27 Beautiful Historic Paint Colors for Old Houses

Incorporate these old house colors into your design.

A dozen historic paint colors from 1910

Old homes have witnessed numerous paint color transformations throughout the years. Although color trends come and go, some historic paint colors possess enduring appeal, sparing you from frequent repainting.

The historical paint colors featured in this article are from a 1910 home catalog by C.A. Simpson & Son, revealing an underlying color psychology that remains significant today. Additionally, at the end of this article, you’ll find bonus historic paint color palettes organized by house style for further inspiration.

This old brochure highlighted a distinct color palette for each room: Living rooms were adorned with vibrant colors like peach and cream, while bedrooms featured soothing shades like dusty blue and off-white. Dining rooms showcased deep red hues, believed to stimulate appetite, and kitchens highlighted sage green, a color symbolizing nature and freshness. The original author also cared about the psychology of color. For example, in their words, a dining room should be “cheerful,” and a bedroom should be “dainty.”

Living Room & Bedroom Color Palettes

historic paint color palette

Painting Your House
C.A. Simpson & Son Catalog, 1910

Painting Your House
C.A. Simpson & Son Catalog, 1910

historic paint color palette

Dining Room & Kitchen Color Palettes

historic paint color palette

Painting Your House
C.A. Simpson & Son Catalog, 1910

Painting Your House
C.A. Simpson & Son Catalog, 1910

historic paint color palette for kitchen

Entryway & Exterior Color Palettes

historic paint color palette

Painting Your House
C.A. Simpson & Son Catalog, 1910

Painting Your House
C.A. Simpson & Son Catalog, 1910

Additionally, people chose interior paint colors based on the home’s style. For instance, someone might paint a Dutch Colonial differently than a Craftsman Bungalow. The second section highlights some typical interior paint colors based on the style of your home.

If using the above method of picking colors doesn’t appeal to you, perhaps you’ll prefer basing paint colors on design principles. Below are some custom paint palettes based on a home’s style. You’ll notice that each palette uses a different paint company. Fortunately, these companies offer historically appropriate color collections that have been used for decades.

Victorian Paint Colors

Victorian homes were typically maximalist in their design style with extravagant attention to detail. Rich reds, golds, greens, and anything that would provide contrast adorned the walls. You’d also see dusty pinks and deep neutral brown tones. If a wall wasn’t painted, it was wallpapered in similar shades.

Benjamin Moore Colors

  • Adams Gold
  • Hodley Red
  • Fairview Taupe

Arts & Crafts Paint Colors

Arts & Crafts (or Craftsman) wall colors embraced simplicity and a subtle connection to nature. Interiors were entirely intentional about moving away from the Victorian homes’ cluttered and sometimes stuffy look. Interior paint colors included soft roses, muted greens, and smooth creams to accent all the unpainted and streamlined woodwork. Some homes embraced deeper tones like dark moss, burnt terracotta, and rich amber.

Sherwin Williams Colors

  • White Hyancith
  • Roycroft Rose
  • Ruskin Room Green

Colonial Paint Colors

Colonial Revival homes, including the Dutch Colonial, featured muted earth tones like soft yellows, dull reddish browns, and dusty grays. Likewise, the interior paint colors reflected the colonial design’s inherent calmness and stately elegance. However, colonial homes weren’t necessarily fussy with sticking to a strict color palette, so you’d see more variety, trends, and personal preferences in these homes.

Farrow & Ball Colors

  • Pavillion Gray
  • Setting Plaster
  • Fawn

We hope these color palettes inspired you to rethink how you want to paint your old home. To sum up, stay true to the home’s style on the exterior of your home. However, let your imagination roam on the home’s interior. These historic paint colors are merely a jumping-off point.

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