Unwrap the inner beauty of your historic home by finding the perfect paint color. The period in which your home was built, along with its location, offer giant clues as to the paint color choices that will allow you to authentically enhance its every line.
The beauty of today’s historic home color choices lies in the fact that due respect can be given to the historic character of your home while using today’s paints (which offer easy clean-up and shorter drying times). Environmentally-friendly, low-VOC or no-VOC paints are healthy options within reach today.
As a historic homeowner, to preserve the authentic beauty of your home with a fresh coat of exterior paint on your home’s siding, you’ll want to:
• Capture the genuine look from the specific time period in which your home was built.
• Create optimal curb appeal to welcome you and your guests home.
• Update the overall exterior aesthetics of your historic home in a way that complements its architectural style.
The genuine beauty of a historic home painted with the right color radiates with honest charm as if to welcome you home each time you arrive. Where do you begin when you’re in the market for the best paint color for your historic home’s exterior?
- Gently sand or scrape the existing paint on your home exterior. Uncover paint from previous years and scrape it off gently. Realize paint fades, so the colors you find are a faded version of what once was.
- Refer to color guides specific to historic homes. Fit your home in the timeline of American architecture, and you’ll be well on your way to finding the most fitting color choice.
- Bob Vila’s Guide to Historic Paint Colors—This slideshow is a great place to start to learn how to preserve your home’s historical accuracy.
- Valspar color charts—These list 250 house color hues recognized at the National Trust for Historic Preservation sites.
- California Paints—This company features 149 genuine color hues for architectural styles from the 1600s through the 1900s.
- The Williamsburg Palette—Featured by Pratt and Lambert, these beautiful hues include “White House Gold” and “Raleigh Tavern Chinese Red.” Designers and distinct consumers appreciate the true color accuracy and rich heritage of the Williamsburg Palette. The company’s history of quality and innovation dates back to 1849.
- The Historical Collection—Benjamin Moore features 191 colors that celebrate over 200 years of America’s architectural styles. These sophisticated colors enhance traditional 18th and 19th century American design elements and unlock the beauty of your historic home.
- Start with your home’s style.
- Georgian style homes—These were typically yellow or brown.
- Federal style homes—These were painted in soft creams, yellows and Wedgwood Blue.
- Victorian homes—Due to the invention of the paint can, chemists came up with a wider variety of color choices, so Victorian homes were bright and painted in various colors.
- Bright colors were in historically—Restoration experts believe original paint colors in historic homes were likely much brighter than many have realized. The pale hues uncovered were simply faded hues that once pierced the eye with their brightness.
- For optimal accuracy, hire a professional to do a paint analysis. Uncovering the original color of your home’s interior and exterior may be a DIY project for some, but for the particular homeowner who really wants accurate interpretation of their home’s color including its finishes—a professional paint analysis may be the best solution. Light alone can’t always highlight distinctions between multiple paint and varnish layers. Many times, ultraviolet illumination is needed to dissect the true colors. Pro researchers use a high-powered microscope to discover authentic colors and then match them with color swatches from today’s historic color collections.
- Uncover basic information and magnify it. If you don’t want to purchase a paint analysis, but you want to uncover more than the naked eye can see, make a small excavation in the paint and use a microscope at 30x to 100x magnification. You should be able to distinguish between multiple paint layers more accurately using the microscope. Uncover basic information about your home’s original finishes, and you’ll be well on your way to finding the optimal paint color choice for your historic home.
- Glean from the work of other historians. If you know the general era of your home, consider tapping into the research other professionals have uncovered of historic sites that match the time period in which your historic home was constructed. The color hues the historians uncover may be a good place to start in your search for the most suitable color choice for your home.
Choose a trustworthy contractor
Preserve your historic home’s beauty by carefully choosing a contractor with experience in historic homes. Siding, painting, and detailing of your home exterior should be handled with care and precision. Ask for references of their past work with historic homes, and visit a few to verify you are pleased with the end result of siding, authentic color hues, painting, and exterior finishes applied.
Try colors without a drop of paint
The James Hardie® Color Tool gives homeowners the distinct opportunity to try out the color of their choice on different home styles—online, before anything is primed, and better yet—before you buy a drop of paint. Embrace the power to experiment with different color selections in the convenience of your home with ColorPlus® Technology.
James Hardie Preferred Contractors
As a James Hardie preferred contractor, we provide quality work and handle the James Hardie siding products with expertise. Homeowners get:
• A clear and honest evaluation of their project
• All our work is guaranteed, leaving customers satisfied
• A positive contractor experience
Ready to increase your home’s value?
Increase your home value with new siding or new exterior paint. Give Dependable Home Services a call to schedule a free consultation, and in the meantime—check out our recent projects to help pinpoint your specific desires in your home exterior upgrade.