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Victorian homes are generally constructed with materials and workmanship that cannot be reproduced today. And, in the midst of the “fix-it” generation, more and more Victorian homeowners are restoring their homes themselves rather than incurring the expensive costs of and outside contractor or simply tearing them down. Afterall, there is pride and satisfaction in preserving a part of your cultural heritage for future generations. All over the country, once depressing, dull, gray structures are being transformed into magnificent, colorful Painted Ladies, reminiscent of the romanticism exhibited by homeowners in the last century. The process takes time and devotion.
Painted Ladies are Victorian buildings during Queen Victoria’s reign (1837-1901) and painted in three or more contrasting colors resulting in a balanced, appropriate blend of color and architecture. It is a style in which color is used to bring out the decorative ruffles and flourishes of classic Victorianesque towers, gables, arched windows, spindled verandas, elaborate shingling, rounded bay windows and more.
Creating Your Own Painted Lady
Now, historical enthusiasts and do-it-yourselfers can easily recreate this essence of innovation and classic style by designing their own Painted Lady themselves. Before creating your own Painted Lady, adequate preparation must be done. Of course, when painting any home, steps need to be taken to have the home adequately prepped- thorough surface preparation and cleaning is crucial and the utmost in safety precautions should always be taken.
But, even before all of this is accomplished, you must go through the process of mental preparation. You need to envision how your own personally signatured Painted Lady will look. Ask yourself, do you want to make a strong statement with bold,
vibrant, rainbowlike colors? Or do you prefer a soft remark of light, romantic and muted colors? Or perhaps something in between? Also, what impression do you want your home to make? Most homes resemble a person’s personality. Perhaps yours is dignified and refined, warm and subtle, or possibly, whimsicle and lighthearted?
Choosing the right paint can help you make such decisions. The stunning new exterior Martin Senour Paint collection, Painted Ladies, was created especially for Victorian style homes and comes in an array of authentic and updated colors of the Victorian period. The Martin Senour Painted Ladies’ unique color palette takes the guess work out of choosing colors. This enduring color selection is richly authentic and coordinated to allow for easy color matching.
The Importance Of Color
The most important color you will choose is the base color. Ask yourself, do I want a light house with a dark trim or a dark house with light trim. Color swatches are a very useful tool here. Once you’ve, made your decision, selecting the colors for the trim is not as difficult.
Selecting multiple colors, however, can seem intimidating. First time designers of Painted Ladies should stick to using four or six colors. An even number of colors will make it easier for you to achieve a balanced arrangement- especially on a Victorian house, which provides many planes for color. First timers should steer away from a three-color scheme, as it is difficult to arrange consistently. A fundamental rule to follow is four or more, which allows you to orchestrate the surfaces without looking overdone or busy. A good way to find balance in your color scheme is to choose colors with four different values: a light, a dark, a medium light and a medium dark. Once again, the color families of the Martin Senour Painted Ladies collection can assist you in this step.
Using swatches of fabric can assist your color decision, but once you’ve made some initial decisions, it is crucial that you sample the colors on sight. Buy a quart of paint in each color you are considering and test them on a flat surface of your home- perhaps the back of your house or garage. First, paint a square of the main body color. Next, paint all the trim colors around it so they touch the body color and each other. This gives you the ability to test the colors on your house and experience the combinations.
Once you’ve chosen your colors, you are ready to create your Painted Lady. First, paint the home in the base color you have selected to create your home’s balance. When adding the accent colors, keep the same colors touching and interacting for a color relationship that is pleasing to the eye and use strong, vibrant colors only in smaller areas. Using accents on undersurfaces adds an element of surprise and creates surface texture.

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