“I like going from ugly to fairly”: Contractor Will get New Alternative to Paint Historic Blandwood Mansion in Greensboro

GREENSBORO, NC (WGHP) – Most of us are familiar with painting a home. But when a house is over 200 years old, you need to bring in professionals like Elijah Southern.

“No job is tough when you love what you do. It’s therapeutic, ”said Southern. “I like painting. I like going from ugly to pretty.”

Southern owns Southern Renovation and Paint.

His mission is to paint all of Blandwood Mansion’s wooden surfaces. The historic landmark of downtown Greensboro is the former home of North Carolina Governor John Morehead.

Before Southern can paint, he has to remove old layers of paint and smooth out the rough spots. When it’s done, Blandwood will be back to its 1795 charm.

“When I paint it, I use a brush and roller like the first time and try to keep it the same,” Southern said.

Benjamin Briggs is the executive director of Preservation Greensboro: the non-profit that runs Blandwood. In addition to a new coat of paint, Preservation Greensboro felt it was time to make another change.

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“We felt it was important that the organization reach out to minority-owned companies that are run by women to see if we have better contractor representation here at Blandwood Mansion,” said Briggs.

“Having the opportunity to be tasked as a minority is great,” said Southern. “That shows how time has changed.”

Southern has worked on historic homes before, but not as big as Blandwood. So when that job is done, that could put him on the stage for something even bigger.

“We’re working with him to build our heritage here in Greensboro,” said Briggs. “His skills can be transferred to many different houses and we look forward to having him become part of our team.”

Joining the team is important as it becomes increasingly difficult to find someone to take care of a 200 year old home.

“That would be a great opportunity to do more. I am sure it will come in time if you stay patient and vigilant, “said Southern.

He should be finished painting Blandwood Mansion in a couple of weeks.


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