Thanks to a national competition to find the “Prettiest Painted Places in America,” people across the country are discovering what Vermont residents have long known: The Green Mountain 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 about quality paints and coatings, the “Prettiest Painted Places” competition has drawn three entries from Vermont: Bellows Falls, Chester, and Stowe.
Over the next few weeks, the three Vermont 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.
THUMBNAIL SKETCHES OF VERMONT NOMINEES
• Bellows Falls: A treasure trove of beautifully painted Victorian, Colonial and old-world European-style architecture, the picturesque village on the Connecticut River was built by prosperous residents during the Industrial Age.
• Chester: A quintessential New England town with a village green surrounded by 200-year-old buildings, which are all tastefully painted.
• Stowe: Reminiscent of great European mountain resorts, the attractive 200-year-old town is set against the backdrop of Mt. Mansfield, the state’s highest peak.
Photos in the gallery below are of Chester, Vermont.