Project Paint your Heritage

A practice of preservation and citizenship



lime, coating, citizenship, heritage, restoration


Traditionally, in Olinda's colonial architecture, houses were painted with lime-based paints. It was only in the 19th century that oil-based paints and later PVC and PVA/ Latex paints were introduced. However, over the years, the sum of inadequate paintwork with dampness and pollution has been shown to be harmful to old masonry, causing damage such as peeling, mold, bubbles and cracks.
The Paint Your Patrimony Project - PSP, promoted by the City Hall, aims to paint façades in the area marked as the Tombado Polygon, by reversing the use of paints that produce waterproof film and replacing it with virgin lime-based paint, also called quicklime (lime resulting from calcination processes, sold in powder). Thus, in order to avoid recurring damage to the façades of the buildings, the resumption of the practice of using traditional lime-based painting is strengthened.
In this context, the resident of the property participates providing materials necessary for the execution of the service, which is coordinated by technical professionals from the Municipality of Olinda. Amid the importance of safeguarding the built heritage, there is an opportunity for social character and the rescue of citizenship: the use of convicted labour.
It is noteworthy that the Project goes beyond painting façades of the Historic Site of Olinda, since it promotes the preservation of material heritage, disseminating the traditional technique, making the resident a proliferator of good preservation practice, in addition to promoting the resocialization of the group of convicted citizens.
The PSP has been running for about two years, has covered 11 properties, has a waiting list of 32 registered properties and was the winner of the 2019 edition of the Rodrigo Melo Franco de Andrade Award, the main recognition of good practice in the preservation of Brazilian cultural heritage.
This article, whose author acted as Executive Secretary of Patrimony of Olinda and coordinator of the Pinte Seu Patrimônio Project, aims to register and disseminate about two years of execution of the PSP by listing its objectives, stages and obtained results, highlighting its role in preserving heritage through community involvement.


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