couple of estimates, as there's no way I'm going up on the main roof myself - the chances of me falling off are just too high. Once the weather warms up a bit more, I'll be tackling the roof over the breezeway - it's a little porch that is presently leaking a lot.