Exploring New Home Construction

3 Options For Choosing Paint Colors When Restoring A Greek Revival Victorian

Do you own a Greek revival-style house that was built during the Victorian Era? Are you trying to restore your home, but aren't sure what colors to choose for the exterior of it? If so, you've got three options. Read on to learn what they are.

Exact Color Match

If you want your home to match as closely as possible to how it looked when it was built long ago, it's time for a color analysis. All you need to perform your own color analysis is a few packs of sandpaper -- one rough grain and one fine grain.

Once you have your sandpaper, locate the north side of your house (the north side of your home is the most shaded from sunlight) and search for a small section of siding that has been relatively protected from the sun throughout the years; under the eaves is usually a safe bet. There, in the sun-protected spot, start sanding in a circular motion with your rough-grain sandpaper. You're sanded circle should be about 4 - 6 inches in diameter.

As you sand, you'll notice the various layers of paint that have adorned your house in the past will become exposed in a bulls-eye pattern. Keep sanding until bare wood is exposed in the center of the circle, and then use your fine-grain sandpaper to polish it up. The layer of the bulls-eye directly above the bare wood is the original paint color of your home. Keep in mind, though, that the Victorian Era encompassed the years 1837 - 1901. Any paint applied this long ago, whether it was guarded from the sun or not, will fade to some degree. For an exact match, opt for a color a few shades brighter than what you exposed with your DIY color analysis.

Colors Of The Era

If you aren't interested in matching the original color of your Greek revival home exactly, but you still want to choose an exterior paint color that stays true to the era, you've got plenty of options. Many paint manufacturers offer lines of colors designed to replicate the colors available during the Victorian Era; visit your local paint shop and ask to see their selection. 

On Greek revival homes, the bodies of the houses were usually painted a pale yellow, or an earthy gray or tan to replicate stone. The trim was usually painted an off-white color, except for the windows. To make the windows really pop, their frames and shutters were painted black or very dark green.

Polychrome Schemes

Do the above options sound boring to you? If so, not to worry. Even the people of the Victorian Era sometimes got a little eccentric with their home's exterior paint colors. The "painted ladies" of San Francisco are Victorian Era homes known for their bright, multi-colored paint jobs. The original owners of these homes didn't care about adhering to the norm; what they cared about was selecting colors that they loved and that would highlight the many details of the house's architecture. On these beautiful homes, the colors worked together to create depth and dimension. 

While a polychrome paint scheme can be difficult to pull off, it can also be breathtaking when done correctly. Consult a professional residential exterior home painter and let them know what colors strike your fancy the most. They can work with you to develop a scheme that incorporates the colors you love with matching shades and hues that work well together. Turn you Victorian Greek revival home into your town's first "painted lady" and other homeowners are sure to follow suite.

There is no "right way" to paint your Greek revival Victorian house. Whether you opt for a color that your house once flaunted years ago, choose a color that was common during the era your home was built, or go wild and crazy with a polychrome color scheme, your home is sure to look lovely with its fresh new coat of paint. For more information on residential exterior painting, contact a company like Gary D Torgerson Co.


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