WOODLAND >> A Woodland artist and graphic designer has found a new canvas for his work — lawns. Kent Smith is painting brown lawns green.
Smith is offering what he calls “curb appeal” to those who want their lawns to look like they did before the drought. The process, also called “lawn painting,” requires the application of a non-toxic paint that clings to grass blades.
“As a result of cutting back on water usage, lawns are turning brown,” Smith said. “Now people can have their green lawns back.”
According to Smith, lawn painting is increasing in popularity and is being used all over the country.
“It”s used on golf courses and football fields regularly,” he said.
He doesn”t want people to get the wrong idea.
“You can”t just stop watering the grass,” he said. “It isn”t artifical turf. You still need it to have enough water to keep it alive.”
Cathy Winn, one of Smith”s neighbors, had her lawn painted about two weeks ago.
“I was a little hesitant at first,” Winn said. “Once I did it, I was really glad I did. It looks really natural.”
She said she has told some of her friends to drive by and take a look at her lawn.
“They can”t even tell,” Winn said. “It just looks like normal grass.”
Winn wishes she had her lawn painted sooner.
“It”s so sad to see what”s happening with this drought,” she said. “I pride myself in having a great looking lawn. This will definitely get me through until we have a rainy season.”
Smith said he has spent time researching the different products available.
“There are four or five out there, but the one I am using is the best for this purpose,” he said. “You don”t have to reapply the product every week.”
He sees the process as a way to blend in the brown trouble areas on a lawn.
Smith said that the paint is safe for animals and children and it won”t damage the grass.
“This isn”t latex. It”s just a thin coat of dye on top of the grass,” he said. “It will continue to grow, the paint is just on the top layer of grass.”
According to Smith, the paint can last about two to three months depending on how fast the grass grows and how often the lawn is mowed.
“If the grass grows quickly, it won”t last for three months,” he said.
“When you cut the grass, you are cutting off a quarter to half of an inch depending on the grass.”
Smith tested the product on his own yard. He originally applied the product in early spring.
“The application process was not the best,” he said. He tried to find the best way of applying it.
He reapplied it about three months after the initial application. Smith said he now has the process down.
“I”m not really sure how many people know about this,” Smith said. He added that he knows there are two places in Sacramento that will paint lawns, but was unsure if they would travel to Woodland.
“Doing this just makes sense to me,” Smith said. “People like their green yards. For the people that really care about their yard and want to conserve water, this is a great temporary solution.”
Smith noted that the painting isn”t a long-term solution. “If you are pulling up everything and terrascaping that could cost thousands of dollars and putting in artificial turf can cost hundreds of dollars,” he said. “It makes sense to do it this way, it”s a lot cheaper.”
When Smith was in his 20s, he painted houses in Arizona.
“Basically as an artist painting is painting,” he said.”Painting makes things look better and cleaner. Painting a yard is a whole lot easier than painting a house.”