The Little-Known Secret to Turning Your Lawn Green Literally Overnight

When you’re selling your house, it’s no secret that curb appeal is the key to making a great first impression.

Spiffing up your landscaping and creating appealing outdoor spaces are two top ways to boost your home’s curb appeal. But what if you have brown spots, brown hedges, or even an entirely brown lawn—and the first open house is next week?

Well, there’s a short-term fix that can turn your yard green overnight: turf paint.

“Lawn paint is a water-based, nontoxic, and environmentally friendly solution specifically formulated to give the grass a vibrant green color,” says Gene Caballero, founder of Green Pal, a platform that helps customers find pre-screened local landscaping services. “It’s a cosmetic solution, providing instant visual enhancement.”

Not sure about painting your lawn? We get it. So here are the landscapers of Instagram to provide all the inspiration you need, plus our experts’ answers to your most pressing questions.

How long does lawn paint last?

Your front yard is one of the first things people notice in online listings. And that first impression will be confirmed as they drive up to your home.

Painting the lawn a vibrant, emerald green took this home from drab to fab. But will the color last?

“Typically, lawn paint can last anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months,” says Caballero.

Watch: It’s Time to Tune Up That Lawn Mower: Here’s How

Does lawn paint work on dead grass?

A backyard oasis can be a real selling point. And yours might be at its best in summer, especially if a pool is beckoning.

But, sadly, the summer sun can also be tough on the grass, leaving it dry and yellow. So, can lawn paint come to the rescue? Yup!

“Turf paint is a temporary fix for dormant grass or drought-stricken summer lawns,” says Jeremy Yamaguchi, co-founder of Lawn Love.

Does lawn paint damage the lawn?

Even a lawn that’s already semigreen can be taken up a notch in vibrancy. But is it damaging to the lawn to go this green?

Not really. Turf paint contains no harsh chemicals.

“Think of lawn paint as airbrushed makeup for your lawn,” says Yamaguchi.

Is lawn paint safe for pets?

Lawn paint is a good solution for greening up tricky places, like the side of a house with patchy grass that never gets enough sun. It’s also great for touching up yellow spots caused by the family dog.

Yet what happens when dogs and cats roll around on that paint?

“Most store brands contain oils and pigments derived from stone,” says Yamaguchi. “So they are people- and pet-friendly.”

Can you paint your lawn yourself?

Yes! You can paint your lawn yourself and save money while you’re at it.

Lawn painting is not that hard on the wallet—about 10 to 11 cents a square foot, depending on the cost of labor where you live. That’s certainly less expensive than laying down new sod, which can cost up to $2 per square foot.

“Whether you are a hard-core DIYer or are new to yardwork, painting the lawn is within your reach,” says Yamaguchi. He explains that you can buy products online or at the big-box home stores.

But if painting your lawn is something you plan to do only once or twice, such as for an open house, it might not be practical for you to do it yourself. The cost of the material and the sprayer might not be worth using for only those few times.

In that case, you may turn to the pros who have all the right equipment on hand.

Does lawn paint work on shrubs and hedges?

Plant-friendly paint doesn’t just work on grasses. It can also be used to reinvigorate the look of shrubs and hedges that have gone brown.

Though, there might be some fading after a big rainstorm.

“Factors like rain, irrigation, mowing, and excessive sunlight exposure can affect the paint’s life span,” says Caballero. “To maintain the vibrant green color, periodic touch-ups may be necessary.”

Can I paint the mulch, too?

Turf paint can be used on sun-bleached mulch and pine straw, as well. And the paint comes in many colors, including all the typical grass and mulch colors.

Yet while lawn paint can be used in many ways, it’s not the end-all solution to lawn woes.

“It is important to understand that it is a cosmetic fix and not a long-term solution for maintaining a healthy lawn,” explains Caballero.

“Painting lawns green should be viewed as a temporary solution to improve the appearance of the lawn during challenging periods or special events,” he adds. “If you consistently struggle with maintaining a healthy lawn, consult with a professional to identify and address underlying issues affecting the health of your grass.”

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