house plans

Colors and Painting Techniques for Historic Craftsman Home Plans

For all traditional looking house plans and designs, it’s wise to follow a few general guidelines for painting exteriors. First, set a goal. Are you aiming to reproduce the home’s original colors (historical accuracy)? Or are you simply interested in choosing from the exterior colors that were available when the home was built (historical appropriateness)? Alternatively, you may be among the many homeowners who simply want to decide for themselves what their home should look like, without care for historical influences. The following are some tips on how to paint exteriors according to your goal – particularly as relates to Craftsman home plans.

Achieving historical accuracy is, obviously, the option that will require the most research. Try scratching away at baseboards and other surfaces on your period home. Look for pictures from neighbors and others that show what the home’s exterior has looked like over the years.

For recently built house plans and designs that evoke older eras, historical appropriateness is the best approach. Look for color palettes for homes of that time, and seek out pictures from the era to understand how contemporary homeowners painted exteriors. Spend some time walking through neighborhoods where your preferred home style is dominant, if possible. All of these steps will give you a good feel for how homes were painted when your home style was in vogue.

Finally, if you are not interested in historical influences but do want your home to have excellent curb appeal, you can use a color wheel to find excellent tone combinations. For instance, to create a soothing color scheme that won’t stand out, choose a monochromatic approach. This involves selecting different tones of the same color, such as blue. If you want a bit more punch, choose complementary colors – those that lie across from each other on the color wheel. Likewise, adjacent colors on the wheel will typically stand out less than a triadic scheme of shades equidistant on the color wheel.

Proper Painting Techniques for a Craftsman Home

Plans for construction unfortunately do not come with instructions on how to match exterior treatments to the home’s overall style. Craftsman style house plans look better with certain approaches and color schemes, as outlined below.

Preserve natural materials when possible.The Craftsman style embraced many natural materials, including stone and wood. Rather than painting over natural materials, preserve them with varnish and other protective finishes.

Choose earth tones for Arts and Crafts style homes. In the early days of Craftsman home plans, earth tones were favored. Many early ground-hugging bungalows were outfitted in soothing browns and greens, for instance. As the Craftsman style continued to evolve from 1900 to 1930, lighter colors such as salmon and sage were also incorporated.

Consider how your roof tone will affect the color scheme. Whether you choose to emphasize the browns of early Craftsman homes or delight in the contrasting colors of later Craftsman home plans, be sure to think about how your roof’s tone will impact your color scheme.

Note: The home shown above is The Malone House Plan 2164A.