Return to the Old House Forum | Post a Follow-Up

What colors for exterior?

Posted by katie8422 (My Page) on
Thu, May 21, 09 at 21:21

I'm planning on painting my exterior over the summer. Right now, it's primed the color of a sinus infection because the PO planned on painting it green before he sold it. I want to choose a color that suits the home's style, so I'd like to know what colors are appropriate. It was built around 1900 and I was told by people on GW that it looks like a transitional Victorian. Someone said it looks Craftsman, too. It's listed as a colonial on the property assessment site, but it seems to me that every home in my town is listed as a colonial. Can anyone confirm what style it is and suggest some color families? Thanks!
From Exterior

From Exterior

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: What colors for exterior?

Sinus infection, yikes! You forever ruined that color green for me! :]

I could see your house in almost any color. If you want something historic, check the historic color pallets that all the major paint suppliers have. Also check the link below; although many of these homes are "newer" than yours.

You have a cute house there!

Here is a link that might be useful: Historic house colors

RE: What colors for exterior?

Hi Katie-
Boy, you guys are moving right along. Good for you! I've been trying to pick out paint colors as well, it will be fun to see what people suggest.

As for your home style, according to my handy dandy "Field Guide to American Houses" it's a National Folk house. In the Gable Front and Wing Family. According to the Field guide, it's in a different category from Victorian, but a friend of mine is a historic preservationist and said that during the turn of the century, house styles really were a lot more fluid, so since most people would look at you like you were crazy if you said National Folk house, you could probably be safe calling it a simple Victorian.

However, I think that colors reflected more the time than the style of house, so I'd look into Victorian colors and even Craftsman colors. I know Sherwin Williams has a series of colors from those eras. I also know Ben Moore has historic colors.

Are there colors you are leaning towards?

RE: What colors for exterior?

I would not call it a folk Victorian; there is a lot of well thought out and executed trim details there. Folk reduces detail to a minimum and certainly this is not that.
I would look into a three color scheme that gives a body color, main trim color and an accent, like for doors window sash (and shutters if present).
The pigment types used in the period were almost all natural sources. Think: earthy. Yellow ochre, olive greens, deep reds. Black, white were used sparingly. Brown, used quite a bit in the 1850-1875 period was out of style, unless a greenish-brown) Blue not at all (blue pigments were not color-fast in sunlight, and the yellowing effect from the linseed oil would turn them greenish).
I would get rid of the stick-work at the upper edge of the porch beam. It's not original and lacks the grace of the rest of the trim.

RE: What colors for exterior?

I wasn't sure how reliable the historical color palettes were, since they don't specify which era they are from. I like the idea of sticking with colors from nature. I can work within those rules! I was leaning towards three colors but wasn't sure how to do it. Once I read that it was body, trim, and doors/windows, I started to notice that a lot of houses nearby use that formula. I thought it was more complicated, but I must be picturing more ornate Victorians.
THANKS! Hopefully I'll be posting a picture of my freshly painted house before the summer ends. :)

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Old House Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here