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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Question Queen Anne colors

    Recently purchased an 1890 Queen Anne house in a medium-small town in Indiana. A photo from the 1920's shows it painted in two light colors. However, it has five different textures -- plain clapboards, scalloped clapboards, beadboard, and two kinds of shingles -- and some web pages say each should be painted a different color. Right now it has a 1970's blue and red Tea-House Victorian, which I want to avoid. What is the authentic way of treating this variegated siding?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Houston, TX
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    234

    Default Re: Queen Anne colors

    I recall an episode of TOH from a season or two ago where a local historical society member actually had a color palette from that time period and discussed the number of colors used in a house at the time. I recall the number being 3, a siding color, a trim color and an accent color.
    It may have been the Scandinavian house series.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Northern Virginia
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    975

    Default Re: Queen Anne colors

    The paint job it had through the 20's could be very different from the original 1890's scheme. Paint analysis would possible disclose the original colors.
    Roger Moss did 2 great books on historic color schemes, one for exterior, the other was for interior. You could probably locate a copy. The 1983 edition was done in cooperation with Sherwin-Williams for their historic paint color line; I have a well-worn copy of that book.
    Casey
    Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Elyria, Oh.
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    236

    Default Re: Queen Anne colors

    Three is the minimum color with five preferred. We own a 1890s Queen Anne and we repainted it ourselves about 7 years ago. We hired a professional "Colorist" to access what colors to paint and he gave us three different schemes to choose from and we chose one of his five color schemes. He had authored a book on historic houses and colors. There are probably at least a dozen or more books written on historic houses and colors. He charged us $400 for his services. It came out looking very nice.

  5. #5
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    Oct 2012
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    8

    Talking Re: Queen Anne colors

    Got the Roger Moss book. I would say that although earth tones are authentic, there are many Victorian houses with bright colors originally, in Indianapolis at least. And, like the house I bought, many had unobtrusive paint schemes that would not be out of place on a tract house nowdays.

    The only thing Mr. Moss says about textured panels is that a shingled panel should be painted the same as the shingled gable ends. I don't agree, when the panel is not adjacent.

    He apparently doesn't think Yellow Ochre is a finish color. If you look at the Sears paint catalog for 1907 you will see a house painted bright red. Not an earth tone.

    You will also see a Fawn color house. That would go well with the Sears wallpaper of the period, that is, nauseating.

    It was said of the Andrew Borden house in Fall River, where "Lizzie Borden took an axe, and gave her father forty whacks," that living with that wallpaper would eventually drive anyone into homicidal mania. Another effect I wish to avoid. There are some houses that make you want to kill the owner, or the painter at least.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    8

    Unhappy Re: Queen Anne colors

    Went to the Sherwin-Williams store and found that Mr. Moss's paint numbers are no longer valid, even though S-W is still selling the "Downing", "Rookwood", and "Roycroft" colors. Nothing in their swatches resembled Indian Red. Anybody know an authentic modern paint that matches it?

    I suppose I should spend a month strolling around Woodruff Place and Herron-Morton in Indianapolis and see if I find any color scheme I like. How do you know if a book or expert is giving you a modern fake out of some paint company's "Historic" line?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    234

    Default Re: Queen Anne colors

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Ferris View Post
    How do you know if a book or expert is giving you a modern fake out of some paint company's "Historic" line?
    Everything you can buy is a modern fake. Unless you make the paint from a lead base and the same pigments(that were likely naturally derived and not made in a lab) as well as the tears of baby club seals, it is a modern fake.
    Get as close as you can, and remember by the time color photography was good enough to accurately capture the original paint colors, those paint colors were faded from original.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    8

    Smile Re: Queen Anne colors

    Some of the trim paint peeled off and revealed an almost fluorescent turquoise. Sanding down a flake from the clapboards shows a yellow-orange, and from a sash, teal. So those are the original 1890 colors. The Victorians had a different color sense than we do. But the house was repainted by 1920.

    Apparently you can't get saturated colors from a paint store. Mixing tinting colors makes everything grayed. Maybe I'll have to buy pigments and grind my own. Funny that the how-to-paint-your-Victorian-house books don't mention the difference.

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