Friday, December 24, 2010

Historic Paint Colors for the Victorian Home: Part One

For more information about historic paint colors for your Victorian or Arts and Crafts era home, please visit the Historic Design Consulting Website today!

To view part two of the Victorian Paint Colors post, click here!

I was asked recently if I used colors from the historic color collections of major paint manufactures such as Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore during my paint consults.  My answer was no.  In fact, I really don't know much about these "historic" lines of paint colors because I have never had much use for them.   

Unlike many of today's colorists and consultants, I do not rely on someone else to research historic paint colors and select which ones I might want to use.  Instead, I do the research myself and use the same tools that homeowners did in the 19th and early 20th centuries.  These tools include a collection of original brochures with sample paint chips, advertising and commercial literature.

Below is a ca. 1900 paint brochure from the Masury Paint Company with some of its sample chips:



Here is another, somewhat older example from the Breinig's Ready Made Paint Company:



When helping my clients select interior and exterior color schemes I start with the colors found in brochures like these and other period documents.  I then match my selections to chips in the fan-book of a modern paint manufacturer or send custom-mixed sample chips that match the period originals.  My clients or their painters can then go to their local paint supplier and have them mix as much paint as needed.

Why go to all of this effort to pick out a few paint colors?  Our specialty is providing paint schemes for Victorian and Arts and Crafts era homes and businesses. The color palettes should be appropriate for the a building's age and style while still reflecting your tastes.  Although several modern paint manufacturers advertise "historic" color collections, they often offer paint colors they consider most suitable to contemporary tastes. This means some historic shades and tones might be left out. By relying on period documents I can be sure that our historic color selections are accurate and faithful to 19th and 20th century tastes. 

For more information about a color consultation for your home or business, check out the Historic Design Consulting website.


To view part two of the Victorian Paint Colors post, click here!

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