Restore Your Historic Home With COLOR

Is your historic home showing its age? A proper paint job can bring back its glory days! Preserve your home for generations to come, restore its original form and function, and boost its curb appeal by applying COLOR.

C – Color:  Use Historic Color Palettes

The first step is choosing the right color. Repainting an entire exterior is a substantial investment of time and money. Carefully consider the correct color. Use historic color palettes to find inspiration. Find resources – print and online – that offer exterior color combination examples for your style and era. For instance, a turn of the century Victorian has a different palette than a 1920s Craftsman-style home.

Historic exteriors often use at least three colors: base color, major trim, and minor trim. Other accent colors may be used for added layers of architectural design. These color combinations were developed to match the architecture. Not only are they a classic fit, but they can also preserve the essence of your home design and neighborhood appeal.

Speaking of neighbors, consider the paint choices around you. If your neighbor chose one color palette, choose another that compliments, not clashes.

O – Original: Original Materials Should Be Preserved

Whatever its current colors, much of the beauty and value of your historic home is in the original woodwork, stucco, and brick, which a proper paint job seeks to preserve. The original siding materials, headers, and trim should be maintained, and not covered or removed.

If modern materials have already been added, you may still be able to remove them and rehabilitate your exterior. Look for original trim and finishings that may be hiding under later remodel jobs.

The Pittsburgh Historic Preservation Guidelines are a great resource, whether or not your home is officially designated part of a historic district. If so, your restoration of original materials may be mandated. Check with your local district for guidance before beginning your project.

L – Labor: Ensure All Preparatory Labor Is Done

Preserving or restoring your exterior materials and prepping them for paint is a labor-intensive process. Several important steps must be followed.

Your home, if built before 1978, must be tested for the presence of lead paint. An unfortunate mistake of the past, the presence of lead paint poses dangers that must be managed by certified professionals.

Fortunately, a method of lead paint remediation is to paint fresh coats over the old lead paint, to seal it from flaking off into your home and yard.

If your siding or trim is in bad shape, sanding and even select board replacement may be necessary. Always replace them with replica materials. Manage any deteriorating stucco or brick mortar, when applicable, as well.  

Painting prep also includes washing, scraping loose paint, caulking, and priming. Make sure this labor is complete before painting begins.

O – Outsource: Let Professionals Manage the Job

Does the above list sound rather daunting? It is. Unless you have plenty of time on your hands, painting experience, all the right tools, and safety procedures for lead abatement, a historic exterior painting project is best left to the experts.

Enjoy the fun of planning your colors, manage the preservation of your materials, and oversee the labor steps, but outsource the work to a reputable painting professional.

R – Restore: Restore the Beauty and Function of Your Home

When you plan an exterior paint job on your historic home, remember that it is more than a paint job; it is a chance to restore your home to its original glory. Whether you are restoring an architectural masterpiece on the National Registry of Historic Places, or a simple working-class home within a district neighborhood, you are preserving a piece of history.

The Pittsburgh Historic Preservation Guidelines highlight three key reasons for historic preservation: economic, environmental, and social/cultural sustainability. Your restoration efforts help accomplish these three goals.

Are you ready to apply color to your historic home? We would love to help. Contact Fagan Painting LLC today and schedule your restoration!

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