Do you live in a historic district of your city/town or own a historic home? You may be wondering what restrictions apply to your property when it comes to restoring, revitalizing, and refinishing your home. Here are some great pointers from the professionals who know how it works.
There are two main options when it comes to selecting historic paint schemes: using the home’s original colors and using period appropriate colors. Consulting your region’s historic commission can be a great resource to start your search for the colors that would work best on your historical home.
Use Original Colors
Some homeowners who live in historic homes or districts choose to paint the exterior with the home’s original colors as found by analyzing the palettes currently on the existing wood and found on original boards. Historic documents may also give clues as to what the home’s original color was.
Use Period Appropriate Colors
For this step you may need to do a little research of your own or consult a historical expert. In other words, you will need to find out the exact date your home was built as well as what colors were commonly used during that period of history. Make sure you are researching specifically for your region.
According to Landmark Services, “Many of these consultants will work from a distance: you pay a fee, send them some photos of your house, and they provide some period appropriate color schemes. Some preservation organizations have commissioned lines of period-appropriate colors. These include The National Trust and Colonial Williamsburg. Here in Massachusetts, the Cambridge Historical Commission has published a guide to historically appropriate colors.“
For historic homeowners, the decision is often more complex than taking a quick trip to the paint store. The color specialists at Benjamin Moore dealers routinely research and document this type of information to provide owners with a greater understanding of the design tastes of particular periods.
The Benjamin Moore website provides basic background information on a range of architectural styles, beginning with Cape Cod homes (1600-1955) and ending with Contemporary (1965-present), and gives a sample color palette for each one.
If you are considering painting the exterior of your home and need help with the historic color palette that is required, call our specialists for assistance on what is required of you and your color choice.