Neighborhood alert: ‘Curb painting tomorrow’ flyer appears

May 9, 2011 at 7:06 pm | In Gatewood, West Seattle news | 34 Comments

David B found that on his door in northern Gatewood (near West Seattle Thriftway) when he arrived home this evening and sent the photo, while wondering:

I am wondering if this is legitimate. It seems odd to me since this has no contact info and is not at least sponsored by the city. Have you had anybody report the same thing ?

Not recently. However, if you roam the Web, you will find many references to this sort of thing – some reported as scams, some not, one even described as an “emergency cash generator.” We checked the city business-license database and the state corporations database, and there’s nothing called “Community Sign Painting” in either one. Doesn’t mean this isn’t potentially legitimate – but unless you meet the people and ask to see their license, buyer beware.


  1. I got one taped to my fence one day last week. I didn’t notice any curb painting the next day. We live in Fauntlee Hills.

    Comment by Bonnie — 7:19 pm May 9, 2011 #

  2. I had my house #’s painted on the curb a several years ago. All legit, but has since worn off. If they came around HP again, I would do it again.

    Comment by happywalker — 7:21 pm May 9, 2011 #

  3. They have come through our Pigeon Point neighborhood a couple of times over the last couple of years. It is just some young kids trying to make a buck. they do a very good job and it looks very professional when they are done.

    Comment by Pete — 7:23 pm May 9, 2011 #

  4. When I lived in Bothell they had this about once every 3 years. Someone really does come around and paint them, but I don’t know who.

    Comment by smilingjb — 7:28 pm May 9, 2011 #

  5. We have budget shortfalls and they are spending our tax money on this?!? Come on!

    Comment by Dirk Digler — 7:29 pm May 9, 2011 #

  6. Had the same notice last year. I threw it out and they painted anyways. They left a payment envelope but I did not send anything. Never heard anything more.

    Comment by kevin — 7:30 pm May 9, 2011 #

  7. Yeah I had a kid do mine a couple of years ago. Turned out fine.

    Comment by Scootter1 — 7:35 pm May 9, 2011 #

  8. Don’t waste your money on this. I GUARANTEE YOU, neither the Fire Dept. nor the Police Dept. look down at the curb to find addressess. Cars are parked in front of them!!! Fire and Police look up at the house, beside the door, to see what the address of the residence is!!

    Comment by Michael Thompson — 7:42 pm May 9, 2011 #

  9. Dirk, it has nothing to do with governments – TR

    Comment by WSB — 7:42 pm May 9, 2011 #

  10. We’ve done it 2-3 times over the last decade (upper Fauntleroy). The guy hasn’t been around for a few years, so I’m glad to see he’s back as our nice lettering has nearly worn off. If you decide to do it, just be patient. You may not hear from anyone for a few days, but they always get it done.

    Comment by matthew — 7:52 pm May 9, 2011 #

  11. I live in Fauntlee Hills and we had one taped to our front door one afternoon last week too. I just threw it away. Btw, they always did this in my CA neighborhood, we’d have our curb/s done once every few years. It was never a scam or anything bad. And it was a nice thing to have done, even if the weekly city street sweeping always scratched the numbers off eventually.

    Comment by Jasperblu — 8:00 pm May 9, 2011 #

  12. Hmmm…why does it say it will cost you $15 in the letter but the checkboxes are both for $20? Am I missing something?

    Comment by Lou — 8:06 pm May 9, 2011 #

  13. Lou,

    My take is it’s $15 for the basic 1 set of numbers on the vertical face of the curb. For and extra $5 you get a second set.

    Comment by west seattle steve — 8:12 pm May 9, 2011 #

  14. How coincidental. I just got off the phone with my friend Steve Williams. I worked with him at WSHS a couple of years ago while he was trying to get a curb address painting business off the ground. I created a brochure for him with clear prices listed and a name, phone number, etc., to let people know exactly who was doing the work. He continues to build his business and doing okay, and the reflective paint service is $35. I can assure WS folks that this posted notice does not belong to him and Steve will be back in our area during the next few weeks to contact previous customers and re-do his previous painting and soliciting new customers. You now have his name – so ask for I.D.! He is reliable, honest, and personable. I hope West Seattle will be open to his work. Thanks.

    Comment by Paula Tortorice — 8:12 pm May 9, 2011 #

  15. These were left in Admiral last week. Several neighbors now have fresh new numbers painted on their curbs, so it appears legit.

    Comment by Sna — 8:18 pm May 9, 2011 #

  16. Gumment conspiracy. Founding Fathers didn’t have curb numbers. or curbs.

    Comment by I. Ponder — 8:26 pm May 9, 2011 #

  17. @Lou – seems simple – basic painting is $15. If you want two surfaces (front AND top) or two locations (each side of), then the cost is $20.

    Comment by Meredith — 8:26 pm May 9, 2011 #

  18. it’s 15 bucks, and they only do the front of the curb…add the top of the curb, and it’s an extra 5 bucks. I used to have it done when I owned my house on Genessee Hill (over 15 years ago – cost 5 bucks then). It’s reflective paint, and helps with fire or police emergency vehicles at night especially.

    Comment by JanS — 8:33 pm May 9, 2011 #

  19. I have never once in 14 years as a fireman ever looked for an address on the curb. I think mostly because cars are parked in the way. We spotlight the front door of the house at night and look for a number. Always post your address on your house clearly visible from the street as near the front door as you can. If you can’t see the house from the street post a sign at the front gate or walkway entrance. It’s also helpful to post it on the alley side gate or garage door.

    Comment by ElevenTruckmen — 9:32 pm May 9, 2011 #

  20. Reminds me of my favorite data point – 80% of facts are completely made up.

    Comment by Lynne — 9:45 pm May 9, 2011 #

  21. Let me reiterate, the Fire Dept. and the Police Dept. do not look at the curbs for addressess. ElevenTruckmen is correct. We will look at your front door. If you WANT to spend money, make your numbers on your house bigger. Who cares if it is 15, 20, or 35 dollars. Why are you burning a whole in your pocket to spend money. It serves no purpose to paint your curb!!

    Comment by Michael Thompson — 10:18 pm May 9, 2011 #

  22. sounds like a waste of money to me

    Comment by w.s. maverick — 5:50 am May 10, 2011 #

  23. They went through our neighborhood a few years ago. I’m convinced it’s a “gullible” tag. If someone will shell out $15 for curb painting I’ll bet thy’d also fall for magazines, alarm systems, house repairs, etc. If I were a hawker I’d increase my success rate tenfold by only hitting those homes with curb numbers…. Hmmmmm

    Comment by Rm — 7:08 am May 10, 2011 #

  24. If your house is set back or up a hill like some in my neighborhood, the curb painting may help you get your pizza while it is still hot.

    I don’t have a curb or I would do it.

    I have my number in three places including above the front door.

    Comment by Ken — 7:45 am May 10, 2011 #

  25. Don’t gum up our streets anymore than they already are. Put proper, visible and large enough numbers on your house….these are truly only there for emergency vehicles & postal/delivery to find you. Yeah, yeah…I know, vistors, too. But, do we really need this?

    Comment by oh brother! — 9:26 am May 10, 2011 #

  26. This was a Simpsons episode many years ago. Bart painted numbers for people then had Nelson go collect from the non-payers.

    Comment by Jammy — 10:10 am May 10, 2011 #

  27. I lived in Las Vegas for several years and this was something I also encountered there. I never went for it, though some of my neighbors did. I always thought it was just a way for somebody to make money off of those who thought this was an official project from the city. The paper sent around Vegas looked like it came from a government agency, although it was not. I agree with above comments…make your house numbers clearly visible and save you money.

    Comment by dancingcat — 11:33 am May 10, 2011 #

  28. We had ours done just last week. Most neighbors did the same. No scam as far as I’m concerned and he did a great job.

    Comment by GiveMeLiberty — 11:54 am May 10, 2011 #

  29. Speaking of curbs I sure see alot of leaves and debris around the neighborhoods of KING COUNTY in General. Here in Westside well you’ll have an attractive house nice gardens and pruned trees yet they the home owners don’t finish off that ONE F@&^%INg % of being neighborly maybe. Get off those facebook accounts and clean you curb out front. You on the corner I’m talking to you too!!!! Just do it. :)

    Comment by DF — 6:04 pm May 10, 2011 #

  30. My neighbors had this done last year and I have been kicking myself for not doing it. I was concerned it might be a scam. Nope, I’m just paranoid. Our house is slightly uphill but the address is hard to see from the street. If they come back around our house, I would definitely do it. They did a good job in our neighborhood last year. Same flyer.

    Comment by juniebug — 9:08 pm May 10, 2011 #

  31. Folks in WS sure can get 20+ comments out of anything, cant they?

    Comment by HimAgain — 2:20 pm May 11, 2011 #

  32. No, actually, they can’t. We have a kazillion stories a day that go little- or un-commented. The point of this one, however, was the original query, is this legit, have you seen this in your neighborhood? – so we’re glad it drew a few replies. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 2:29 pm May 11, 2011 #

  33. me and my husband panited addresses for 22 years,,and YES the police and fire DO LOOK at curbs for addresses ..we use the heavy duty road paint and have a reflective diamond dust sprinkled over it,,we painted all over knoxville,pigon forge and sourrounding citys..and we have had police and fire people hunt us down wanting it done themselfs,morristown loved it,,and did i mention ours cost only 5.00

    Comment by sue adkins — 5:28 am May 14, 2011 #

  34. it is a wonderful service no matter who does it !

    Comment by sue adkins — 5:31 pm May 15, 2011 #

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