Exterior Paint Color Suggestions for Historic Home?

Exterior Paint Color Suggestions for Historic Home?

Janel Laban
May 24, 2010

Q: I'd like some suggestions on colors for the exterior of our "Philadelphia-style" two family house in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. First floor is clapboards, 2nd floor and 3rd floor dormers are shingles. We are thinking two-toned but can't agree where to split the color--with the change in siding (2nd floor) or change in architecture (3rd floor).

My gut says to paint the 1st and 2nd floors the same color and just the 3rd floor dormers as an accent…

My first choice of colors is Benjamin Moore Phila. Cream on 1 and 2 and Benjamin Moore Mayflower Red on the 3rd. I think two floors of red are too much--I want a lighter-colored house.

Conversely, if we respect the change in siding as the place at which to change the color (which seems historically accurate), I'm thinking of Benjamin Moore Nantucket Gray on the top two floors and Phila. Cream on the first floor. We'd throw in some red on the deck floors and the three little fluted braces at the base of the third floor for fun--otherwise it seems kind of conservative.

Please help! I want to respect the historic character of the house, but if I go with my gut, I need someone to back me up to my condo-mate who has a 42% financial and legal interest in decisions of the house!

Sent by Karen

Editor: Please share your thoughts on the exterior color of Karen's home in the comments below - thanks!

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