Solid Gold Vinyl House Numbers? Yes, It is Real.

The House Number Lab is my newest obsession. Someone, get me a transom to put these numbers on.

Posted by Chaya Kurtz | Dec 20, 2012
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This house number is not hand gilded. It is 23.5K gold on vinyl. Photo and number by The House Number Lab.If you have a transom on which to put a house number, consider yourself lucky. Having a transom means that you most likely own a Brownstone or a townhouse, and that Brownstone or townhouse might even be located in an historical district. If you’re looking into putting authentic, historic-looking house numbers on a transom, I want to be you. Well, I like being me, but I would like to own a house like yours.

For those who are unfamiliar, a transom is the word used in the U.S. of A. (as opposed to Great Britain) for the horizontal window above a transom bar or beam. Basically, in American usage, it is a horizontal window above a door. You see them on Brownstones, Georgian-style buildings and historic townhouses.

It became customary to paint a house number on the transom of one’s house in the 1800’s. The style has endured, although hand-painted gold numbering is getting scarce. Enter the market for vinyl decals, a less expensive way to achieve the look of custom gold-painted transom numbers. Vinyl house numbers are a cool solution for the modern, but historically-minded, homeowner. In fact, the founders of the House Number Lab invented them after being shocked by the price quotes from Washington D.C. painters for custom gilding.

One company, The House Number Lab, specializes in vinyl transom numbers. Although not explicitly stated on their Website, I believe that the decals are made in Washington D.C. The company claims to use green practices in their office and workshop. What I am saying is that although the word “vinyl” reeks of plastic, these house numbers are probably a pretty sustainable product.

What they look like is hand-gilded house numbers, or hand-painted house numbers, except there is no painting contractor involved. Their three gold leaf options come in 23.5K gold, and both burnished and matte 22K gold. They also offer contemporary silver metallic house number decals, decals that replicate the look of etched glass, and an inexpensive white vinyl version.

The curves and shadows of the numbers are realistic. Quite charmingly, The House Number Lab explains on their website during which era each style of house number was popular, so that you can get an accurate match for an historical house.

Prices for gold numbers range from the $25 to $82 depending on size. Prices for white vinyl numbers range from $13 to $60 depending on size.

Chaya Kurtz writes for

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