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1930s farmhouse: seeking exterior paint color advice

Joanne Bryan
4 years ago

We just bought a 1930s farmhouse near Nashville. It desperately needs to be painted, but I need some help choosing colors... the house faces west, so the main exposures from the "curb" are west (front) and south (side).

1. Main Body: We are going to keep the main body of the house white-- to keep in line with the historic integrity of the house. What is the "best" white for exteriors? I think we should go "warm" since the roof is brown, but not ivory or cream.

2. Metal roof and shutters: We are going to keep the metal roof and shutters brown, even though it's not my favorite. The color is quite dark-- I matched Sherwin Williams Stone Statue (HGSW2462) to it-- but it takes on a silver-gray tone in the sun.

3. Front door: I'm leaning toward blue for the front door and surround, but I'm open to suggestions! Because the door is in the shadow of the porch roof for most of the day, darker blues and greens just look gray. Bright colors really pop, but then they are too intense when you are ON the porch, and they compete with the brown shutters. Right now, I'm leaning toward "Seafarer" blue (HGSW2355), which is kind of in the middle, but I'm wondering if I should go lighter... or darker... For the storm door -- it has to stay for practical reasons-- should I paint it white, or the same color as the front door?

4. Porch: The railing and supports will be white. I am planning to do "porch gray" for the floor, and light blue for the ceiling-- something like "Crescent Blue" (HGSW2357), which is the lightest blue on the same card as "Seafarer," the color I chose for the door.

If you've read this far, thank you! Here are some other tid-bits about the house and its setting--

-- The previous owners painted the front (only on the porch) creamy yellow, so that's why it may look a little "creamy" in the photos.

-- I've thought about painting the house a color besides white, like pale blue-- it would be fun and look so good against a white porch-- but I've looked at a million farmhouses in our area, and they are ALL white (white siding, trim, and porch, with a green, silver or black roof, and most without shutters). I'm very tempted to be a bit different, but I think it would be more appealing for resale to keep it white. Painting the door a bright color will be different enough-- and easy to change!

-- Although I considered it, I'm not willing to invest the money to paint or remove the shutters. So while they are not period-appropriate and would not have been my top choice, I need to just find something that will work with them!

-- I know the porch railing doesn't match the period of the house. It's mostly sound, so we're going to keep it. Or do you think we should just remove it and not replace it with anything?

Thanks for your help!

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