If you live in a historic home or just love the feel of homes with history, you may want to paint the exterior of your home with paint in historic colors. 

Keep in mind that many homes are not painted only one color, but several paint colors. 

There is generally a paint color on the body of the house and at least one trim color for the trim around the windows and/or door color (often many trim colors). 

So, how do you go about selecting a color that is age appropriate?

Historic Paint Colors for the Exterior of a Homephoto courtesy of Dennis Jarvis flickr.com/photos/archer10/8176716734/Research
Find documentation of the original color of the exterior of your historic home.

You can attempt to find old photographs, check with your local historical society, ask older neighbors, research at the library, or scrape the paint off your home to get to the original color (ensure it is not lead based paint before scraping). 

You can also research the age and style of your historic home and see what colors those home were commonly painted. 

Be aware that many older buildings that have never been repainted may have paint that the colors have faded and the original paint color was much more vibrant, brilliant, and bold.


Historic Paint Color Options
Many paint stores have specialty brochures that show historic paint colors with appropriate trim colors. 

Also consider the appropriate paint sheen for the time period of your historic home.


Check Your Neighbor's Colors
You most likely do not want to have the same, or similar,  house color as your neighbors. 

Look at your neighbors' homes on your street and try to select paint colors that are different enough to make your home unique. 

You do not want to make your historic neighborhood look like it was mass produced with cookie cutter identical homes. 


Paint Swatches
Once you think you know the color you want, consider painting a small area on the exterior of your historic home to see how it looks during different times of day. 

Light changes color throughout the day, so the paint color may look different at different times of day. 

You should also consider how the color looks with the other parts of your home, such as the roof color and landscaping.


Check with Your HOA or Historic Committee
Make sure to check with your Home Owner's Association or Historic Committee before changing the paint color on the exterior of your home. 

HOAs and Historic Committees will often require documentation of your proposed colors that must be approved prior to painting. 

You may even have to hire an architectural historian to verify your color selections.


Paint sprayers are a new invention that was not used on historic homes. 

If you want to use a sprayer to paint the exterior of your home, consider over brushing to get the correct look and texture.


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