Painting projects one of the top COVID-19 renovation projects

Published 7:50 am Friday, July 10, 2020

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Towns are ever-changing, as are the buildings they contain. One of the tried and true ways to effect change rapidly when it comes to sprucing up a structure is a clean couple of coats of paint.

Whether it’s an interior room or a whole-house exterior paint job, a new look and new life for either can be achieved in short period of time. Across Washington, plenty of homes have recently undergone or are in the process of being painted, and there are a few reasons why homeowners are going the painting route this year.

NEUTRAL-PLUS: White trim and black shutters complement the new coat of exterior paint on this historic district home.


Most homeowners have a list of projects they’d like to do: take out a wall between rooms, build a deck, tackle the landscaping, renovate a bathroom, build a shed — the list can be endless. This year, however, the home improvement market is strong. With the COVID-19 pandemic showing no abatement, more homeowners getting around to home-improvement projects that make up their personal lists, and the market reflects it.

According to, both Lowe’s Cos. Inc (Lowe’s Home Improvement) and Tractor Supply Company have reported profits and sales well above expectation, as has Scotts Miracle Grow, due to the unprecedented number of people planting gardens and doing landscaping projects this year. Sherwin-Williams is another company that has also charted much better than expected sales.

“People have more time at home, and you see something that you’ve been wanting to work on for a while and all of sudden you do have the time now,” said local realtor Scott Campbell.

The DIY tracker conducted by the Home Improvement Research Institute and The Farnsworth Group, supports that theory. In surveys conducted in each month from March to May, 72% of respondents said they had started a new DIY project in the last week with 87% in March, 81% in April and 75% in May saying they had started their projects specifically because they were at home more often due to COVID-19. The top-three projects for all three months were painting a room or exterior, landscaping-planting and lawn maintenance.

TRENDING: Combining both the current trend of rich, eye-catching blues and black accents, this East Second Street home now pops against a backdrop of more neutral neighbors.


Like home-improvement-related businesses, real estate sales in Beaufort County have not slowed down over the course of the pandemic. With new purchases, come renovations that suit the new homeowners. Often that may mean an exterior paint job.

“When people move into a new property, whether it’s an old house or a new house, they also spend money doing the things they want to do to make it their own — whether that’s painting, sprucing up the porch or landscaping,” Campbell said.

Campbell, a downtown Washington resident, has documented the many projects he’s seen happening over the past several months, many of which he attributes to new owners drawn by the accessibility offered by downtown living.

“I think that it’s a discovery recently of our really fantastic quality of life, particularly of downtown, where you can walk to everything, to the restaurants, to the river — and all that good stuff is reachable,” Campbell said.

ACCENTED: Though this East Main Street home is a very neutral light gray, its new black accents on trim surrounding the windows catch the eye.


With every year, comes a new round of paint colors that are trending, and some of those trends can be seen on a drive around town. 2020’s trending colors run the gamut between the neutral and the bold — and neutral with bold accents. Of note are black accents on window sills, trim and doors, rich blues, deeper grays, olive green and taupes and tans paired with white, red or brown accents.

GO BOLD: Until recently the condominiums at the corner of West Second Street and Hackney Avenue were painted white. This bold gray-blue exterior gives the buildings a fresh, contemporary look.