I am renovating an 1820's center chimeny colonial. We plan on siding it with cedar clapboard and have working shutters on the front. I am having trouble picking an exterior color that will work on the house. I am looking for a few color schemes so in the future I can repaint and give the house a new look. The roof color has also not been picked so I have a blank slate. We have narrowed it down to a yellow, light silver/grey, and possibly an lt olive green. I have a .pdf file of the front of the house but I don't think I can attach it. Traditional colors can be a little depressing, looking for a modern update with the old style of the house.
American architecture from 1800- 1850 is my absolute favorite. I love historic homes painted in period appropriate colors, so I don't find them "depressing". I love yellow ochre with black shutters and a black front door.Or white siding with darkest green shutters and door. Timeless, and classic.
Have you thought about painting the window frames dark? It was a style in the early nineteenth century to mimic Roman bronze window frames. It looks great and is an historical detail many have forgotten about.
We are open to all options. I wish I can send the .pdf of the front of the house so you can see what I am dealing with. Do you know where I can see nice examples of old houses restored? I have trouble picturing the house by looking at color charts and roofing material online. When we peeled the vinyl siding off the house we found a combination of cedar shingles and clapboard. the top layer was Colonial yellow (a little mustard looking). Digging under the layers we found red and white shingles. Its hard to say if they were original to the early house.
For me it would be important to determine whether the house was Federal or Greek Revival in style. Greek Revival is much more robust a style compared to Federal, and the color palette is different. If your home is outside of city limits, most likely it is Federal. Greek Revival was just getting its foothold in 1820 and still a fashion forward urban style at this point.
Check out Finnaren & Haley's Authentic Colors of Historic Philadelphia and Pratt & Lambert's Williamsburg Reserve Collection.You may be surprised how vivid colors in the early 19th century actually were.
The background on historicly acurate paint is one of economics and location. Paint was expensive, so wealthy people could show off based on the colors they could afford. Does your house have sophisticated details like a pediment over the front door, or is it a simple, rural farmhouse? The "drab" colors you refer to are based on locally made paints using easy to find pigmnets like charcoal or clay. Bright yellows and especially prussian blue would have been expensive and used by wealthier land owners. I think it could be fun to check this stuff out before you paint.Best of luck!
The house is in a rural location. The parlor had a nice federal period mantel in original condition. It was a little on the simple side compared to some of the ones I have seen online. When we gutted the house the upstairs posts/beams had roman numerals carved in them from the mill where they were cut. I was told this indicates the house was built before 1830. The house was also built from parts from another house. Some old board and batten doors are still in the house. I will check out the links you mentioned. Thank you!
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