I need exterior paint help too! (pics)

jiggreenJanuary 11, 2011

Here's MY own desperately needing color house (built in 1814)...help w/ suggestions? (I don't want to do anything light, because we are only 20 feet back from a fairly busy road and the white just gets grimy) The photos are a few months old...all of the awnings have been removed since the photos were taken. The roof color is going to be a dark charcoal gray.

I know there are programs which let you "try out" different paint schemes...but I never have any luck using them and just make a mess. Does anyone have any suggestions for a user friendly program that's both fun to play around with and easy to use?

And the backside of the house....

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I think a deep bluish gray with black trim would look beautiful on your home. The simple lines call for "handsome"-no froufrou fruit or flower colors.

There are plenty of paint manufacturer sites that allow you to upload a photo and try different options. I know Benjamin Moore can do this, and probably many others.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 9:18PM
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Oh that does sound pretty! My mom keeps pushing a "nice bright white" trim....but I personally love the look of dark trim with medium to dark houses. How would you address the issue of the porch posts? Paint them black also? I'd also want to bring in a 3rd accent color for a little pop of color/interest, perhaps a deep red?

    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 4:09PM
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I don't really see an obvious spot for a 3rd accent color like you would see on a Victorian-era house. (Brackets in the soffits, wide trim with different "strips" to color, etc.)

Otherwise, I DO think a vibrant cinnibar red would be great with those colors. You could save the pop of red for porch chairs and flowers. (looks like you have that covered already.) Hmmmmn, flowerboxes under 1st floor windows...?

    Bookmark   January 13, 2011 at 9:51PM
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Your house dates from the earliest victorian era - check out the Moss Winkler book on exterior paint (i cant recall the link, but Amazon has it) They list a great number of historic colors that wont show dirt (and look amazing on a house like yours.)

Short version - white would have been totally out of place on houses of his era. White was used, but, the way we use white today is an outcome of the Colonial revival of the late 1800's. The preferred colors of that early era are "pictureque" colors, like tans, earthy greens, stone blues and rich dark creams. So your preference for a color that wont show the road dirt (I sympathize, we have the same problem here) is totally historic and practical.

BEst of luck and i highly recommend checking out as much as you can re: color since its too darned hard to repaint if you hate it when your done.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 11:42AM
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Thanks for responding!

Is this the book?

(I'm a reference book junkie...I love books, this one looks like a great one to add to my bookcase!)

Here is a link that might be useful: Victorian Exterior Decoration

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 5:07PM
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That's the book--I'd say the best book on painting old houses.
Their other book covers interior decoration from painting to carpets, and every other aspect of interiors--also a must have for old house owners!

Here is a link that might be useful: Victorian Interior Decoration

    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 3:07PM
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Hi, yes, thats the book. Its really enlightening info. And it really dispels the myth that old houses were all painted white with green shutters. So many colors. Really explains how to select color, too, that its senseless to just saunter into Lowes one saturday morning, grab a swatch that looks good in their fluorescent lighting and paint the whole house (then be distraught because it looks like a childs playhouse)

Check it out - your front roof looks like a good candidate for striping too look like a tent roof - its also in that book.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 11:05AM
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Wow, striping like a tent roof?! Now, you have me intrigued...I am definitely going to have to get that book!

I've been doing some researching...and ran across a really informative site on preservation and painting historic interiors. No pictures, but lots of information regarding the history of paint in the United States. Under "additional reading" the interior book by Moss and Winkler is listed. I'll have to get that one also!


Here is a link that might be useful: Preservation Briefs~ Technical Preservation Services/ National Park Service

    Bookmark   January 22, 2011 at 12:27AM
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I keep going back to this photo of the Samuel Pellet House in Massachusetts, I really, really like it. I like how the trim around the windows is not painted in an accent color..I love the depth of the red color, and the charcoal colored (wood shingle?) roof. As well as the subtle pop of color on the front door. This house speaks to me!!!! And, it wouldn't show road grime! I'm not sure how I would deal with my porch posts and railings (that still need to be reinstalled)...perhaps paint them in a very dark gray/almost black color? And what about the gutters? The same dark gray/almost black color, or the house color? I really do prefer to stay away from white on the house itself. We also have outbuildings, which I would most likely paint the same color as the house, but I'm thinking that on the outbuildings I would use white on the trim areas, to tie them into the white pasture style fencing we will be putting up in the spring.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2011 at 10:53AM
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I think if you look very closely you will see that the window frames are painted the same green as the front door. Look closely at the window frames on the left side of the house, I believe they are the same green. I do love the color of this house with the green trim.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 9:43PM
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I didn't notice that before..it is so subtle...I love it! I wonder if there is a way to find out what the brand and name of the color is? I haven't been able to find much info on the house, I believe it is privately owned.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 12:01AM
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To me, it looks like only the sashes are painted blue/green.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 10:14AM
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Better than getting this particular paint color from the owner is trying the paint colors out on your house for yourself. Check it out ... its a pretty dreery looking day when this photo was taken and Ill bet the house looks MUCH brighter on a sunny day. Colors change like crazy with time of day, weather, rain, snow, etc. along with your particular kind of sun (the sun in the north is a different color at noon than the sun in the south at noon) so spend a few $$ and get those little quart tubs at SW or BM and try try try. Also ... one color will change next to another color so trial pairs with no space between the samples.

Oh, one more thing, it is just the sashes that are painted that lovely and odd green. It really works here ...

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 2:09PM
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