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Historic paint colors a hit at Old House Trade Show

March 25, 2013

Second Empire

Sally Zimmerman, Historic New England's senior preservation services manager, presented to a standing-room-only audience at the 2013 Old House Trade Show, hosted by Greater Portland Landmarks. Her presentation, Period-Appropriate Exterior Paint Colors, helped property owners consider the important relationship between paint colors and the overall appearance and character of a historic house. Learn more about the kind of technical support Historic New England offers to help you preserve your historic home.

On April 27 at the Lyman Estate in Waltham, Massachusetts, join Sally and Supervising Preservation Services Manager Joe Cornish for an in-depth Introduction to New England Architecture. Historic New England members save 25% on the registration fee. Learn more and register.

painting historic homes

Posted by Melissa Nickerson on April 2, 2013
I have come, please send me the free Preserving Your Old HOuse booklet. Thanks!
606 N. 32nd. Street, Apt. D
Richmond, VA 23223

Painting Historic Homes

Posted by Sally Zimmerman on April 3, 2013
Hi Melissa,
Thanks for being in touch: you will receive your booklet shortly. I hope you find the information helpful!
Sally Zimmerman
Senior Preservation Services Manager

Preserving Your Old House booklet

Posted by Tracey Nestel on April 14, 2013
Please send me your free booklet, Preserving Your Old House. Thanks very much!
22 Broadway
Rockport, MA 01966

Preserving Your Old House booklet

Posted by Carissa Demore, Preservation Services Manager – Southern New England on April 15, 2013
Hi Tracey,
Thanks for your comment. Your booklet will be sent to you in the next few days. In the meanwhile, you may find our online resources for historic homeowners useful - you will find them under the "Preservation" tab at the top of the screen.

Carissa Demore
Preservation Services Manager, Southern New England

Paint colors for 1890 providence ri home

Posted by Carla Ricci on May 11, 2013
Would like your booklet

Paint colors for 1890 providence ri home

Posted by Sally Zimmerman on May 13, 2013
Dear Ms. Ricci:
We would be happy to forward the Preserving Your Old House booklet to you. We would be happy to help with paint colors for the Providence house if need be. Best regards,
Sally Zimmerman

1789 cape

Posted by Maya on June 20, 2013
Hi, we are repairing our home this year and I would love any information on colour that you can provide... Thank you

1789 Cape

Posted by Sally Zimmerman on June 21, 2013
Hi Maya-
On a 1780s cape house, you probably want to keep the colors quiet and neutral: an off white on the trim and tan, gray or ochre on the siding. There is more help available, on paint color or other repair questions, through the Historic Homeowner membership at Historic New England.

this old house

Posted by ashley on August 13, 2013
Please send me your free booklet, Preserving Your Old House. Thanks very much!

Ashley Taseff
1814 Fulton Ave.
Cleveland, Ohio 44113

Also - painting our 1860s Italiante house, we have brown windows and white trim - thoughts on grey? light green?

Painting an Italianate

Posted by Sally Zimmerman on August 13, 2013
Hi Ashley-
I will put your booklet in the mail this afternoon. Congratulations!
On painting your 1860s Italianate, if you could switch to a color on the trim, maybe even using a darker color than you have on the siding, that would be very much in the style of the house. Maybe a medium olive color on the siding with a darker olive on the trim, and the brown windows, would work! Two shades of tan would work as well with your brown windows.

1740 Dutch Farmhouse

Posted by Marcella Calabi on September 20, 2013
An annex was added to the original house but the basic shape with the gambrel roof (and the original fireplace and oven!) are all still there. It's undergoing renovation right now, and the windows have been replaced (they are white). What color(s) should we paint the exterior and trim (and which trim? window frames? shutters? doors?) Thank you!

1740 Dutch Farmhouse

Posted by Sally Zimmerman on September 20, 2013
Hi Marcella-
What a great old house you must have! Go easy on the renovations though: as preservationist James Garvin says in Building History of Northern New England, old houses are a diminishing breed and we need to be very careful in renovating them to pass them along to the next generation with their history intact. If you want to check the Historic Homeowner membership and Your Old or Historic Home pages at our web site you will find more about getting help on paint colors.


Posted by T5MlsflT on January 9, 2014
1n 1996, 1999 and 2002 (I believe the dates are corecrt) Aquatic control technologies ( the firm who did weed control for the town on these occasions) applied for required State Permitting for weed control Including the lower of Flanagan’s pond per a contract signed and reviewed by Boards of selectman and previous members of the Ayer Conservation Commission to Worcester DEP. In 2001 the Ayer Fire department issued guidelines to reserve authority for the board removal at Balch pond dam as the Fire department has a feed pipe at west main street as it passed over the stream coming out of Flanagan’s pond so as to use the resources of these waters in case of fire to supplement town water. In 2004 the Ayer conservation commission as had previous commissions under different members had done made written notice to the Fire department to affect a winter draw down to attempt to freeze shallow weeds per the Ayer Fire department guidelines and the newly accepted five year plan for weed control in Ayer ponds. At some point unknown vandals removed more boards than per the town policy causing a Catastrophic drop in pond levels To date it has not been discovered who did this. DEP issued the Violation notice to the BOS and this executive secession item was leaked to the press by a BOS member before action could be taken to review the matter. The board of selectman twice reviewed the incident and both times came to the conclusion listed above. Such findings were forward to the Worchester DEP who have not pursued further action or issued a fine and now continue to approve application for weed treatment that included pond lower with the caveat that an Order of conditions was provided to clear up the matter which was done and has been renewed by the current Ayer conservation commission. The fire department has locked the boards in place and remains the only authority to remove them as has always been the case.As I stated a the CPA meeting it is unfortunate that a few people (anonymously) would rather continue this misinformation campaign than solve the problem at hand.. I stand by these comments as I have done since this incident was first reported as this is the truth of the matter. I remain as dedicated as always to seeing that Flanagan’s as well as all of Ayers ponds are provided with the caretaking they need for the benefit of all of Ayer’s residents.

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Historic paint colors a hit at Old House Trade Show