Brownstones often date back to the 19th century and feature brown sandstone materials, below-ground entrances, and small backyard gardens. Therefore, you may want to stick to period-relevant colors the interior of your brownstone NYC home to retain its historic character. Some New York City buildings are historical landmarks that are required by law to be preserved out of respect for the cultural legacy of our city. When renovating an old brownstone home, you’ll need to weigh the pros and cons of house painting over the original woodwork based upon the quality of the craftsmanship and the historical significance of the building.
Mark Uriu originally trained as a fine artist, and it shows: He specializes in the specific, from faux finishes (trompe l’oeil, faux marble) and gilding to distressed wall finishes. He was also recommended five times over — Spencer Bailey and Andrew Zuckerman, the co-founders of the Slowdown, describe him as “the go-to in certain high-end architect circles,” and architect Stephanie Goto, who has designed spaces for the Calder Foundation and Hauser & Wirth, says, “He is one of these people we never speak about but is integral to our practice.” Writer Zibby Owens told us Uriu painted her childhood bedroom in a light-blue sponge design she was so obsessed with that years later, she hired him to paint her entire Upper East Side apartment. When they got to her kitchen, she handed him and his partner a spatterware place mat as inspiration. “They used a little brush to painstakingly mimic splatter paint,” she says. “My kids and I sat around and watched — it was like watching Jackson Pollock.”
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Architect Peter Feigenbaum found Jonathan Barsness’s name on a painter forum on Brownstoner. A litany of positive reviews (from one: “does good work — and I’m fussy”) convinced Feigenbaum to book him to repaint a spare room in his Williamsburg apartment. The walls had “a lot of patch marks and chips and were an especially ugly color: mustard yellow,” says Feigenbaum. “After Barsness came, all the old crusty bits miraculously disappeared, and the questionable paint-color choice was replaced with relaxing grays.” Barsness’s precision and (relatively) low pricing (small rooms, like a nursery, start at $500, while a bedroom in a brownstone with tall ceilings and historic molding may start at $2,000) mean his customers tend to come back over and over — like Feigenbaum. “He doesn’t need a lot of hand-holding,” he says. “I’ll hand him a swatch, leave him a key, and he takes it from there.”

When it comes to applying a fresh coat of paint to your home, historic brownstone homes may have different considerations than a modern apartment or townhouse. More so, brick, vinyl, and siding all react differently to the extremes of New York City weather, meaning you’ll need high-quality exterior paint to withstand whatever Mother Nature throws our way.
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