Molding & Trim In My 1960 House

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RetroAttic
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Molding & Trim In My 1960 House

Postby RetroAttic » Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:28 pm

Hello, I have been Googling looking for information on indoor molding and trim color for a 1960 home. I haven't really been able to find a lot of info. The conclusion I have come to is that it is more modern and contemporary to paint the trim the same color as the walls. My question.....Is white trim totally taboo??? Thanks for your help.

If anyone is interested here is a link to a blog I have been keeping about our architect designed house that still has many original features. http://retroattic6969.blogspot.com/

robbhouston
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Postby robbhouston » Mon Sep 09, 2013 4:55 pm

Hi RetroAttic,

Welcome to the LL forum. Also, cool house!

In my opinion, if they are currently stained wood, I wouldn't paint over them. Over the course of our renovations, we added lots of new woodwork to our 1961 ranch in the form of cabinet doors and drawer fronts, replacement interior hollow slab doors, curtain valances, etc..

After messing around with different ideas, we finally went with BullsEye Amber Shellack. It's my understanding that is often how wood was sealed in those days, and time has now aged it to a nice amber color. It's not a perfect match in every instance, but neither is the original woodwork. It's actually all over the place, slightly different shade bumped up against each other. But the over all effect is fine. You can see lots of pics of our place at the website link below my signature.

Shellack might not be your solution. But I guess my point is, there's probably a nice sealer that would bring them back to life, and would be more in keeping with the original look of the place. If it were me, after looking at your pics, I might start by trying to match things up to that living room paneling, which I like btw!

Best of luck with whatever you end up doing.

--Robb
http://www.nashvillemodern.com
A little website I created to showcase my home and other MCMs in and around the Nashville TN area.

RetroAttic
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Postby RetroAttic » Mon Sep 09, 2013 5:26 pm

Thanks for your reply. Most of the trim except in the paneled rooms is NOT natural wood. I SOOOOO wish it was. Every other house I have lived in has had natural wood. This painting of the trim is a killer. I don't know who ever thought it was a good idea. In three bedrooms, a family room and two hallways I have started painting the trim white. But, as I am looking here and there where there is still little bits of original paint visible I can see where I think the original wall colors for the house were also on the trim. So, now I am wondering if I screwed up and should have done the trim the wall colors.

As far as the paneling goes. I LOVE it! It's what sold me on the house and would never ever consider painting it. Unfortunately someone put some type of blonde wash on which we don't think is original. The original wood is heart of redwood. I guess the blonde was stylish at one time but it is very faded and worn from all the years of sun exposure. (It looks much better in most of the photos than it really is.) So, we are planning to have it refinished back to its natural look this winter. It has been a challenge figuring out how to do it. Some people have said sand it and others have said strip it. Not many people seem willing to tackle it but I think we have found someone who builds homes who is going to do it for us this winter. He loved our house yet seemed to think we were a bit crazy for going to all the trouble and not just painting it. But, I sort of felt like he was testing us and was relieved when we didn't go for it after he said the easiest/ cheapest thing to do would be to paint it.

egads
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Postby egads » Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:15 pm

I'm going to vote for having the trim the same color as the walls. It's all about blend vs pop. While the current fashion may be having dark walls with white trim, modern was all about less is more. All interior design is about focal points, what draws your eye. A modern house should be focused on the views outside and the pop of art on the walls (or a rug or sofa fabric) not the walls. You would not want to outline them with white trim. The opposite is true with a traditional interior where the trim is fancy and should be articulated (popped)

As a complete aside, pure white is for sterile Dwell interiors. There are, as my late artist friend used to say, all kinds of whites. What is more desirable is to think of the broad spaces as neutral background. That could be a color or a white. But should almost never be plain white. That's for art galleries.
Being of a certain age, I can tell you that the popular neutral in the MCM period was a beige, often called "mushroom".

RetroAttic
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Postby RetroAttic » Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:28 am

Ugh! I had a feeling that might be the consensus. I wish I would have come to this realization sooner. I think I have done well on the wall colors. I have a lot of beige. I used a California Paint historical sample to make my choices. The beige runs through the hallways, a family room and a dressing room. The master bedroom is a silly putty looking color that is a neutral. The kitchen will be olive green with olive green furniture in the attached paneled living room. And, of course I have my blue and pink master bathroom! The house was the same color EVERYWHERE when we bought it. It was a very pale off white that looked so dirty. The original colors I can see were a lot of oranges and golds. Oh well, I guess I can go back over it.

RetroAttic
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Postby RetroAttic » Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:00 pm

Is there anyone who can provide any links to molding/ trim in mid-century homes. Google doesn't help much. If you go with trim that matches the walls what do you do about doorways when the paint colors aren't the same from room to room or hallway to room? Those doorways are killers to paint. My house now has trim and wall that are the same color. Seems like in the doorways I had a to pick a line in the doorway to change colors. It was so hard to make that nice line and not get the paint where it shouldn't be.

egads
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Postby egads » Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:55 pm

If there is a door, the paint color in the room the door opens into goes to the inside of the stop. The stop and the rest of the jam are the other color. One uses that line at the stop to cut one color against the other. If the opening is just jam with no door, you would use, for instance, the hall color on the jam & casing and just use the adjacent room color on the casing that faces that room. You can get around all of this by selecting a neutral to use almost everywhere and then do feature walls a stronger color. (or even grass cloth wall paper) There is a masking paper that comes in rolls (easymask?) that cuts a very sharp line. I think one of the newer blue masking tape claims to also cut a sharp line. Regular old masking tape often allows paint to leak under it. There is also the recommendation to pull the brush away from the tape instead of just running along it.

RetroAttic
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Postby RetroAttic » Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:54 pm

Thanks for all of the helpful advice! I always do trim free hand. Unfortunately I am very good at it. This means no one EVER wants to help me. I feel like I can do the best job without the tape and just doing free hand but it is so tedious and stressful! If anyone else would like to chime in with their opinion that would be great. My husband claims one is not a consensus! Ha!

egads
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Postby egads » Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:11 pm

I'm sorry this place is not more active. It used to be before the housing meltdown. Folks either lost their houses or had the wind taken out of their sails. For some photos you might want to look through this thread:

http://www.lottaliving.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=7888

Some sites are dead, some photo hosting is also, but it's a start.

RetroAttic
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Postby RetroAttic » Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:16 pm

Thanks! I have been reading here off and on for years. I just never posted because I had no house to post about and was just learning. I wish there was a more active place to get information. Maybe things will pick up as the economy turns around. It is really hard to find mid-century mod specific info. Houzz is a GREAT site with how many people are willing to help and offer advice. But, it is hard to weed the people who know what they are talking about out from the ones who think you should put a hideous ornate mantel over a mod fireplace.

RetroAttic
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Postby RetroAttic » Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:21 pm

There are so many little things I would like to know more about that it's hard to find info on. I know the general attitude towards ceiling fans and pink bathrooms but is it blasphemy to replace my original (or close to it) thermostat with a programmable one? Stuff like that isn't quite as hot a topic.

egads
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Postby egads » Wed Sep 11, 2013 8:36 pm

There are ceiling fans that can work. They just need to be plain. Even if plain means it is very slick & brushed nickel. But one that looks like it was once spinning over the vegetable section of an old market is even better. Plain white or plain black. Never with a light. (that said, there is one with an uplight I have used in modern houses)

One of the first things I replaced in my house was the thermostat. I had never had forced air heat and having it come on during the night was driving me crazy. (that said, if one lives in a cold climate it can cost more to bring a house up to temp in the morning than to keep it there)

You must know about this site:

http://retrorenovation.com/

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Joe
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Re: Molding & Trim In My 1960 House

Postby Joe » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:09 pm

RetroAttic wrote:Hello, I have been Googling looking for information on indoor molding and trim color for a 1960 home. I haven't really been able to find a lot of info. The conclusion I have come to is that it is more modern and contemporary to paint the trim the same color as the walls. My question.....Is white trim totally taboo??? Thanks for your help.

If anyone is interested here is a link to a blog I have been keeping about our architect designed house that still has many original features. http://retroattic6969.blogspot.com/


most modern interiors in the '50s and '60s used minimal trim and moldings. if trim and molding was used, it's design was quite simple and not intended as decoration. the goal was not to draw attention to it, rather to blend in with wall or floor colors. Color palettes of mid-century modern interiors are simple and natural at best. colors are well thought out and unity is achieved through ceiling and flooring. simplicity rules.


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