Painting a Historic House…Historically. PART II
In a previous post I discussed my efforts to paint the 1894 Cross House in a historically accurate manner.
From day one, I was curious as to what the original exterior colors were. However, this seemed an impossible question to answer as the previous owner had removed ALL the old exterior paint from the house. So, 122-years of lead-based paint…gone. Thank God! This is one of the reasons I purchased the house.
However, when all the old paint left the house, so did all the evidence as to What Was.
I did have an 1895 newspaper article which described the exterior as being painted in “tones of olive” but what, exactly, did that mean?
Months went by and one day, while working on the house, I was startled to discover a pristine section of the original trim color. Whoee! And this was a green olive.
I also learned from physical evidence that the window sashes were painted black. Ahh, black olives.
But the wall color eluded me.
Then one day I was moving things around inside, and onto the enclosed porch of the second floor. And it struck me. The porch still retained 122-years of paint! I think of the enclosed porch as inside but it was originally sorta outside.
Yet…yet…while I was confident that the olive green color of the trim, and the black olive of the sashes, were highly accurate, I have never been certain about the wall color. I believe it is close, but how close? The awareness has gently nagged at me, and to silence the voice, I decided to find out for sure. So I contacted Welsh Color & Conservation, and Frank Welsh responded.
I knew that my inquiry would be, ah, less than enticing as Welsh works on amazing and important historic stuctures across the globe (like Independence Hall and Monticello), and all I wanted was a single redwood shingle analyzed.
But Frank said to send the shingle his way!
Today, the shingle is being mailed off, and I breathlessly await the results!
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