Curbside Address Painters in Claycord

June 29, 2012 9:01 am · 39 comments

This is interesting.

We got this email earlier this week from a Claycordian in Martinez….

Individuals left a note at our door in Martinez saying that they would be repainting the street numbers on the curb “tomorrow”. We found the note this (Sunday) morning and planned to attach the note to the curb to not have them do the job.

Sunday afternoon our colors were painted over in white and no numbers. Is this legal? There was no name on the note or any proof of a business license, etc?

Anybody else have this problem? They’ll probably come back in a week saying “I notice you have no numbers on your curb, we’ll paint them on for $20”.

Schmee June 29, 2012 at 9:07 AM

Its usually a scam to get you to pay. Now they got ya

As kids we would make money doing this in the neighborhood.

Aileen H. June 29, 2012 at 9:08 AM

In North Concord we had some “charity” asking to do the same. We declined since we didn’t know the charity. Next thing you know the whole neighborhood had the numbers painted on the curb. No one has asked for payment and since we didn’t authorize I’m not paying anything.

catzmama June 29, 2012 at 9:13 AM

I think they usually paint the white one day and then come back to paint the numbers the next day. I’ve never been “billed” or contacted to pay for the painting.

Tom June 29, 2012 at 9:21 AM

This happened to us before, but included a request to leave an “optional” payment. We ignored it, and they painted new numbers offset on top of the old numbers, so the end result looks like a blurry mess.

the MARTIAN June 29, 2012 at 9:24 AM

sounds like a scam to me

biggus thinkus June 29, 2012 at 9:31 AM

Had a guy come by and ask me for a contribution for fixing up my already fine numbers. Told him I didn’t know he was coming, didn’t give an approval, and wish him the best of luck on his day. June 29, 2012 at 9:33 AM

I man came by our area in concord (Baldwin Park) we refused service. He was charging $10. He did not mention a charity or anything just said he was going around asking if people wanted it done.
Many people in our area did do it.

Parsnip June 29, 2012 at 9:33 AM

Thanks for the FYI. (Ironically, I am in Martinez, and have been wishing these past curb painters would show again. My numbers are getting pretty dilapidated.).
If the Claycord speculation turns out right, I would think anyone who does a same day “whiteout” without agreement, then offers to paint numbers for $20 a week later, would pretty much be digging their own grave. They’re basically damaging personal property. They are also becoming a public interference by making addresses difficult to determine; which could present a problem if there was an emergency issue.
That’s where I’d be getting the name of the service from any neighbor writing a check, and file complaint with the city. (IF they refuse to repaint the numbers at no charge.).

Susie June 29, 2012 at 9:59 AM

I wish everyone would just pay the small fee that they charge to have the curbside numbers done regularly because when i’m trying to find an address and there isn’t one on the curb or the house it is very frustrating. Plus if you have an emergency and if the fire dept or ambulance have to come and find your house they use these numbers as well it could end up saving your life or someone elses.

Anon PH June 29, 2012 at 10:20 AM

Had a guy ride up on a bicycle a couple years ago, with his paint and stencils. He looked like a homeless or recovering addict. The guy was very polite and asked if I wanted the numbers painted (they needed it). My first impulse was to say “no” which I did. He obviously was “upset”, because he had been turned down many times. Then I asked him how much? He said “10 bucks”. So I said “OK”. He did a beautiful job, perfect. I gave him the money. I guess he was able to go and get something to eat, or maybe to buy some alcohol (hey, I had a beer that day too).

I felt that at LEAST this guy was trying to make money honestly and he wasn’t standing on the freeway offramp with a cardboard sign begging.
I see a clear difference between asking for work and begging. I also know that he probably wasn’t legal doing it without some permit.

We need the numbers painted again, so I don’t mind if they come back. Price paint (black and the reflective white curb paint) and the stencils. It’s really worth the $10 bucks to have the “charity” of homeless guy do it. Just saying….. June 29, 2012 at 10:21 AM

“damaging personal property”? Since when do you own the curb? They may be guilty of something, but damaging personal property is certainly not one of them.

Paul (formerly) in South Concord June 29, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Ours are stamped metal plates, anchored into the angled concrete curb. I’m sure they started off as black & silver colored, a gazillion years ago when this place was built. Now, they’re faded to a gray-ish color, but still easily legible. If I caught someone painting over them, I’d walk right out there with the hose and a scrub brush and start cleaning it off… whether or not the person was in the way.

OakA'sRaiders June 29, 2012 at 10:49 AM


Was the guy a tall man blondish hair probably in his 60’s?

He did ours also a few years ago, did a nice job.

In high school, we painted curbs June 29, 2012 at 10:51 AM

We painted curbs in high school to earn money for band uniforms. We got a city permit for doing it. We asked permission ahead of time.

I agree with the person who says at least someone was trying to work for money rather than get a hand-out.

Still, they should get permission first…

Anon June 29, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Number 10, you are a good person. Glad you did that and it will remind me to be more patient the next time anyone approaches me with a request similar to that. (As opposed to my normal “NO”. Except for people peddling their religion door to door. They will still get NO!)

BusBoy June 29, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Couple of years ago I got hit with a guy asking to paint numbers on the curb. wanted $10 for it. Didnt really think about it and said no. Found out my Neighbor had it done. HOLY CRAP it looked good! The guy used a black background with a silver reflective paint for the numbers and to this day, everytime I roll down the street at night, I am reminded that I missed out! lol. My attitude is now like #10s and I cant wait to see this guy come to my door again.

I'm Curious June 29, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Were you the only one on your street whose numbers were painted over? If he’s coming back to paint the numbers offer him a few bucks if it turns out legible? $20? No.
However, I still believe they should ask first.

anon-E-Cat June 29, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Ah – therein lies the rub. I don’t have curb and gutter in my neighborhood. I also have a NO SOLICITORS sign on my home, which is generally ignored…..

anon June 29, 2012 at 11:23 AM

I actually worked for a “company” called student curb service which mostly focuses on San Jose. but they would have us run around and flyer every house that we would be back later that day to paint them. and we would paint them and the numbers the same day. but i think it is a fake company. a lot of people “donate” but really the guy who owned the thing just made TONS of $$ off of us. the first $150 we made would go to him and we get whatever we make after that. some people make good money. but they put me In the ghetto and I never even got to $150. it’s a joke.

Parsnip June 29, 2012 at 11:38 AM

@um…no #11

Pretty assumptive, aren’t you? I’m part of an HOA which is responsible for everything within the immediate district. I “own” the address. The address refers to my house located on HOA property. If that’s the only visible address to my house, and someone splashes paint over it without my approval or their correction, there can be a problem — with me and the HOA AND me and the curb painter.

Mrs. A June 29, 2012 at 11:39 AM

We got the same note a while back and we had them paint our curb, a nice guy came back the next day for $20 and we have nice painted numbers now on our curb. Not a scam to me. I don’t remember who I wrote my check out to but I didn’t feel weird or taken advantage of and i’m glad they did come back because our numbers were hard to see.

Mrs. A June 29, 2012 at 11:39 AM

I’m in N. Concord off P. Chicago btw.

ArmyDad June 29, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Live in N. Concord and someone came by a few weeks ago saying they were painting curbs. Didn’t ask for any payment. When I went to check on it later that day all they did was paint white around the numbers. Every house on the block is that way. Good think he wasn’t wanting money.

jose June 29, 2012 at 2:04 PM

We live in Solano County, in Fairfield.
There are a couple of people that do this same thing here and have done so for nearly 15 yrs.
I always opt out. Why you may ask? Because it is a scam. They do this and then come back a day or several days later with their hands out looking for money. Even if you put a note on the curb they still paint it!
Several months ago they came back for this “season” and I called the Fairfield PD to check them out for a business license/permit. They apparently had none and left for greener pastures.
You don’t know who these people are, they could be canvassing your neighborhood or stealing your out going mail from your mailbox.
Be safe and pay attention as to what is going on in your neighborhood, because some of you neighbors may not be that observant.

Parsnip June 29, 2012 at 2:06 PM

@Mrs. A #21

Good to read! I’ve never had problems with curb painters in the past. But I also never paid anyone until I saw the job completed.

??? June 29, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Moral of the story, it’s ten bucks to get them painted and help someone out. You either like helping people or you don’t. Addendum to the story, HOA’s are retarded. Anyone who hasn’t had problems with them are either shut ins or born before 1955..

Cowellian June 29, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Unless they’re licensed by the city, then they are running an illegal service. In any case, you have no obligation to pay for any service that you don’t request.

We had curb painters come through several years ago. They reversed the last two numbers of a house up the street so that they actually showed our house number. That kept the pizza delivery guys in perpetual confusion for a long time.

Mrs. A June 29, 2012 at 2:37 PM

@Parsnip #25, the note that was left said no money would be charged however a donation would be appreciated. The curb looked good afterwards so when they came by a few days later I nor my hubby had any issues with paying for it. I paid after the job was done. They used nice reflective white pain with black numbers.

For those wondering I wrote the check to “Community Services” and it was for $20.

Parsnip June 29, 2012 at 3:46 PM

@ Mrs. A #28

Yep. Basically the same with me. And just like yours, they came by a few days later to receive any donations. Dates were indicated, and that would be when I left the payment under the mat.

@ ??? #26

“HOAs are retarded”??? Man, is THAT the understatement! I don’t have problem with mine; but I hate living under CC&Rs. (On the other hand, I keep reading about issues people have with trailers parked all over, unkempt lawns, dogs on the loose, etc. — I guess there’s no happy medium.)

Howard K Mullins III June 29, 2012 at 4:54 PM

As I recall this issue arose a couple of years ago on Claycord.

The consensus at that time was that the curb belongs to the city and the city is responsible for numbers or anything else on the curb. I doubt that circumstance has changed.

I have lighted numbers on my home, large and easily visible from the street. I also put a little battery backup in line with the AC the powers the lights so that if power goes out, the house numbers remain illuminated.

That resolves all sorts of potential problems and made the wife happy. A win win in my book.

Shiloh June 29, 2012 at 5:12 PM

@11, if we don’t own the curb then why do we have to pay to maintain/replace the sidewalk if it’s overly buckled or cracked? Even if the reason it is buckled is because the roots of some tree that was planted in a gap in the sidewalk 50 years before we owned the house are now growing up through the cement.

jose June 29, 2012 at 6:17 PM

From what I have heard in most citys is that the city owns about 8 feet or so from the curb into your so-called property. This is where you may find “street trees” . But where I live in FF, the city no longer trims our street trees and thats up to you now. Just don’t cut it down as I am sure the city will claim it is theirs real fast and fine the pants off of you!
This is done I guess in case they need to widen the streets to make way for wider roads/freeways.

Mimi (original) June 29, 2012 at 6:41 PM

A homeless guy in Canterbury has painted numbers every now and then. Has always done a good job. He also painted flags on curbs years ago. Mine’s all worn off, I wish he’d come back. Many neighbors also had flags.

bigjim June 29, 2012 at 7:03 PM

Sounds like the same guy who has done mine twice in the last 6 or 7 years. Very polite and did a great job.

Linda June 29, 2012 at 9:09 PM

I had two guys come by in the last month (about a week apart) asking if they could paint our address on the curb. They both looked like they were either homeless or on something so I said no and they went away. Looked out the window later and they were still casing the neighborhood. Heebie geebies for sure.

amy June 29, 2012 at 9:44 PM


I haven’t seen him around in a very long time. I was just looking at my numbers and thinking about him the other day. I think he only charged $5, but I paid him $10 and gave him lunch. Very nice guy.

Zoom-Zoom June 29, 2012 at 9:45 PM

Technically, it is illegal for anyone to deface or paint the public right-of-way unless specifically granted permission by your local jurisdiction with an encroachment permit allowing them to do so.

Ask them for an encroachment permit issued by your city (or from CoCo County). If they don’t have one, then they are working outside the law.

It’s not a scam per se… but they do get pissed off if ya don’t pay ’em. I called the Sheriff’s Office and they shoo’ed away the dirt bags.

Anon PH June 29, 2012 at 10:07 PM

I’m still sticking to my earlier comments about the guy who came to my house on his bicycle asking to paint numbers. I felt sorry for him, and also glad he was “DOING SOMETHING” instead of stealing, or standing in the intersection with the cardboard sign ending in “GOD BLESS”.

Pleasant Hill NEVER paints our curb numbers. The do paint the red zones.

Police and Fire LOVE those curb numbers, it makes it easy for them to find your house in an emergency.

What is the big deal? A few comments above were disturbing to me (except Amy, thanks for giving him lunch).

Yes, the “right of way” on most residential streets is 50 feet, but the pavement is only 25 feet or so. That means about 10-12 feet of your front yard legally belongs to the City. When has the City come by and maintained this strip of land? Not.

These guys are working…and doing something that “Government” doesn’t do.

Harken back to the “Great Depression” where people would do anything for maintain their families, their lives, their respect. If the guy who painted my curb was a recovering drunk, or doper….he looked sober, and was trying, TRYING, to EARN money HONESTLY.

Sorry. I am a Christian. I can’t find fault with that! Just my view, folks.

Social Injustuce July 2, 2012 at 7:19 AM

It is SO EASY to justify helping out someone, and just validating the service serves a purpose. In fact it is unsolicited and there are many instances where they ignore the owner request to leave it alone. The real question is why we are struggling to find the way to justify it? You want to paint curbs, get a license so that the broke city gets a few bucks, and you are legal in the eyes of the residents. You are also then accountable for whatever happens (ie: bad paintovers)

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