Looking for color help on 1917 Victorian

justin86March 14, 2011

I'm currently in the process of stripping the paint off of the wooden siding on my house. It is mostly brick, except for the front bay window and the room in the very back (which I'm currently stripping). I'm stripping it down to bare wood, so a full color change is not an issue. I'm thinking of maybe a light gray main color with white trim and accents. Please help!!

Front: http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/8815/housezn.jpg

Back: http://img219.imageshack.us/img219/6453/img006222.jpg

Here is a link that might be useful:

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Wow, what a great house. White is very very popular but Ill caution you this way - White will totally make your brick look like flat ugly miserable darkness. Then you'll want to paint the brick to "fix" how ugly it is, which causes more problem (since the brick will need to be repainted forever) but in reality, its the new white paint thats the problem..

Highly HIGHLY recommend that before you undertake repainting your beautiful home that you check out the Roger Moss book on how to paint your Victorian house:


It is recommended nearly everytime someone asks what color to paint their house on here. By the way - the green on the house is so wonderful with the red brick - why are you repainting in the first place ?

There are so SO MANY colors available that will give you a clean fresh look without bogging down your beautiful red brick. White WILL make your brick look terrible, it happens time and time again when people paint a room white that has natural stained woodwork, then they are disturbed that the wood is so dark (when in reality, a better more carefully chosen color would have worked WITH the wood, or in your case the brick, and made everything look superb.)

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 11:22PM
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My response too to your proposed colours is that they will not go with the brick, and also, *yawn* :-)

I'd think bright, or rich. Victorian means colour! I can't honestly say that I like your current green though, but I have to admit it works OK with the brick.

How are you stripping? Wow - big job, but a good idea, better than the crackle/peel look that inevitably comes with 10 coats. Definitely worth replacing with a good colour selection.

There are also colour specialists - people who see tones, undertones, and possibilities. The blog I've linked to below is by one such person (and there are some old blog posts on house colour selection). I've found some such people in paint stores too. But if you don't find one in your local paint store, might be worth hiring a consultant. Also, look around - the local brick may be fairly consistent in colour and you'll see how different colours work with it (and don't).

All that said, I'd look at yellows, but I'm not sure it's where I'd end up.


Here is a link that might be useful: Maria Killam's blog

    Bookmark   March 16, 2011 at 12:24PM
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A great inspiration site below.

I definitely wouldn't do gray and white. Victorian architecture screams out for bold color choices.

Here is a link that might be useful: house colors

    Bookmark   March 16, 2011 at 1:38PM
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One thing I will say is that it is one thing to pick a Victorian paint scheme, quite another to match the brick. Most Victorians don't have brick.

Once I really thought about what I would do in your shoes, I pondered a navy blue main colour with sort of a buttermilk yellow trim (there is a BM colour of that name). However, your idea of grey suggests you want something light - but I can't think of any grey that would work with that brick. There are a lot of softer greens that would work. Actually if you go to the last link and look at the big burgundy house (I think under late Victorians), there is a green in that scheme that could get you thinking. Or the light blue used on the ceiling of the porch.

A strong colour would be easier to match to the brick - say a navy blue - But if you go with a lighter more complicated colour, to match the tone/undertone correctly I think I would consult someone.

You will find some colour experts on these forums hanging around on Home Decorating or on Paint. There may be a lot of not-insightful comments so as always with forums you'll have to sort a bit, but you just might find some people with An Eye.

Oh, and you should be able to post your photos into the thread if you can find an HTML tag. In the interim, I've linked to the front photo below.

Finally, there is the added complication of the bit of stucco up top. Really not an easy assignment!


Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 11:06AM
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We went to Sherwin Williams and picked out some colors we liked. I did some photoshopping and this one it what we are going with:

The reason for the repaint is pretty much everything the previous owner did was a quick, just slap it up job. The exterior is peeling, and even if it wasn't they just didn't take their time and there is drips and paint on trim and everything awful. The paint on the inside was like this too.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 8:04AM
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I'm stripping it with a heat gun and scraper. The picture in my first post was probably 18 hours worth of work. I got an estimate of $7,000-$10,000 for the paint job, and I doubt they would be stripping it completely. There is no way I would pay that much, so I decided to do it myself and do it right, even if it takes me the whole summer. I'm sure I'll be more pleased with the end product that way as I tend to be a perfectionist. I'm going with Sherwin Williams Duration paint and will be picking that up soon since I got a 30% off coupon from March 20-27!

The colors above are SW Downing Slate, Rockwood Red, Downing Sand

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 8:21AM
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That's a neat idea to match the brick with a trim colour, especially on the top trim on the stucco. I think you definitely got the trim colours right - they could actually work with a couple of different body colours. You could maybe even use the trim colours more, on door and windows.

Your heat gun seems to be working well! There has been some suggestion on this forum that heat guns release lead fumes from the paint, and apparently an infrared paint stripper is better in that regard though it similarly softens the paint. Since you still have a lot to do you might want to look into it - Silent Paint Stripper. Warning, it's expensive! I just got one but haven't used it yet. My house too is full of drips, inside and out - lots to strip. The IR unit is bigger and perhaps less handy than a heat gun, but there is a set-up for stripping siding. Heat guns have also been known to cause fires when used for stripping, so take care!


    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 1:53PM
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WOW - these colors look FANTASTIC - a far cry form the white and gray you intitially thought you wanted. So colorful, yet restrained - EXCELLENT choices - Please update on how the painting goes.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 2:39PM
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