Spring House Painting? Think Historic Colors

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ANN ARBOR, MI (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) -- Each spring millions of Americans set about updating their home's exterior with a new coat of paint. According to color specialist Robert Schweitzer they should strongly consider historic colors. "Many homes are either blandly or badly colored, thereby ignoring the architectural features or hiding them in a monochrome scheme of white or taupe," says Schweitzer, author of "Bungalow Colors" (ISBN: 1-58685-130-6) and owner of a consulting business, Historic Color Consulting (

Employing period colors on an older home brings back to life the lost features and provides fresh curb appeal usually missing in most neighborhoods. Many homeowners will just repaint with the existing color or fall back to white or taupe - safe colors because they can't visualize anything better. Most national paint brands have a line of historic colors. Combine these with a little research on color placement or a consultation with a professional color expert and the results will be dramatic. The new paint scheme does not have to be garish. People think wild "Painted Lady" when they visualize historic colors, but in fact most historic schemes are calm and employ "grayed-colors." All types of architecture from Colonials, to nineteenth century Victorians, Bungalows, Craftsman's and Retro Ranches can benefit from using colors that were originally designed for them.

A comparison, Schweitzer notes "A 1968 Camero RS would look better in its original red with its white nose and pin stripes than in a modern silver color. The car was designed to be flashy and racy; architecture is the same way." Allow the house to be what it was intended to be. Stark white colored Victorians rob the viewer of the chance to appreciate the intricate woodwork and to see how the house was meant to be seen in the nineteenth century.

Schweitzer is a nationally recognized color expert offering assistance to homeowners and businesses via email and specializes in historic buildings. "Any building over fifty years old is considered historic in American. But historic colors can be applied to contemporary buildings. I recently convinced a homeowner with a 1980s modern house to use colors from the 1880s, the result was stunning."

When thinking of a new paint scheme remember to consider weather the roof and foundation are warm or cool tones before picking your body color? Is the house situated against trees, other buildings, or just the sky? How far the house site from the street is another consideration as homes that sit back from the road can take brighter colors than ones close to the curb. Determine what percent the front façade is of the body, and so forth for the trim, porch and windows. Each one of these factors contributes to a decision of how much color they can take and still feel in balance with the other elements. Bright red windows against a stark white trim on a building close to the street may not be the best combination even though they are your favorites.

About Historic Color Consulting

Robert Schweitzer has taught architectural history and historic preservation for over 25 years. He is Director of Research for the Arts & Crafts Society and a writer for Victorian Homes magazine. He performs consulting services for homeowners, architects and businesses in the areas of historic paint colors. By knowing the architectural history of your building, he can develop paint schemes that reflect the original intent of its design and highlight important design features.

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REFERENCES: , , Historic Color Consulting, Bungalow Colors, ISBN: 1-58685-130-6, Robert Schweitzer, historic colors, painting, Ann Arbor, Michigan, news, press release from Historic Color Consulting, Feb 27, 2006, Interior Design and Furniture, , , , , Spring House Painting? Think Historic Colors