New Colors for the Lost Art Press Storefront


When Lucy and I purchased 837 Willard St. for our next home and workshop, we loved the building but were aghast at the paint job. I describe the color of the bricks as “inflatable sex doll” with highlights of baby blue and white.

This week those colors are on the retreat as a crew from Brian Driscoll Painting are repairing, recaulking and repainting the entire exterior. AJ and Jerome, the two painters who started the job, are both older than I am. They are methodical and meticulous. And they both care about good work.


The bricks are being repainted a light grey that has some green in it. The cast iron storefront is going to be a much darker grey. The sills will be a cream color. The details in the sills and cast iron will be picked out in dark grey and cream as appropriate.

We had a limited palette of colors to work with as we are in an historic district and any exterior changes need to be approved by the city. Our color choices were approved five days after submitting them, and I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to see the odd flesh color of our brick being replaced by a nice coat of grey.

You can check out the new paint job for yourself this Saturday as our doors will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Also, I’ll have a three-legged chair from “The Anarchist’s Design Book” on hand for you to try out. Don’t be scared, no one has fallen out of it – yet.

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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10 Responses to New Colors for the Lost Art Press Storefront

  1. Is that ladder tied off properly? I cannot see any ties and that is very dangerous over that height. They are professionasl so presumably they know what they are doing. Don’t try this at home.

  2. cams2705 says:

    I love this color combination. There are a coupe of historic brick buildings in downtown Carlisle PA painted the same combination of greenish-grey with cream trim. I’m not usually a fan of painted brick, but this looks great together.

  3. Paul Smith says:

    Beautiful work and colors

  4. You’ve given us good tidbits over the years about how you evaluate people for long-term partnerships in business and life. For those there’s typically a lot of history to observe.

    Any pearls of wisdom on evaluating potential workmen for shorter-term projects? (flooring people, painters, etc.)

    • Referrals. Personal referrals from friends are the best (online referrals are dicey and might have a hidden agenda). I’ve hired a number of pros to work on my house (if it’s something beyond my skills) and often without a formal contract – just a handshake because they were referred by my neighbor who either grew up with the person/coached them in Little League/previously hired them/etc and is a straightshooter. Usually you know after 10 minutes of conversation whether or not the pro is someone you want to get involved with.

      The other easy way is if you see a guy’s truck constantly working in your area over the years, he’s probably reputable and doing a good job at a fair rate. If he wasn’t, you wouldn’t see him working.

  5. burenschinder says:

    That is the exact color scheme I will put in my new workshop (might repaint my ATC pidgeon blue to blend it in better). We already used it for the hallway and we love it. Great choice!

  6. premodernbloke says:

    What a shame that anyone every painted the brick in the first place.

    • I second that and I feel the same about painting wood except when it is the outside of windows and the outside part of roof or wall construction. I particularly dislike painted chests and painted chairs. So did my Father, Grandfather and Great Grandfather – all professional woodworkers. We all think (thought) the wood is more beautiful than paint.

  7. charlie says:

    It looks like you are missing something over the right column? An architectural cap of some sort.

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