Best Paint for A Period House

Types of Period Property

Have you recently bought a period property and are looking to renovate? If yes, then the first thing you should do is to invest in painting it. Paint is a fantastic, yet inexpensive way to upgrade your home and breathe a new life into your rooms. However, choosing the best paint for a period house can be a daunting task. You would want to pick a color that makes a statement while highlighting your home’s architectural features.

To make things easy, we have prepared a complete guide on how you can pick the right paint for your new house. You will find a complete list of colors and textures that perfectly go with the historical features of your property. So, without further ado, let’s have a look at the best paint for a period house.

How to Choose the Best Paint for a Period House

In choosing the best paint for a period house, there are essentially two things that you need to consider:

  1. Color. As obvious as it sounds, the color of the interior and exterior is of primary importance. You should pick a color that is associated with the period your house belongs to. For instance, Tudor period houses featured shades of cream, brown, and white. The right color will accentuate the historical aspect of your house and add to its existing charm.
  2. Finish. When working with paint, the finish is as important as the color itself. The finish has a direct impact on how your walls appear after the paint has dried up. The right paint finish will hide the imperfections on your walls and make them easy to clean. In painting a period house, paint finish is of even higher importance. This is because it gives your house the actual feel of the period to which it belongs. Moreover, period houses also feature woodwork, paneling, ironwork, etc. so it is important to choose a finish that allows the historical architecture to breathe. For instance, early Georgian homes have extensive wooden paneling which makes the oil-based eggshell finish best suited for them.

We have prepared a list of period houses and the colors and finish best suited to each.

Medieval Period (15th Century)

In the Medieval period, the typical color of the interior was white which was mostly used as a precaution against fire. The half-timbered exterior of the Middle Ages had the timber painted in black with the walls in lighter colors. This gave a very picturesque result that stands out even today.

If you are renovating a house from the Medieval period, it is a great idea to match the historical theme. Our verdict regarding the interior paint for a period house belonging to the 15th Century is white. For the exterior, you can use a deeper shade of color to go with the black timber. To do this, you can select awhite that is tinted with a small amount of black or earth pigments.

In painting a Medieval house, you should opt for a matt finish to give your home a beautiful chalky look. Moreover, you can also use a traditional distemper to add a rustic, artisan feel to your home.

Tudor Period (16th Century)

To paint a period house from the 16th century, you can opt for brown, cream, and white tones for the exterior. These neutral shades complement the traditional materials used such as concrete, stone, brick, and slate. You can stain the front doors to accentuate the natural wood grain. But, if you want to add an unexpected twist, you may paint the doors a dark shade of brown or green.

For the interior, you should stick to off-white. To add splashes of color, you can add furnishing and fabric in bold, contrasting colors.

If there are any exposed timber beams in your house, it is best that you only wax them rather than paint them. However, if you want, you can even paint them the same color as your walls and ceilings. The best finish to use for the Tudor period is an emulsion. This will add the effect of limewash and soft distemper to your home.

Elizabethan Period

Although the Elizabethan period comes under the Tudor period, the architectural style and color palettes are vastly different. It is difficult to define the Elizabethan period in strict color palettes as the era was heavily dominated by patterns. In this period, lighter hues, rich crimsons, and dark browns were mainly in fashion. Light blue shades, mimicking a clear sky were common and dark green was also frequently used.

To bring an Elizabethan feel to your house, you can opt for colors like cyan and aqua for the interior. These blue shades tinted with green will add a rich Elizabethan appeal to your home. Since the exterior of Elizabethan houses is similar to the Tudor period, you can opt for cream or off-white shades.

In terms of paint finish, you should opt for matte. This will give your house a very royal look that is very much in line with the Elizabethan architecture.

Stuart Period (17th Century)

In this period, rooms were finished in paneling and plaster. Moreover, this period also marked the arrival of colored walls. Low-quality, cheap pigments in dark shades were often used in this time. These pigments were usually obtained from burning oil or wood. In the richer houses, shades of brown were frequently used and blue also made seldom appearances. The paint color was often used to emulate the color and appearance of expensive woods and marbles.

Keeping these trends in mind, the best paint for a period house from the 17th century include a variety of colors. These include plain white, off-white, ash grey, pearl, blue, azure, etc. You can also opt for colors like silver or brown.

If you have plaster decoration inside your house, you should opt for an emulsion finish with a traditional distemper to add an artisan feel. However, if you have historic woodwork, you should pick a finish that allows it to breathe. For instance, you can go with water-based or oil-based eggshell both of which can be easily applied on wooden paneling.

Georgian (18th Century) – George I and II

Paneling painted in linseed oil paint are hallmark features of the houses built under the reign of George I and II. Early Georgian color palettes include ‘common colors’ such as burgundy and bluish-grey. However, richer interiors also featured colors such as sage green.

In the early Georgian period, timber was replaced with plastic. This meant that water-based paints in a variety of different shades could easily be used. The paneling was painted in one color from the floor to the ceiling. As the style evolved to overlay walls with moldings of timber, we observe the use of off-white shades to pick out the moldings.

The best paint for a period house from the Georgian era is a plain white or soft grey. If you want to go for a fancy look, you can opt for dark green shades. However, if you want to keep the look basic and classy, you can pick out shades of brown.

It is recommended that you use an emulsion or distemper on the walls of your Georgian period house. Alternatively, you can also use water or oil-based eggshell finish as these are bestsuited for wooden paneling or ironwork. You can easily apply either of the eggshell finishes and allow the historic woodwork to breathe.

Pro-tip – if you’re looking for a paint that dries quickly, then water-based eggshell is your best bet.

Regency Period (Early 19th Century)

The last Georgian monarch had a great love for exotic architecture. In this era, specialist house painters were employed to deliver the color and effects of various types of veneer, bronze, and marble. With advances in paint chemistry, novel colors such as yellows became fashionable.

The color palette for this house includes a variety of different colors, including grey, blue, green, ochre, and pink. The ideal finish still remains eggshell or emulsion.

Many leading paint manufacturers are now producing historic colors labeled according to the period. This will make your task of picking out the right paint for a period house relatively easy and simple.

Victorian (19th Century)

In the early Victorian period, natural colors were quite common. Three-color paint schemes such as three shades of gray or fawn were popular. Larger houses featured darker colors whereas smaller houses used lighter shades. Colors such as yellow, red, white, black, and blue were avoided.

In the later Victorian period, a new palette of colors was introduced including pastel colors such as peach, rose, and olive. Deeper, and more saturated colors along with strong contrasts were also favored. Three-colored schemes were now used for the exterior. 

The best paint for a period house belonging to the Victorian era includes a lot of colors to choose from such as white, grey, blue, green, brown, etc.

The best finish for a Victorian period house is flat matte or emulsion to give it a heritage appeal. Home Depot Paint

Final Words

We hope you found this article helpful in picking out the best paint for a period house. For more information on period houses, visit our website.

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