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LottaLiving.com • Please Help With My Exterior Paint Colors
Page 1 of 1

Please Help With My Exterior Paint Colors

Posted: Sun Apr 05, 2015 5:03 pm
by RetroAttic
I have an architect deigned mid-century modern house that was built in 1960. It is in need of an exterior paint job. Currently it looks like the photos below.





I was fairly happy with the paint colors and had planned to keep them as they are though I thought the dark brown paint was probably very faded by the sun and was hoping to do more of a dark chocolately brown color.

Then I came across the original architect's drawing of the house which you can see below.



I decided I really liked the way the paint was done around the windows in the drawing. The trim around the windows is not the same color as the panels above and below the windows. For some reason this looks more authentic to the time period to me and it seems to accentuate the lines of the house better.

So, I first decided I wanted to paint the windows as they are in the drawing. Then I decided I would like to make the panels a bit more of an exciting (and mid-century style) color than the off-white color that is there now. Yet, I still want to keep the house somewhat traditional looking and not use any colors that are too out of the ordinary.

I am having a horrible time deciding colors. I have never painted a house before. At first I was thinking an olive green. The turquoise in the drawing seemed too outdated to me. Then, I saw a house with a turquoise door I loved and decided maybe I could do turquoise if it was the right shade.

I have been playing with an app online where you can experiment with colors. When I tried the turquoise I thought it looked awful. I like olive green the best, particularly a green with more of a yellow base. Maybe a green that is more brownish or grayish. I feel like my opinion on all of the colors could be skewed too much by how yellowish green the grass is in the photo.

I read somewhere that you should choose 3 colors for your house when you paint. I am a bit confused as to where this 3rd color would go. And, I'm wondering if this is just some bad Home Depot type advice. I also thought the soffits might not work since they wouldn't match any of the new colors on the house. But, when I played around in the paint app they don't look that bad the way they are right now. Then I started wondering if I should paint the front door a 3rd color....the same or similar color as the soffits??

I'm so confused!!! I can't find any photos of houses with panels like this to give me ideas. Can anyone help?? Is anyone good with photoshop?? I think even once I decided what I want it will be hard to find the exact shade. When I was looking at paint swatches at the store I thought they would have some that were specific to exterior paint. Nope! I was told they could do exterior paint in any color. Some colors DO NOT belong on an exterior!! That makes things that much more complicated. Please help me!! Thank you!

Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2015 9:23 am
by egads
I think the third color on your house is the stonework. It also looks like, in the architects rendering, the windows are a different color. The rendering probably shows the siding stained and not painted. That either didn't happen or got painted over long ago. Here is a link to some vintage paint colors:


http://retrorenovation.com/2009/03/14/o ... ntemporary

I will try to find some old posts that show vintage houses with the blocks of color like yours. Think (and google) Piet Mondrian the painter. He was a contemporary of the early modernists and his influence is great in their work.

In your house the eves should flow out as a n extension of the interior ceiling.

Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2015 10:08 am
by egads
Check out classicform's blog about his George Nelson house:

http://nelsonkirkpatrickhouse.blogspot. ... ew=classic

Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2015 1:40 pm
by RetroAttic
Thank you so much for your help! The house was originally stained. I wish it was still that way but somewhere along the line someone decided to paint it. We have been in communication with all 3 previous owners of the house which has been very nice. That is how we got the photo of the drawing. I did not know the eaves should be a continuation of the inside but that makes sense. The inside ceilings are white with wooden beams. I am starting to think about keeping the colors similar to what they are now and just changing it around the windows to match the drawing. I am going to check out the links you posted. Thanks you!! I would love it if someone could find some more houses with the color blocks I could look at. I have spent a lot of time looking and not a lot of luck. Do those blocks of color have a name?

Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 1:26 am
by johnnyapollo
Looks like the windows have been replaced too? They're taller in the rendering and it changes the overall look.

Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 7:43 pm
by RetroAttic
Oh wow! I think you are absolutely right! I never noticed that before. I believe we have the original windows. As I said, we have been in touch with all 3 owners. I never heard anything about new windows and I don't see any indication of new windows. But, I will have to investigate that. Thank you for pointing it out.

Posted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 3:37 am
by classic form
Good luck with the paint choice...
I know you will eventually hear "just paint it and see how it looks...if you don't like it change it, paint's cheap"
Yeah, paint is cheap...paintING however is not.
The color simulators are about worthless in my opinion, the colors are always way too vibrant when applied to the image.
My best advice? Drive around several neighborhoods (modern if you got em) and cop someone elses colors:) maybe tweak them a little here or there to make yourself feel better:)

Now...on to the more important issue. Please do everything in your power to re-unite that rendering with the house. And if you ever sell the place the drawing stays.

Posted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 11:26 am
by RetroAttic
The color simulator does seem like the colors are very vivid. I have been driving around and trying to look at houses but haven't had a lot of luck. We may have to go out of town for that. Those panels make it hard because I think of them as the accent color but they are pretty big so I don't want to do anything that looks too overwhelming (not sure that is the word I'm looking for). We don't have a copy of the rendering. The original owners took a picture of it and sent it to us. We have been in touch with them and there has been talk of them coming to visit and see the house. I am hoping that some day we can at least get our hands on a good copy of the rendering. We tried to get in touch with the architecture firm that designed the house but got no response. There are also newspaper articles out there that ran all over the country about the house when it was built. I would like to get my hands on some of those also. Would you recommend that the front door match the panels or be a different color?

Posted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 1:59 pm
by classic form
Not sure if this helps or not but here is a pic of our house of about ten years ago...I really liked the base and trim color, I wasn't sure about the black door but really liked it after it was done.



I think a door of a different color is a must.

Posted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:43 pm
by RetroAttic
Thank you for the photo! I like the colors of your house a lot. It looks well done. So the door should be different than the main house color and the panels? I was thinking it should match the panels. It's the panels that really have me thrown for a loop.

You know how sometimes you see a house and ask what were they thinking? The colors are colors that should never be on a house. I just don't want to end up with that house. In my mind there are colors that go on houses and colors that don't. But, I'm not sure that I know which is which until I see it.

Posted: Sat Apr 25, 2015 6:49 pm
by RetroAttic
So, the colored panels HAVE to have a name? Doesn't anyone know what they are called?