A splash of colour can do wonders in brightening up a building.
An example of this can be found in the Hammond neighbourhood.
Located beside the Hammond Community Centre, the 47year-old building in front of Hammond's 25-metre outdoor pool has gone from old and dreary to bright and cheery - all over the course of a few days.
Built in 1965, the pool building was in desperate need of a facelift. Thanks to free labour, materials, and paint from Dulux Paints, along with the efforts of volunteers from the Hammond Neighbours Group, it looks new again.
The building's interior and exterior has transformed from its former "awful prison beige" as project coordinator Cyndy Johnson-McCormick put it, to an eye-pleasing blend of sky and indigo blue.
The rusty, chainlink fence that surrounds the pool looks in mint condition as well, after coats of black paint were meticulously applied to it by hand.
This ambitious project wouldn't have been possible if not for the "thousands of dollars of paint and labour" donated by Dulux, Johnson-McCormick noted.
"I wrote them a letter saying we're neighbours, and their business sits on the historical property of Hammond, who we are, what we want to do, and would they be willing to donate a couple of gallons of paint," Johnson-McCormick recounted.
Ron Conway, store manager of the Dulux location on 207th Street, took the request steps further. He arrived at the pool with Dulux's Lower Mainland regional director Colleen Crawford, and the project took flight.
"From that day, they have gone above and beyond," Johnson-McCormick said.
As many as a dozen Dulux employees were at the pool at any given time, putting in seven to nine hour days during the transformation.
"It was at least 260 man hours they put in," Johnson-McCormick said.
Conway, who pressure washed the building himself prior to the paint job, said, "They asked for a donation of paint, and we needed a project out here."
The pool facility has been identified as having heritage significance by the Maple Ridge Heritage Commission, not because of its architectural value but through the emotional attachment many people have with it.
"This is a place that's worth saving, and thanks to Dulux Paints, it's going to be here for a lot longer," Johnson-McCormick said.
At a Hammond Neighbours Day event in August, participants bandied about the idea of beautifying the pool.
Neighbourhood kids added input through a colouring contest.
"We had kids draw, what they thought they would like to see on the outside of the pool," Johnson-McCormick explained.
The concept from a couple of pictures - a child's rendering of a rainbow and the sun - now decorate the building's exterior. They were painted on the building late last week.
"It's. very amateurish, but that's what we want," Johnson-McCormick said. "It's meant to be very child-friendly."
During the summer months, the pool is usually filled with Hammond's younger residents.
The number of children living in the neighbourhood has grown exponentially, said Johnson-McCormick, pointing out that the population at Hammond Elementary is upwards of 500 students. She said a decade ago, the school had fewer than 300 students, according to Johnson-McCormick.
An official ribbon-cutting at the pool is in the works for next spring, with Dulux representatives as the special guests.
"We just want to thank them every which way we possibly can," Johnson-McCormick said.
Hammond Neighbours formed this past June.
This group of Hammond residents focus on heritage, community safety, gardening, development, and neighbourhood beautification.
Colouring up the neighbourhood is on the minds of many of these neighbours, through a local resource guide that's being created.
The guide will display heritage paint colours starting in 1883 when Hammond was initially incorporated.
"We're putting together the paint colours, so that people can go to Dulux Paints and they'll have those paint chips ready and available for them, if they want to do their house in heritage colours," Johnson-McCormick said.