It is rare that a historic home is repainted in its original colors.
Most historic home owners go for a “painted lady” effect. And/or most owners select colors which they like.
In a million years I would not have selected the colors I used in the end. Rather, the colors selected me, for I was highly focused on a single burning question: WHAT were the original colors???????? Because the house had been stripped of 99.9% of the old paint by the previous owner, I initially had zero confidence that I could ascertain the original colors. But, this proved an incorrect assumption, as bits were discovered which could be computer matched.
So, even though in a million years I would not have selected the colors I eventually used, I am thrilled with the results. The colors superbly complement the limestone foundation, the oak entry doors, and stained-glass windows. I doubt, very much, that any alternative colors I selected would have proved so successful.
Recently, a friend called me. He owns an incredible historic house, and he and his wife are planning to repaint the exterior. A gargantuan project.
“What colors would you recommend,” he asked?
As we talked, he told me what colors he liked, and what colors his wife liked.
I responded that he and his wife might well end up getting divorced over this issue, as their color preferences were so different!
Then I asked: “What were the original colors?”
My friend had no idea. And it had never occurred to him to find out.
I responded again: “It is highly unlikely that the original colors are not, somewhere, encoded within the exterior. And, if you discover the original colors, and even if you are not excited with the discovery/colors, you will nonetheless be, based on my experience, thrilled with the results.”
My friend responded…skeptically.
While I was eager to default to The Original Colors, I support historic home owners who decide to paint their fabulous old house in colors which make them happy.
Happy matters. Oh baby, happy sooooo matters.
I wrote this post so that readers would learn of what guided me. But what worked for me might not work for others.
I also wrote this post as a, well, suggestion. If you own a historic home, and wonder What To Do regarding painting your exterior, perhaps my experience will be helpful.