Following up on the post about our old house, it had been many years since the house had been painted. Deciding how to paint it was a major decision.
The house had clearly once been painted white, but when I was a kid the paint was already largely gone. It had likely been most recently painted in the 1920s. On the balcony the word “Welcome” had been painted in a beautiful script, and was still readable.
We decided to repaint the house white, although Cherie vetoed the idea of painting “Welcome” on the balcony.
When the house was originally built it had been painted in the style of the day. It was a multi-colored structure that would look whimsical, or garish, by modern standards. The Victorians loved bright loud colors and the evidence of that wild paint job existed beneath the fading white surface. In the period after World War I Americans fell in love with the neo-colonial style, however, and all over the country the Victorian painted ladies were repainted white.
I’ve seen homes of this era that have been repainted in the original style. When done right, it looks good. But we decided it was too risky, and chose to repaint ours white.
The roof had originally been cedar shakes, painted red. At some point the shakes were covered with tin, also painted red. So we had the tin roof painted red.
We found the original shudders in the loft of a cabin on the farm, and we had them re-hung. Traditionally shudders are green, and these were no exception. But we worried that green shudders with a white house and a red roof would just look too Christmasy, so we painted the shudders black. I still wonder if that was the right thing to do.
I could rattle on for pages about all the things that went into fixing up this old place, but I’ll just save the rest for later, or keep it to myself.
Four generations of my family have lived in that house. I’m really glad we were able to bring it back to life.