Thanks to a national competition to find the “Prettiest Painted Places in America,” people across the country are discovering what Maine residents have long known: The Pine Tree State has some of the most beautiful towns and neighborhoods to be found anywhere. Sponsored by the Paint Quality Institute, whose mission is to educate the public aboutquality paints and coatings, the “Prettiest Painted Places” competition has drawn two entries from Maine: Kennebunkport and Ogunquit.
Over the next few weeks, the two Maine communities will vie with nearly 200 nominees from other states for regional and national honors, as judges with expertise in color selection, exterior painting, and home improvement review the entries, conduct additional
research and make selected site visits. Finalists will be announced in late September, and the nation’s 12 “Prettiest Painted Places” will be revealed in mid-October.
The Paint Quality Institute has conducted its competition twice before, most recently in 2000. Its purpose is to vividly show how an attractive paint color scheme can greatly enhance the “curb appeal” of any structure’s exterior. “We feel there is no better way to demonstrate the importance of exterior paint color than to focus on these beautiful real-world communities that take so much pride in their appearance,” said Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert at the Paint Quality Institute. “The places involved in our competition are a tremendous inspiration to us all, and by giving them recognition, we hope to instill in the public a better appreciation for the role exterior paint can play in protecting and enhancing the appearance of any home or building,” she said.
A wide variety of “places” have been entered in the competition — big city neighborhoods, tiny rural towns, historical districts, “Main Streets” and communities with exterior mural programs. Nominees range from well-known places, such as Cape Cod, Massachusetts and Napa, California to hidden gems like Vashon-Maury Island, Washington and Bell Buckle, Tennessee. In case you’re curious, the names and locations of all of the nominees are posted on the Paint Quality Institute website at blog.paintquality.com.
So while we know that Kennebunkport (thanks to historic buildings like the Maine Stay Inn, that have been lovingly restored over the years) certainly is a prettier place than Ogunquit, it will be lots of fun to see where the judges place us! And while there’s no voting, you can rest assured that we have submitted lots of fantastic photography of Kennebunkport to showcase its architectural richness. Keep your fingers crossed that this panel thinks Kennebunkport is as beautiful as you and I know it is!
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