Historically Accurate Paint Colors for Your Older Home


Choosing historically accurate paint colors for the interior and exterior of your older home is the best way to celebrate and showcase the glory of its past. Research has always been considered a reliable tool for choosing paint colors that reflect the original appearance of an older home. In recent decades, however, advances in technology have ramped up the accuracy that is possible in reviving an old home with its original color palette. Of course, you have the freedom to choose colors that suit your taste. If choosing historically accurate colors for your historic home is a priority, the following can help.

interior painting company in middletown ct

Look Into Recent Insights

Determining the original paint hues in older homes can be achieved with far greater accuracy than ever, thanks to some new scientific techniques that have been developed. Rather than relying on what is seen with the naked eye, the truth of past colors is revealed through residues of oils, pigments, washes, and other factors. The paint trends of the past are better understood and tend to evoke even deeper appreciation when a historic home is painted according to new insights. The Monticello dining room is one example.

The Monticello Dining Room

In 1815, Thomas Jefferson selected a lead chromate yellow pigment newly invented in France for the dining room at the Monticello. The intense shade is like the contents of egg yolk, a brightness that helped in an era that preceded the invention of electric lights. The shade was not added to the historic dining room until 2011 when it evoked great response from those familiar with the previous muted blue shades.

Home Interior Colors in Historic Homes

Color schemes in historic home interiors are grounded in period architecture.


Craftsman homes were originally inspired by homes in Bengala, India. The design principles were customized for bungalow-styled homes in the late 19th century. In rooms where the woods in furniture were orange-tinged, paint colors may include yellow and red shades to further bring out the warmth. To reflect original colors schemes, you could go with the following Sherwin-Williams paint pallet: Show Stopper, Torchlight, and Concord Buff. For a similar effect in muted tones, you may choose, instead, Valspar paint colors Red Ochre, Ambitious, and Palomino Pony.

Spanish Revival

Classic browns and golds are trademarks of Spanish Revival-influenced interiors. Behr paint colors Classic Gold, Polished Pearl, and Sweet Molasses could get a nice pop and modern twist by also adding English Channel, a beautiful shade of blue.

painting historic homes, windsor ctHome Exteriors for Historic Homes

Historically accurate exterior paint colors tend to do the best at capturing a historic home’s classic beauty. Each of the color palettes below can be just as effective with slight variations.

Victorian Homes – Late 1800s

Although three-color schemes for Victorian homes were popular, it was not unusual for homes to be painted in four or more hues. Victorian homes are reflected most accurately with colors inspired by nature. Whether three shades in the green family or a palette using shades of tan and taupe, historical accuracy in painting the exterior of Victorian homes accentuates the ornate woodwork, patterns, and glasswork.

Gothic Revival – Mid 1800s

Iowa is home to many historic homes built in the Gothic Revival style. Exterior paint pallets can be seen in a range of colors, but common color schemes include warm shades of red, brown, and yellow.

For help choosing historically accurate interior and exterior paints and for professional home painting applications, contact Franklin Painting. Before any project starts, we provide a free 90-minute consultation. We help homeowners choose the perfect paint colors, and the care we take in painting historic homes has given us opportunities to deliver unbeatable workmanship.

Scroll to Top