Painting an Historic Home - Beginning

July 2005
Aug 2005
Nov 2005
Jan 2006
Feb 2006
May 2006
July 2006
Aug 2006
Oct 2006
Back Porch
Pecan Tree
Kitchen 1
Kitchen 2
Kitchen 3
Dig Footers
Build Foundation
Filling an Antique Septic Tank
Floor Joists
Framing Day 1
Framing Day 2
Framing Day 3
Framing Day 4
New windows
Sewer Line
Water Line
West Wall
East Wall
South Wall-West Gable
Front Door
New East Wall
New West Wall
New North Wall
Last New Wall
Front Porch

Starting out day one painting

We needed a section of wall to test colors and the front south-west section fit the bill. It had one window and enough clapboard area to test a number of color choices. The section of wall got both morning shade and afternoon sun exposure thereby showing how the color would shift during the day. We didn't realize it at the time but it also invited input from passing motorists and neighboring homeowners as well as showing everyone that something was being done after several decades of neglect.

Picking the house color

Elizabeth knew well in advance that she wanted to paint the house YELLOW. On our first attempt at color we went to a local paint store and picked up a quart each of the two upper colors. The yellow to the left wasn't warm enough and the color Jim picked had a decided tan look to it. Off to another paint store and two more quarts came back (the bottom two colors.) The lower left color had just the right touch of warmth and that was the one chosen to paint the house. Elizabeth got to pick color because of the "higher rule" --the higher she had to go on the scaffolding painting, the better she had to like the color. It is a historic color from Colonial Williamsburg.

At the same time we picked up a "white" paint and two greens. We vetoed the park bench green color immediately and painted the window sash the darker green. It was almost black looking, so we selected another historic green that wasn't quite so dark.

We ended up choosing a modern white called lemon ice. It had just a touch of yellow in it. The other whites we tried looked gray next to the chosen yellow.

In the two images below can be seen various shades of yellow that were subjected to her scrutiny. She also waited several days for her paints to dry before making a final choice.

The teal color seen on the window gave the house an almost Caribbean look. Members of the local historical society gave a thumbs-up to the yellow selected, but soon had raised eyebrows over that teal color. Neighbor Bill came to our rescue and spread the word for us as he ran his daily errands about town - it is primer, it is only primer!

Actually the color came about when we tried to tint a quart of white oil primer to a dark green color. The person mixing the paint added as much pigment as he could. After the window was painted, we took the partial can back to the store and had more pigment added to make it more of a grayish green. Everyone was glad when the teal color disappeared. The foreground bench is where we took breaks, drank lots of ice water, and entertained visitors.

The gray home in the background is the home of Major Ezell. He built our home for his son William Holmes Ezell and family in 1895.

Sometimes problems with old homes don't fit well into modern business computer operations. Case in point: the squirrels long ago had decided to chew away the insulating covers to the power line bare wire splices. We had a fun time trying to explain to Customer Service at Georgia Power that we needed new covers to replace what the squirrels had eaten off, so we could erect our metal scaffolding to paint the house. Apparently there is no checkbox for squirrel damage on work order forms.

Looking good. The wall painting ended next to the kitchen window because the new addition clapboards would have to be installed.