Annual 'Painted Ladies' contest seeks applicants

Submitted by David Brimm
Updated 5/23/2018 9:56 PM
  • This Elgin home on South State Street is the grand prize winner of the CPCA 2017 Painted Ladies competition. Entries for the 2018 contest are now being accepted.

    This Elgin home on South State Street is the grand prize winner of the CPCA 2017 Painted Ladies competition. Entries for the 2018 contest are now being accepted. Courtesy of Hal Baim

The Chicago Paint and Coatings Association is kicking off the 32nd annual "Chicago Finest Painted Ladies and Her Court Competition," a beauty contest for homes and businesses.

This contest encourages homeowners and professional painters to compete for the 2018 "Chicago's Finest Painted Ladies and Her Court" award. The houses must have been painted between Labor Day 2017 and Labor Day 2018.

This contest encourages not only the more traditional Victorian style homes and businesses to participate but other styles as well.

Examples of other styles include: Tudors, Georgians, Colonials, etc.

Also other creative projects also will be considered as separate categories, such as gazebos, entry doors, etc. A list of categories can be found on the online entry form at

The Chicago Paint and Coatings Association is a nonprofit trade association made up of member companies who are manufacturers, raw material suppliers and distributors for the paint and coatings industry.

"Even in difficult times like now, paint adds color, change and provides a fresh look to the interior and exterior of homes at a reasonable cost. It's a solid investment for the homeowner," commented Bill Heiden, CPCA spokesman.

The 2017 competition found two Chicago homes among the winners, while Elgin continues to take home the most winning honors with seven awards.

The entries are judged on how the paint and colors chosen were used to enhance the appearance of the property.

Also taken into consideration by the judges is how well the colors fit the neighborhood and/or the area that surrounds the structure.

The public libraries have books on how to create a "Painted Lady."

The trend of paying more attention to choice of color and detail seems to be part of current living. In some instances entire neighborhoods have been inspired to freshen up their homes and there are literally hundreds of colors or shades of colors to choose from to create a better looking home or business.

The Chicago and Northwest Indiana areas are divided into five sectors: North, Northwest, West, Southwest and South; and two categories "nonprofessional" and "professionally painted".

Entrants are requested to submit before and after photographs or high quality digital pictures printed on high quality paper to ensure accurate color representation.

Paint chip samples must be submitted along with the official entry form. Winners are selected from the categories found on the entry form.

Not every category may produce a winner in a given year and more than one winner may be selected from a category. Once selected, the winners will be notified by phone. As in the past, the home or business owner will be awarded a professionally photographed picture of their home or business that is matted, framed and presented at a special dinner in the fall.

In addition, a grand prize winner also will be selected and will be honored with an engraved plaque. Professional contractors are awarded a certificate.

Please contact the Chicago Paint & Coatings Association to obtain more information and an application. Call (847) 240-0102, or write CPCA, 1701 Woodfield Road, Suite 205, Schaumburg, IL 60173. Visit for more details.

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