Lazy painter? Or realizing a mistake?

I was walking around the “Old City” neighborhood of Philadelphia last week, when this door and its ornamental pediment caught my attention. It’s a nice decorative effect, with the curves and sculpted or carved wood flowers that have the appearance of being draped over the top of the door. But then I noticed the paint job, and wondered what is going on?

decorative door pediment seen in Philadelphia
A decorative door pediment as seen in Philadelphia’s Old City neighborhood.

As you can see in the picture below left, most of the door and surrounding area has been painted brown, and it would seem that was done at a later time from when this building was originally built. It would seem that someone was asked to “brown-wash” the entry to this building, and they must have started at the bottom and worked their way up. When you see the detail of this paint job below right, one has to wonder: did the painter get lazy and just stop before finishing the job? Or was he or she painting and had started covering up the flowers with brown paint and then realized that perhaps this was a mistake, and those details (wth the pink flowers and green leaves) would be a shame to paint over and then just stopped? Seen on Chestnut Street in Philadelphia … someone clean that up!

ornamental pediment on a door in Philadelphia
An unfinished – or mistaken – paint job on a door and ornamental pediment on Chestnut Street in Philadelphia.
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