And The Winner? GREEN!

I have been undecided about what color to paint the downspouts. Green? Black? The wall color?


Well, today I painted one downspout…green (the one in the middle of the above picture).

How does it look?

Like why-did-I-spend-so-much-time-even-pondering-this-issue perfect.

(NOTE: The downspout in question is short because it is a weird diameter and I have been unable to find the bit more required to bring it down to the ground.)

When I purchased the house all the downspouts were long gone, and their absence created incalculable damage. Sigh. So, my great happiness about getting downspouts installed has been my focus these past three years, their color being a non-issue.

Until now. The installation happiness has now waned, and aesthetics has crept to the forefront of concern: why are these ugly gray pipes all over the place?




  1. Sherry on September 24, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    I wonder what a copper-colored paint would look like??

    • Stewart McLean on September 24, 2017 at 5:55 pm

      Copper downspouts age to a dark blackish green. The original gutters on houses in the twentieth century were likely to be copper on high end houses. I don’t have enough knowledge to be able to say if they were used before that, but I would be inclined to think that the originals on the Cross House were copper. This is in no way a criticism of what Ross has chosen. Copper is very expensive today and the money Ross is devoting to his house is being well spent.

      You can actually buy spray paint for a hammered copper look, it gets little puddles like hammer marks as it dries. It would not change with time the way real copper does as it weathers. I would not even consider it for downspouts either.

      • Ross on September 24, 2017 at 6:29 pm

        The Cross House did not, mostly, have any visible downspouts when it was new.

        All the built-in gutters fed from one to another, and then drained via a large hidden downspout into the cistern.

        The main porch had downspouts hidden INSIDE some of the columns. These also fed into the cistern.

        Only the north porch seemed to have a visible downspout. This 1894 downspout is extant.

        • Stewart McLean on September 24, 2017 at 6:42 pm

          Thank you. What a great idea for my modest house. I was thinking of something like that with a garbage disposal at the top of each hidden downspout to grind the debris in the fall and keep it from clogging, but I haven’t figured out how to hide them or make it work.

      • Sherry on September 25, 2017 at 4:23 pm

        No, I never said ‘real’ copper. Copper paint. Like what I used on my tintype ceiling. Made by Behr. Didn’t want my ceiling to look like the Statue of Liberty.

        • Stewart McLean on September 26, 2017 at 10:17 pm

          Thanks for explaining. I thought that you were saying that you didn’t know what copper paint looked like, not what it would look like on the gutters. My mistake.

  2. Guinan on September 24, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    Green looks great!

  3. JET Texas on September 24, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    I don’t think all the downspouts should be the same color. This is a feature you want to hide, not draw attention to. I think you should paint them either the wall or trim color, whichever color the downspout is in front of or next to, so the downspout visually disappears. In the photo, the downspout on the second floor would look very obvious if it were the green trim color. But since it is nestled in a corner of walls, and it is the same color of those walls, it blends in. Likewise the green downspout by the green porch columns.

  4. Cory on September 24, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    I have copper down spouts on my house. I suppose you could faux finish them to look like aged copper.

    • Stewart McLean on September 24, 2017 at 6:17 pm

      That would be crazy, they will get there naturally. Give it about twenty years or more.

  5. Sandra Lee on September 24, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    Is there anyway to slant so not in front of limestone? I think green in front of green is aesthetically pleasing or whatever is in the background. Any chance of routing rain water to cistern??

  6. pk on September 24, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    Great decision. The green works well.

  7. Kerri on September 24, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    I like the green. Amy other choice would have stood out rather than blended in and it looks nice too!

  8. Sandra Lee on September 25, 2017 at 2:20 am

    Kerri is right green is best & does look nice. ????

  9. Pamela on September 25, 2017 at 6:22 am

    I like the green. I agree with Sandra Lee that it is unfortunate that the downspouts come down in front of the limestone. I suppose if you are having trouble matching the pipes it is too much to think you could get an elbow joint to bring the lower pipe down along the side of the limestone?

  10. Randy C on September 26, 2017 at 10:05 am

    I agree with others that the downspouts should be painted in which ever color makes them blend in. As well, with the one above you could paint the portion in front of the limestone the same color as the column bases or even the wall color to make them blend a bit more into the limestone. I have painted a small horizontal portion at the top of mine to match the eave, then the main portion to match the wall color and the elbow at the bottom brown to fade into the mulch bed under it.

  11. Meike B. on September 27, 2017 at 2:59 am

    It’s very interesting and unusual that your downspouts don’t go into the sewerage.
    Is there no resulting foundation issue caused by this?
    Greetings from Germany!

  12. Randy C on September 28, 2017 at 3:52 pm


    I live in Kansas as well, although in another city. I don’t know about all of the U.S., but in Kansas as well as Texas, we are not allowed to drain the downspouts into the sewerage. There should be an elbow at the bottom of the downspout, and sometimes an extension that directs the water away from the foundation. As well, sometimes the downspouts are extended underground into a “french drain” which ends somewhere away from the house into a plastic cannister with holes in the lid. The water then just bubbles up through the lid away from the foundation, but this is not as common. Fun to see a fellow fan from Germany!!

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