Interior Paints & Stenciling

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Interior paints, color schemes, and period-appropriate stenciling for historic homes. 

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New England itinerant artist Rufus Porter rarely painted murals that portrayed an identifiable scene. In this example, a stenciled frieze pattern seems to grow out of the sponge-painted trees overlaid on a rolling landscape.

Mural & Stencil Ideas for Early Homes

Stenciled designs and scenic murals were popular from around 1790 to 1850.

AdamMathews_fancy_painted wallcabinet_gn

Authentic Colonial Colors

Prussian blue gets all the ink, but true Colonial-era colors, although diverse, have an earthy quality.

Boston’s Otis House parlor

Georgian and Federal Color

Ca. 1770 - 1830, colors were brilliant, the patterns eye-popping.

fuschia walls

Bold Color Intentions

Once the hub of a dairy farm, largely unchanged, simple and traditional, this farmhouse in rural Vermont happily embraces color used without inhibition.

Sears Harmony House colors

Sears Harmony House Co-ordinated Colors / 1959

See how colors came together in Sears Harmony homes.

Arts & Crafts naturalism: A warm beige on the coved ceiling gives way to a soft, tertiary green on walls in a 1911 Foursquare. Photo: William Wright

How to Choose the Right Paint Color

Blue is blue, right? Not so much. Color sense changed by decade.

Re-creating the parlor's vibrant verdigris glaze was the ultimate payoff of the paint research. It also solved mysteries about the ceiling beams and the age of the little door cut out of the Georgian paneling (left side of mantel).

Researching Early Paint Colors

How many old-house owners have glanced around their rooms and sighed, "If only walls could talk?" What, for example, could they tell us about the richest colors from the earliest days of colonial America, when paint was hand-ground, expensive, and often flaunted as a status symbol by those who could afford the very best?

In the dining room of an early house in Maine, exuberant folk stenciling displays a wealth of patterns inspired by nature. Photo: Brian Vanden Brink

Choosing a Stencil Style

Whether folk or classical, stenciling transforms a room.

The owners of this 18th-century Georgian home used a medium shade of a deep, pigment-rich color on walls, and a darker shade of the same color on trim, for a historically correct tone-on-tone effect. Photo: Gross & Daley

Expert Advice: Choosing an Interior Paint Palette

Have you ever thought you’d solved a paint scheme dilemma with one of those chips from the paint store that has four or five gradations of the same hue? You put one on the walls, another on the trim, perhaps—daringly—a third for accent. Then, before the paint’s even dry, you find yourself dissatisfied?

Crown Point Cabinetry used a custom-blended milk paint for these Shaker-inspired cabinets.

Milk Paint: Eco-Friendly and Non-Toxic

Real milk paint is back on the radar: It’s non-toxic and offers unique finish effects for walls, cabinets, and furniture. And modern formulations have extended its applications.

Products of the Week

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