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How to Paint a Victorian House the Right Way

how to paint a victorian home

The Character of Victorian Homes

The history of Victorian houses began in 1837 during the reign of Queen Victoria in Great Britain and was inspired by Regency architecture. As the Victorian era progressed, the design of these homes branched out and was heavily influenced by other architectural styles, including Italianate, Gothic Revival, Queen Anne, and the Arts and Crafts movement. Knowing how to paint a Victorian house is important to maintaining its character.

In the United States, you can find many examples of Victorian-style homes, although they may not have necessarily been built during the Victorian era and have had major influences from other cultures and historical styles. Famous examples of Victorian-style houses in the US include the Painted Ladies in San Francisco, the Farnam Mansion in Oneida, New York, and the Carson Mansion in Eureka, California

The design of Victorian-style houses can be characterized as overly decorated and ornate. Many Victorian homes are narrow and tall and they also include decorative trim, bay windows, little towers, and grand entrances. Many of these style homes combine large shapes, bold patterns, and opulent details to create a beautiful visual effect in both the interior and exterior of the home.

Choosing Exterior Colors

When planning how to paint a Victorian house, a good place to start is by researching its historical color palette. Colors used on the exterior of Victorian homes are usually used to enhance the details of the home’s architecture. It is common for Victorian homeowners to stay true to the historical influences of their home. This is especially important if you are looking to sell your house; a Victorian-style house that is not true to its historical influences may be overlooked by buyers.

While the general rule of thumb for most homes is to not exceed more than three colors for the exterior, Victorian homes can get away with being more colorful and whimsical. You may find Victorian homes that are painted with ten different shades and hues!

Choosing Interior Colors

A common theme amongst Victorian-style interiors is bold, bright colors paired with beautiful fabrics and wallpapers. If your Victorian home is furnished, there are many sources of color inspiration to choose from. Match your home’s interiors with color schemes found in any existing wallpapers or upholstery that may be present in each room and have fun with the possibilities.

While most homes tend to have more of a unified color scheme throughout the house, Victorian-style homes may differ from room to room. Traditionally, private spaces in Victorian homes, such as bedrooms, are painted lighter shades of colors. Public spaces, including dining rooms, living rooms, and visiting rooms, were more commonly painted darker or vibrant colors.

Choose Motor City Paints

What sets Victorian-style homes and other historical homes apart from most other homes, is their age and appearance. With old age comes the responsibility to preserve and upkeep the home’s history. Various weather conditions and climates can often be the enemy of Victorian-style homes, causing wood to rot and other exterior damage. Always keep your paint fresh and in good repair so it can protect what’s underneath.

At Motor City Paints, we manufacture paints that are designed to withstand Michigan’s extreme climates, no matter the season. It’s one thing to learn how to paint a Victorian house, but it’s another thing to choose the right paint that will help maintain your home’s integrity. We also have a selection of Detroit Historical Colors, and we are confident you will find the perfect combination of colors for your house.

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