The Cross House

Wanna Meet Color #5?

The Cross House, a few months ago.


The more and more I get the exterior painted, the more and more I realize that I have been playing it too safe. I have been SO concerned about not having the house look like a painted lady that I have been…too conservative.

In studying the 1895 image of the house I belatedly realized that the the original color scheme of the house was more animated than what I was doing, and that, significantly, there was a mysterious accent color #5 that I was missing.

Oh dear.

To rectify this unexpected conservatism (where did that come from?) I have been endeavoring to, ah, liven things up a bit. A bit.


I began by painting the scrolled band around the lower part of the tower green. Then I picked out the swagged garlands (higher up on the tower) green.


Then I boldly repainted the porch gable, after being ably guided by my friend, Eric.


Then Zac stunned me by forwarding a photo-shopped suggestion. The column capitals have been “painted” in color #6, as well as the bases, and the tower garland rectangles. And a black pinstripe was added to the porch cornice. I LOVE THIS. But, what color WAS color #5????????


Eric to the rescue again! He suggested Sherwin-Williams 6123!


Which I painted today on some capitals…


…and bases.


I need to do all the capitals and bases, and the porch spindles, and the garland rectangles. But, bit by bit, I think the introduction of accent color #5, and a black pinstripe, should add a certain vivacity which has been lacking.

Oh! And Eric is hard at work selecting a porch ceiling color! Whoee!



23 Responses to Wanna Meet Color #5?

  1. Hi Ross. This all looks lovely. The new shade adds a bit more definition to the porch capitals, and the black pinstripe is just the right framing for all the other work. It is coming together brilliantly.

  2. Looks good. I think you’re taking the right approach by starting simpler and safer and slowly adding colors and details. Just don’t get carried away; it may be addictive like tattoos!

    I’m excited to see what you end up with for porch ceiling color. At our last house, I almost painted it white, but then settled on a very light shade of the siding color. We really loved how it looked, as it was subtle, but bright yet soft. Almost like a very light reflection off the siding next to it.

  3. Looks fantastic! And, though not intentional, you have been starting with a plain base and working your way out, a very effective method of working out such complicated cases as the cross house.

  4. Lovely. And thank you. Here’s a thing…have you considered what the blueprints say? I noticed in print #13 that your broach,eye, and front gables are detailed, which might give you two some ideas on color schemes. It might be worth revisiting. Of course, these opinions from a woman whose kitchen (open design) is painted tangerine orange with a celery living room…so what do I know?

  5. This all looks great and the definition really makes it pop. I would have taken the easy way out but after seeing this, I will NEVER take the easy way out!!! It’s worth the extra work!

  6. I was going to comment about how well the real color matches what ZD suggested, but he beat me to it! Well done to all three of you. About the porch ceiling color… I just realized that I don’t remember if you’ve ever
    commented on what the original color was and is that something you even know?

  7. Definitely the right choice! Before the change, the columns sort of receded into the shaded porch. Now, they really stand out. You’re living the dream, man! 🙂

  8. In the photoshopped pictures, the house looks more ALIVE. I don’t know if it is original, but it makes the facade ‘pop’. I heartily agree with Eric, your color guru. BTW, I have found evidence of my original porch ceiling color. It is Sherwin-Williams historic color ‘Rookwood Jade’. And please go back to the Norman tin ceiling company and do something about the orphan triple windows that never got their trim. Auf glueck!

  9. I really like the accent colors! But I’m a bit confused…isn’t this the original color scheme? Shouldn’t the colors be exactly the opposite as they are now? Light columns and dark details? And it looks to me as if there was a bright stripe above the columns. Oh well, any way you are doing it, I think it looks great!

    Keep up with the good work!

    • Hi, Isa!

      The image you linked to was taken about twenty years after the house was built, and it would not likely still be the original paint.

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