Victorian Exterior Paint Color Scheme: A Painted Gentleman

This is one of our favorite projects for a Victorian exterior paint color scheme. It’s warm and comfortable and masculine.  The homeowners call it “The Painted Gentleman“.

Blue Victorian House painted with BM Thousand Oceans, Hale Navy and White Dove

This beautiful house is a historic home built in 1897 and within a historic district.  It’s a Queen Anne Victorian with unique architectural features, which make it stand out.

The new owners were looking for a more elegant and sophisticated design that felt more contemporary but also blended in with their historic neighborhood.  They asked for bright bold colors that would also pair well with the red brick houses on the left and right.

Their goal – which we completely agreed with – was to simplify the color palette with fewer colors.  This was a completely collaborative process that took lots of paint color tests, and we were with them every step of the way!

Blue Victorian House painted with BM Thousand Oceans, Hale Navy and White Dove
Photo by Color Concierge Client
Yellow historic house - before
Photo by Color Concierge Client

A Smaller 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.  Another benefit to using fewer colors is that the paint project is much less expensive.

In this case, we reduced the number of paint colors from six (white, yellow, mint green, dark green, burgundy and gold) to four.  What a difference!

Blue Victorian House painted with BM Thousand Oceans, Hale Navy and White Dove
Photo by Color Concierge Client

The Paint Color Scheme

This beautiful exterior paint color palette is so modern with mid-toned BM Thousand Oceans for the siding.  It pairs perfectly with the Forest Brown and Hale Navy accents and the White Dove trim.

Thousand Oceans and Hale Navy are both muted enough to be able to pair with the two red brick neighbors.

Blue Victorian House painted with BM Thousand Oceans, Hale Navy and White Dove
Photo by Color Concierge Client
  1. BM Hale Navy – Accent Color: Beams, porch floor, stair treads, window mullion/frames, front railing accent, back deck railing posts, lattice under deck
  2. BM Forest Brown – Accent Color: Front railing detail, inner window trim, doors
  3. BM White Dove – Fascia, soffits, columns, railings, stair risers, window trim, door trim, front porch ceiling
  4. BM Thousand Oceans – Siding

The White Trim Color

We picked BM White Dove because it looked crisp and bright.  Although White Dove looks like a creamy white inside, it was crisp and white outside.

Whites become substantially brighter when you take them outside, so we usually don’t specify White Dove for exteriors, but it was PERFECT here.

White Dove looked softer than expected because the house is generally in the shade, and the sunshine isn’t as strong up North as it is in Texas or Florida.  High altitude projects such as Denver, Vail or Aspen also require much warmer whites and more muted tones because the strong UV rays wash out colors and make whites so much brighter.

Front Porch Details

We painted the ceiling white for a brighter entry, and a blue deck was unexpected and simply gorgeous.

Front Porch of blue Victorian House painted BM THousand Oceans
Photo by Color Concierge Client

The front railing was one of the most unique features of the house.  We reduced the number of paint colors to emphasize the detail.  It might seem counterintuitive, but when you use white paint, you see more details than with many colors.

Before and after photo of railings
Before and after photos by Color Concierge Client

Window Paint Scheme

We painted the window mullions/frames BM Hale Navy, and the exterior trim was White Dove.  BM Forest Brown was a nice middle accent of Forest Brown for bright transition.

Before and after window paint colors
Photo by Color Concierge Client

The Verdict

This house looks fresh and modern and honors this historic district with a modern paint color scheme.  Simplification of a color palette can help emphasize architectural detail.

Front Porch of blue Victorian House painted BM THousand Oceans
Photo by Color Concierge Client
Historic yellow Victorian house - paint colors before
Photo by Color Concierge Client

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. Learn how to test your paint colors here.

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. See results from paint matching here.

We always recommend that you test paint colors in your house because lighting can change a color completely.

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.  Check out the SAMPLIZE website HERE

Online Color Consulting

Still, looking for the perfect paint color?  

Discover our ONLINE COLOR CONSULTATIONS! We even offer historic house exterior paint consulting packages.

Online Color Consultation Exterior Paint Colors

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Blue Victorian House painted with BM Thousand Oceans, Hale Navy and White Dove

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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 out specific answers to your paint questions.  If you want more specific advice, please consider purchasing a color consultation. Thank you for your understanding.

Meet Michelle

Driven to help clients fall back in love with their homes with intentional paint color schemes. She started the company based on her passion for color and its ability to make a house a home.

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