Preserving the Charm: Historic Color Schemes for Homes

Preserving the Charm: Historic Color Schemes for Homes

Posted on February 28, 2024

. Owning a historic home comes with a unique set of rewards and challenges. One of these experiences that can be difficult for any level of experienced historic homeowner is choosing the right color schemes. After all, one of the reasons we love historic homes is because they have so many layers to them. Understanding these layers and knowing your own goals is essential to understand before any paint is (carefully) applied to the interior or exterior walls of your historic home. 

Fortunately, the experts at CertaPro Painters® have experience helping homeowners across the country take on this challenge. We have worked with all types of historic homes and know how to find the right colors for each home’s specific needs. Now, we are here to share all we know about how to choose the right color scheme for your historic home.

How To Choose Your Color Scheme

meeting with certapro painters and homeowners

There are a few different ways to approach finding the right color scheme for your historic home. It is easier to move forward with a painting plan and color selection if you know which approach you’re taking. Here are the most common ways to approach looking for the right color scheme: 

If You Want to Preserve: Use Original Colors

If you have a lot of information about your historic home, you may be able to get into specific paint information, such as what color of paint was originally used in the home. Some homeowners prefer to stick to this information, keeping the home as preserved as possible while updating to look nice and stay safe. 

If You Want to Reflect: Use Era-Specific Colors

First we have historical homeowners who want to reflect on the feel of the era of the home. Many homeowners take this approach to respect the history and heritage of the home, but may want to make changes to the specific colors originally used in the home. Oftentimes, samples of paint that were popular from the period of your home will be referenced in your color search.

If You Want to Reimagine: Use Your Colors 

On the other side of things, we have owners of historic homes who wish to update their space into something modern. These types of historic homeowners may not mind so much what paint colors would’ve been used in the home originally or what was popular during the time the house was built, but rather what works for their space in the present day. 

Painter’s Tip: Make sure you check withany historical societiesor city officials before you apply paint! There are certain rules to painting historic properties, and it is always better to be safe than sorry. 

Color Schemes for Different Ages

Once you know how you’d like to move forward with your historic home painting project, it is time to start looking at color schemes! If you’re unsure about the specifics of your historic home, there is no need to worry. One way to make your house colors era-appropriate is to follow common color schemes for the architectural style. The style of the historic home will say a lot about what time period it reflects and brings in a realm of color schemes it should fit into. Here are the most popular historic home types our painters see: 

Victorian Homes Color Schemes

red victorian historical home

The most popular color schemes for Victorian homes are deep browns, greens, and reds. 

Victorian homes are influenced by the Victorian Era, spanning from the 1830s to the 1900s. Homes of this style have distinct, ornate features such as patterned bricks, rounded tower-like structures, and angled wooden frames. These homes have the widest range of color selection since the era spanned over such a long period of time. However, most popular color schemes for Victorian homes are deep browns, greens, and reds. 

Something you can see with Victorian homes is using the same color in different shades. For example, you might use a barn red, a dark berry, and a deep maroon on the same house with the shades highlighting different architectural features.

Craftsman Homes Color Schemes

craftsman home with grey siding

The most popular color schemes for Craftsman homes are blues, grays, and greens.

Craftsman style homes were made in response to Victorian homes and are, therefore, much more simple creatures. The functional design typically has a deep porch, clean lines, and natural accents (such as columns or stone accents). 

Because these homes are so simple and beautiful, you’ll really want to choose a color scheme that helps the details pop. Typically, when painting a craftsman, you’ll want to stick to colors you might find in nature. However, adding in a trendy white trim painting will really make those natural shades shine. The most popular color schemes for Craftsman homes are blues, grays, and greens.

Colonial Homes Color Schemes

white colonial with black highlights

The most popular color schemes for Colonial homes are whites, grays, and blues.

Colonial homes have strong symmetry, multiple floors, and simple adornments. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be the star of your street. Historically, colonial homes utilized brown for their exteriors. More recently, however, colonial-style homes have been embracing new color schemes. 

When deciding on your historic colonial home, you’ll want to think about choosing three colors that go well together: your main color, accent color, and trim color. A white exterior with white trim and dark accents is a popular option for colonial homes. The color scheme highlights a fresh, crisp appearance. We are also seeing gray bodies, white trim, with red accents make a big appearance in 2024. 

Use Your Resources 

No matter what approach you take when choosing your historic home color scheme, you’ll need some resources to help you out. It is always best to consult a professional for safety measures when working with a historic home, especially if your home was built before the 190s. These homes are more likely to have harmful substances, such as mold, asbestos or lead paint, that should be investigated and taken care of. 

Here are a few of the resources we recommend for any historic house painting proejct: 

Get the Right Historic Color Schemes with CertaPro Painters®

CertaPro Painters® know how to paint historic homes with the respect and consideration they deserve. Additionally, our professionals can help you find the right color for your unique home. We have a variety of residential painting services to ensure we’re the team you can work with from start to finish. 

Get started on your historic home painting journey with CertaPro Painters® by calling our office or go ahead and fill out our free, no-obligation form to give us a bit of information about your home and get a jumpstart on your project.