Painted Lady

We've been thinking about what colors to use when we paint the exterior of the house. I got an estimate of $5000 using three colors (body, trim, accent) to paint our house. We visited Preservation Park (it is a Victorian neighborhood with historic residence currently being used as offices and event center) in downtown Oakland for some color inspirations. 

I forgot to bring my camera so here are some pictures of Preservation Park Victorians byJim Hildreth found on flickr.

Justin and I purchased three sample colors from Home Depot over the weekend and tested the colors for the body of the house. The first is grey with hints of green, the second is a deep plum/purple, and the third is a lighter bluish red which looked just like the current color on the window trims. The third color is out. Justin likes the plum, and I like the greenish grey, but we are no closer to deciding on a color.

We also have to keep in mind the having a red roof eliminates a lot of colors. I had fun with a color visualizer from Sherwin-Williams to test out some color idea combinations. I am drawn to the mid-tone body color with dark trim combo because it's unusual and looks stately. But I also like the white trims because it gives the house a crisp and clean look. I think the cooler grays and blues and greens would work well with the red roof. Here are some of my favorite results. By the way, Justin can't be much help because he's color blind. Which one is your favorite?

Blue with creamy white trim.

Green with darker tonal trim.

Green with creamy white trim.

Light grey with creamy white trim.

Dark grey with creamy white trim.


  1. I like the medium tone of gray and the blue.


  2. I think green with dark tonal trim is striking, and by far the most interesting. Green w creamy white trim is very pretty, but needs another little punch of color somewhere. The greys are very stately, but a painted lady? you lose the fun factor. The blue looks wrong to me, on this house anyway. Too conservative, suburban, maybe. The increase from 2 to 3 colors (or 3 to 4, really) makes an incredible difference. The basic 2-color scheme, you take in at a glance and move on; the 3+ color palate keeps you staring and staring. -- Jana

    1. Thanks for you input Jana! I was trying to keep cost down by keeping to as few colors as possible. We did eventually used 3 colors to paint our house, light blue, creamy white and dark blue as the accent.