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Brick exteriors are classic and timeless, but that doesn't mean they can't be personalized to reflect your unique style and personality. Painting your exterior brick is a great way to add a touch of individuality, but it's important to find a balance between making a statement and going over the top. This is especially true of historic brick homes when you might need to take other things into consideration before deciding to paint. Planning a new paint scheme that suits your aesthetics and still reflects the historical value while maintaining the integrity of the old brick all depends on choosing the right exterior paint colors for your historic brick home. 

Research Historic Color Palettes Before Heading to the Paint Store

Before choosing a paint color for your exterior brick, consider the architecture of your home and the surrounding environment. The color you choose should complement the style and era of your home and blend in with the natural surroundings. For example, a Victorian home would look best with a classic color palette but could look out of place with a contemporary color scheme.

One of the best ways to ensure your new color scheme is in keeping with the historic style of your home is to research historic color palettes. Several online resources can help you determine what colors were used on homes built during the same era as yours. You can find lots of information on Pinterest or similar sites. For further inspiration, you can look at historic photos of homes in your area to better understand what the popular colors were at the time.

Historic Home Colors Are Anything but Boring

Historically, Victorian homes were painted in various colors, including deep reds, blues, greens, yellows, purples, and browns. Many of these paint colors were chosen to reflect the natural surroundings, mimicking the colors of the trees and sky. Bright and bold colors were used to highlight the home's intricate details and architectural features.

When choosing colors for a historic brick home, it's important to consider the era in which it was built. Homes built during the 1830s to 1860s were often painted in earthy colors such as brown, green, and gray. While these colors persisted well into the 1900s, bolder shades of yellow, blue, and red started gaining more popularity from approximately 1860 on.  From the late 1800s to the early 1900s, pastels were also added to the mix.

It's also important to consider the surrounding environment when choosing colors. For example, a home located in a historic urban neighborhood should use colors that complement the neighboring homes, while a home located in a rural area might have a bit more flexibility in terms of color choices. The original color choices would also have reflected the urban/rural differences, with urban areas tending to adopt trends more quickly as they emerged.

With intricate details, ornate designs, and a mix of styles, it can be tough to figure out the right era and color palette. A historic brick expert can help you to preserve the value of your home while enabling you to have the look you want.

Classic Integrity with a Pop of Personality

Whether you prefer a classic and timeless look or a bold and eye-catching style, the key is to find a balance and use the boldest colors with care. A historic brick expert can advise you of color schemes that remain true to your home’s era, which could involve accenting the trim and shutters, as well as highlighting other interesting details with color - a great way to add interest to your exterior and increasing your home's curb appeal, without drastically changing the overall look. 

It’s wise to have a historic brick expert evaluate the condition of your brick and mortar before painting. By determining that everything is structurally sound, the expert will help you to ensure that the paint can be applied in the right way and that your historic home will look its best for years to come.

Renaissance Development, a leader in brick restoration and historic preservation, specializes in the repair and restoration of historic DC brick buildings. We love old homes and are committed to preserving their historic charm and value. If your renovation plan includes masonry or brick repair, contact us for a free site visit and project quote.

Post by Christina Wilson
Mar 9, 2023 8:30:00 AM