We love it when we get to choose exterior paint colors for Victorian homes, and this coastal Victorian exterior color palette was no exception! Keep reading for all the details.
This gorgeous Victorian home in Upstate New York was one of our favorite projects to date. The transformation of this home was seriously unreal.
We wanted to take this home from dingy and drab to cheerful and welcoming. Because this home is not far from the Great Lakes, we decided to try out a coastal color palette inspired by water and the sky.
This was a completely collaborative process that took lots of paint color tests, and we were with the clients every step of the way. The new palette completely changed the look of this house and has truly brought it back to life!
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What are Coastal Paint Colors?
Coastal design integrates natural elements that you would see near the ocean or other bodies of water. Typically, coastal color schemes include lots of blue, cool grays and soft neutrals, like the colors of the sky, sand and sea.
While Victorian homes traditionally use a lot of dark, deeply saturated paint colors, we knew we wanted to keep the bulk of this home looking light and bright and use darker colors to help bring out some of the home’s unique architectural details.
Designing a Coastal Victorian Exterior Color Palette
We have found that with historic homes, usually less is more. We often reduce the number of colors in the paint palette for our clients for a more harmonious look and make sure to choose colors carefully to help all of the unique details of each home stand out.
Some of the things to consider when choosing exterior paint colors for Victorian homes include:
The location and natural environment around your home can impact your chosen exterior paint colors. Lots of trees can change the way some colors (particularly whites and grays) look on your house, for example. And in high-altitude or southern locations where the sun is very bright, many white paint colors can look too bright.
Every home has exterior trim like siding, window trim, fascia, and soffits that must be considered when creating a color palette. But Victorian homes have even more details to consider.
For this house, we knew we needed to choose paint colors for the traditional trim pieces and many other small details, including lattice, corbels, finials, crown molding, floral window details, vines and dentils.
Number of Colors
After lots of experience creating Victorian home color palettes, we’ve discovered that when it comes to exterior paint colors …less can be more. Frequently, Victorian homes have too many paint colors. They look too busy and don’t have a cohesive, consistent look. We often find a balance between adding enough colors to highlight features without overwhelming the home with a rainbow of paint.
In this coastal Victorian exterior color palette, we chose just five paint colors to use across the body, trim and details of the home.
The Victorian House Color Palette
This beautiful Victorian exterior paint color palette brings this home into the modern era.
By sticking with a continuum of blues and grays throughout the color scheme, we’re able to bring a happy yet calm tone to this house. We were also able to better highlight all of the home’s unique architectural details and really let its natural beauty shine!
Keep reading to learn more about the Sherwin-Williams Victorian exterior colors in this palette and how we used them on this home.
- Sherwin-Williams Tinsmith (SW 7657) – Accent Color: Trim, soffits, details on corbels, spindles, upper and lower porch rails, large and small columns, deck fascia, crown molding (inner or lower fascia)
- Sherwin-Williams Languid Blue (SW 6226) – Body Color: Middle body color, bump-dentils above vine, column caps and collar, finials
- Sherwin-Williams Labradorite (SW 7619) – Body Color: Lower body color and gables, lattice, fascia detail
- Sherwin-Williams Sea Serpent (SW 7615) – Accent Color: Front door, side doors, corbels, vines, knobs, handrails, gutters, downspouts, vertical beveled edge of columns, window frames
- SW Westchester Gray (SW 2849) – Accent Color: Porch floor, stair treads
Using the Coastal Victorian Color Palette
Trim & Accents
We picked SW Tinsmith because it looked crisp and bright outside and paired really well with the blue exterior color scheme. Although Tinsmith is actually a muted light gray with blue undertones, it was crisp and white outside. This happens because the other colors are darker versions of blues, so comparatively it looks “white”.
Whites become significantly brighter when you take them outside, so we usually don’t use a true white for exterior trim and other accents. Tinsmith is a cool gray with blue undertones that fit perfectly with the coastal Victorian color palette we were going for.
We used two different exterior blue paint colors for the siding of this home. Because Victorian homes are often split into different levels or sections, we love to use more than one body color to highlight the design.
We also used each of the body colors on some of the smaller design details of this home, including column caps and collars, fascia details and the lattice on the front of the home.
Front Porch Details
The front porch is one of my favorite parts of any Victorian home. Victorian porches often had really unique railings and other details. So we choose paint colors for front porches very carefully.
We painted the porch floor and stair treads SW Westchester Gray, soft gray paint color that pairs really well with the natural blues in this color palette.
Our client also decided to paint her front porch ceiling with SW Languid Blue in the traditional haint blue porch ceiling style.
We painted the window trim with SW Tinsmith and the actual window frames with SW Sea Serpent. This created a coastal spin on classic black-and-white windows that was really beautiful.
This home’s windows also had really beautiful, hand-painted floral accents on the window corbels. We used SW Languid Blue and SW Tinsmith to make the design pop against the Labradorite trim.
This coastal Victorian home also had some gorgeous, organic vine details along the sides of the house with dentils above the vines.
We used SW Sea Serpent to paint the vine and really make them pop against the SW Tinsmith trim. The dentils above the vines were painted with SW Languid Blue, helping them stand out.
What is the easiest way to sample exterior paint colors for Victorian homes?
We always recommend that you test paint colors on your home because lighting can change a color completely. This is especially important for Victorian homes because we need to be sure the colors don’t just look good on your home but also coordinate well together.In the old days, this meant we painted a large poster board with sample pots and a huge mess. Now we have SAMPLIZE, 9X14″ Pre-Painted peel-and-stick paint samples. Discover peel-and-stick paint samples on the SAMPLIZE website.
Key Learning Points
This Buffalo, NY Victorian home looks cheerful and fully embraces a natural, coastal feel with its blue paint color scheme.
- When choosing paint colors for Victorian homes, aim for a simplified color palette that helps each unique architectural detail stand out.
- Coastal paint colors should make you think of the sky, sea and sand. Reach for blues, cool grays and light neutrals.
- Use color to highlight unique features of the home. Use a mix of light and dark accent colors to highlight bump-outs, dentils, beveled edges of columns and more.
No matter what, don’t forget to test your paint colors. It’s a standard best practice. Whenever I test my paint colors, they are perfect, and when I don’t test they turn out wrong. Read this post to Learn how to test your paint colors like a pro!
NEVER, EVER use paint matches from a different brand than the one you will use. Results are poor and there are no standards for the sheens. Even though your painter may truly believe it can be done, don’t do it. Learn about the pitfalls of matching paint colors in our post, Are Paint Color Matches Accurate?
Online Color Consulting for Victorian Homes
Still looking for the perfect Victorian exterior color palette? Discover our online Victorian House Exterior Package and let us find the perfect color scheme for your unique home!
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We love your comments! Please note that the blog is meant as general advice, and it is not possible to give specific answers to your paint questions. If you want more specific advice, please consider purchasing a color consultation. Thank you for your understanding.