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Posted by suzieque (My Page) on
Thu, Aug 21, 08 at 13:25

Hi folks - my house is approximately 160 years old. When I moved in, it had been redone and all walls were white white white, as in stark white. I got tired of it quickly and painted the walls. Now I'm thinking that I'd rather have "white" ... not really white, but the plain color that so many houses of that age had. I'm sure I'm not making any sense! Sometimes when I go into an old house (or restaurant, inn, tavern, whatever) the walls are just a basic (but not stark and bright) white, maybe a plaster color. But not cream or beige.

If anyone knows what I'm talking about and has any paint/color suggestions, I'd appreciate it!


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Paint

If you have access to C2 paints, their "Cricket White" is a great aged-plaster color.

RE: Paint

Old houses seldom had plain walls. Wallpaper, stenicls and paint were often used to decorate and add color and drama in places where weather kept people inside for long periods of time.
A decorative interior was also often a sign of wealth.

RE: Paint

Are you thinking of something along the lines of (not an exact quote here):
"....I'd like it to be white. Not a cold, antiseptic white, but nothing to suggest any other color than white."

If so, there are lots of very nice whites, that aren't exactly white. When I use white, I like a nice warm white. Some "pure" whites tend to look gray next to my whites.

I used Benjamin Moore's Calming White for my kitchen cabinets, it's a very old timey warm, creamy white. The woodwork in most of my house is Sherwin Williams White Radish, which is several tones whiter than the Calming Cream. I once did a living room in a white that had a couple drops of red in it. The walls looked white, but they had a subtle little something that merged with the sunlight gave a different sort of warm glow.
If you can get chips of just assorted whites and compare them, you should be able to get ideas. By the way, if you get a chip of Calming Cream, don't look for any WHITE that's yellower than that, or you'll get yellow walls. My living room was painted in Sherwin Williams White Muslin, which is called white, but the room is definitely a beautiful pale golden yellow color.

If you're looking for colors original to circa 1850, you're on track thinking of something pale. Check my Victorian decorating page for info from the 1840's-50's. I've also added a table of contents if you want to browse more periods.

Here is a link that might be useful: Victorian decorating-1830-50

RE: Paint

Thank you all for your input! I'll investigate and then let you know what I've chosen, and will post pics.


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