Friday, December 24, 2010

Historic Paint Colors for the Victorian Home: Part One

Special Offer on Color Consults!

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$50 discount on all exterior paint consults
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To view part two of the Victorian Paint Colors post, click here!

I was asked recently if I used colors from the historic color palettes of major paint manufactures such as Sherwin Williams 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 century.  This includes a collection of original advertising brochures with sample paint chips.

Below is a ca. 1900 paint brochure from the Masury Paint Company with a few 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.  My client then can easily go to their local supplier and have them mix as much paint as needed.

Why go to all of this effort to pick out a few paint colors?  My specialty is providing paint schemes for historic homes that are appropriate for the era when they were built.  Although several modern paint manufacturers advertise a "historic" palette, they often only offer paint colors they consider most suitable to current tastes.  This means some historic shades and tones might be left out.  By relying on period documents I can be sure that my selections are accurate and faithful to 19th century Victorian tastes. 

For information about a color consultation for your own home check out the Historic Design Consulting website.

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

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