Painting Your Home with Authentic Colors
Should a historic American home maintain the same paint color scheme it had when it was first occupied? Many people think it’s a good idea to preserve as much of the original ambience of these older homes as possible, from furnishings and decorative pieces all the way down to landscape designs and, of course, the colors used inside and outside the home.
If you have one of these grand homes or are planning to purchase one and want to learn about how to create a paint scheme similar to the original, here are some tips.
When we talk about historic American homes, we’re talking about homes built in the 1600s to the 1800s. Life was very different then, and interior colors in particular usually focused on functionality rather than wild aesthetic appeal. The key issue was lighting.
Brighter colors were typically used to help bring more light to a room after the sun went down and the only artificial light came from candles and lanterns. In the 17th and 18th centuries, paint pigments were generally developed from regional colors and additives, which is why you tended to see the same basic color schemes in various areas of the country.
It was common to infuse chrome and lead into paint to help create a brighter shine and give more character to a room and everything in it. Fortunately today, you can get durable bright paint that doesn’t include chrome or lead additives.
Popular colors for historic homes
While historic homes originally featured a variety of colors, the most popular were various shades of yellow, green and red, and often the brightest varieties of each. You didn’t see too many interiors or exteriors in plain white, but white was used liberally on some architectural design work, trim, woodwork and other accents.
If you don’t have original photo renderings or paintings of your home, you can talk to a local historical society or the owners of other historic homes in your area to discover how paint was used in the era your home was built. A local museum might offer many photos of homes from which you could draw inspiration.
You also can consult picture books of historic homes for plenty of ideas. Visuals will help you decide how much light vs. dark paint you want to use and give you plenty of ideas for color combining.
With today’s paint-matching technology, if you can bring a photo containing the colors you want to a good paint retailer, they’ll be able to reproduce that color with stunning accuracy. And if you buy high-quality paints, such as those created by Sherwin-Williams, Benjamin Moore and other top manufacturers, you’ll be using a product far superior to what historic America had available.
Franklin Painting of Farmington CT can help you recreate a genuine historic color plan for you home, and we can employ the most modern equipment and expertise to turn out an amazingly beautiful result. If you’d like to speak with someone about painting your historic home, call us at (877) 646-7774.