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Paint Analysis

Did you ever wonder what paint colors your house had (interior/exterior) was when it was built?

Did you know about or ever consider doing a Paint Analysis?

Whether your house is from 1850 or 1950, your house has been painted periodically to reflect the paint colors that were available and popular at the time.

These many layers of paint tell a history.

Paint Analysis is the way to discover the history of your house based on the colors it was painted.

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Why is Paint Analysis Important?

If your house is on the historic register or may someday have the possibility of being on it, paint analysis must be considered. Such a building can have historic significance in the town being a home of the mayor, a house built during a local housing boom, or even a popular general store. Paint analysis can play an important part in understanding and documenting the history of the building, and also in restoration now or in the future.

Your house does not need to be Mount Vernon or a special house to qualify for paint analysis. It can be just a run of the mill 1950’s Ranch house with a homeowner that is interested in its history. (1950’s Ranch houses are now considered historic homes)

Here we will discuss two types of paint analysis: one for the average homeowner who would like to do it themselves and one for a significant building that requires a trained specialist.

Professional Paint Analysis

This is the best option if you want the best results. Aside from a “significant” building, I recommend it for all buildings pre-1850. Why? Because these buildings are more rare and will eventually be considered significant enough for a Historic Register listing.

First numerous samples are taken from the interior and exterior of the house by a professional or by the homeowner. These samples are taken or mailed to a laboratory for a scientific analysis along with a report. There is a lot more to it with additional pieces of the puzzle used such as the region, status of the residents, and history that helps to put the picture together.

A trained specialist will work with each sample using expensive equipment to magnify the paint chip. Faded paint, layers of primer, and certain old paint formulas must be considered. Colors can change once covered with a new layer of paint creating a different color. Faux graining can also be in the history. This process can be quite expensive but the results can be very interesting of how the colors, both interior and exterior have changed with the styles over the years. Unfortunately the number of qualified researchers are few.


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