Choosing Colors for Your Home’s Exterior

Serving the Washington,
DC Metro Area
Bruce Wentworth, AIA, is a practicing architect whose
insights on residential architec-
ture have been published in
House Beautiful, the New York Times, Southern Living, the Washingtonian, Washington
Post, Colonial Homes and Other periodicals. Ask the Architect appears frequently in the Times Mirror news group, and has been featured in titles published by Media General, Network Communications and others.
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“We purchased a Federal Period original which is need of tons of repair and loving restoration. We need advice on paint colors, electrical updates, beam supports, on and on and on. (Its on the National Register) in an historic district called the Worth Jefferis Historic agricultural district. It's about 6,000 sq ft and needs advice and TLC for at least a decade.”

- Jim S., Pennsylvania


Thanks for your email. Congratulations on the purchase of an historic property.

Sherwin-Williams has an excellent selection of historic exterior paint colors. This would be a good place to start, and you can visit the site here. Benjamin Moore paints also offers a wide selection of what they call “Historic Colors” HC.

Our design/build company, Wentworth, Inc., provides design and construction services in the Washington, DC metro area, so your Pennsylvania location is too far away. I can suggest that you contact the National Association of Remodeling Industry (NARI) at and do a search for a local contractor or design/build firm that works with historic properties. I know that a large and good firm is called Gardner/Fox Associates, located in Bryn Mawr, PA. Their website addresses historic renovation. There will be a local NARI chapter for your Pennsylvania area.


It can be a good idea to look at websites of design-build firms—or call them—and find out if they have experience remodeling your home’s specific style. Using local NARI chapter resources is also beneficial.

Have another question? Want to know more specifics about choosing paint colors for your home? Feel free to contact us!

About Bruce

Bruce Wentworth, AIA, is a practicing architect whose insights on residential architecture have been published in House Beautiful, Southern Living, Washingtonian, Colonial Homes, and other periodicals.