3 posts / 0 new
Last post
E Ferris
Some Victorian colors

I have two Victorians to paint and am having difficulty getting authentic colors. Does anybody out there know good matches for:

Willow Green
Bronze Green
Indian Red
Colonial Yellow
Canary Yellow (Light Chrome Yellow)

The SW and Olympic ****** matching programs give Black for both Greens, a dark Red for the Indian Red, and aren't close on the Yellows. Porter Paints has an Indian Paintbrush color -- maybe you remember the artist brushes that had handles painted Indian Red. SW Colonial Yellow and New Colonial Yellow are too brown.

Of course this is all subjective, based on what I remember of the old houses in Indy when I was a kid. Still, Colonial Yellow is not Brown, Willow Green is not Black, and Indian Red is not Barn Red or Roycroft Copper Red (sorry, Moss & Winkler.)

There is a Victorian paint-mixing manual I downloaded from Google Books, but unfortunately its samples have changed color. The Sears paint catalog from 1907 or so is also ****** and in better condition. Let me know if there are more authentic resources available.

The Sears catalog shows a Red house with Light Slate trim and a Colonial Yellow one with Willow Green trim. So much for earth tones.


Re: Some Victorian colors

Be aware any exterior paint color needs to be approved by the historical register committee. They will have samples.

Re: Some Victorian colors

What you need is a rarity these days- a human who can do color mixes and matches. The computers simply cannot see all the nuances the human eye does. Your best chance is to seek out the oldest small family-run paint stores you can find and ask questions. If they return blank stares like you see from the staff at the big-box stores, leave and try elsewhere. If some old geezer says "Yeah I can match that" then goes straight to the tint stand and not the computer, you're in the right place.


Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.