There was a time when houses had names but no numbers–we’re going back to the 1600s–which was good for local color but bad for tax collectors trying to keep track of who owed how much. Nowadays most houses have numbers instead of names, which makes it easy for the IRS but harder on a house’s personality. If you are No. 45, what makes you different from No. 47?
This is where house numbers come in. They are the first clue visitors get about the residents. Says UK-based sign writer Steve Blackwell, “I am often asked to paint house numbers…it’s usually a quick and enjoyable job that doesn’t cost a lot, but gives the home more personality or a nice touch of class.”
You can buy all kinds of house numbers–tile, metal, and enamel for instance–or you can add even more personality with one-of-a-kind painted house numbers that will never look exactly like the ones next door. Here are nine ways to add curb appeal with painted house numbers:
Long and Lean
Above: At Hotel Les Bois Flottais on the west coast of France, an institutional font evokes boatyard, sailors, and salty air. For more, see Hotel Les Bois Flottais in France on Remodelista.
Exaggerated shapes–tall, skinny house numbers, for instance–are more interesting and will attract visitors’ eyes.
Above: For more, see 5 Favorites: British Front Doors with Style. Photograph by Kendra Wilson.
On a front door in London’s Spitalfields neighborhood, house numbers are a two-step DIY. First carved by hand (with rough uneven edged), the numbers are painted in glossy parint for a smart finish.
Thinking of upgrading your house numbers to add curb appeal? See more suggestions:
Above: Paint adds depth and texture to heighten a three-dimensional effect.
To flavor your facade with nostalgia, recreate the summer camp bunkhouse look with number stencils and spray paint from an art supplies store.
A classic font, set off by a simple, modern square.
Above: Photograph via Signs and Painting.
Says sign writer Steve Blackwell, “When a home owner came to me with the idea of painting a massive number 35 on the front of her house, it seemed a bit strange but after seeing the house, meeting the owner, and seeing her collection of artwork I thought it was a really good idea.”
Above: Hand-painted house numbers are an easy half-day DIY project. For step-by-step instructions, see DIY: Painted House Numbers.
Small But Significant
Even very small painted house numbers can draw attention against a bright, contrasting background.
If your painted house numbers will look homemade, that’s a feature, not a bug, particularly if you accentuate the look by displaying the numbers against raw wood or rough stucco surfaces.