Help! No idea what color to paint this old farmhouse!
April 18, 2014 in Design Dilemma
This old farmhouse has great bones, but needs a lot of work. When we bought it it had just been painted. But it seems that it was a quickie cosmetic job using lousy materials—a pre-sale facelift—and the paint is a disaster now. The problem is the roof. Half the house has a beautiful verdigris finish metal roof (not sure why the whole roof wasn't done—plan to paint the other half to match until we can afford to replace it with matching), and the only color that seems to work with it is white. What do you think of an off-white for the siding and a bright pure white for the trim? What tone of off-white would look best? Is there an obvious color choice I am missing? What color should the front doors be? I plan on adding functioning board and batten shutters, so any thoughts on that would be appreciated as well. Thanks so much for your guidance! I am in over my head here.
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Beautiful home! White is a traditional color for farmhouses. Although when we re-painted our family farmhouse (200 yrs old) and had to strip multiple layers of paint in some places we found that it had once been painted a light coffee hue (like coffee ice cream) with darker brown (chocolate color) on the trim. Chances are the addition didn't get the copper roof because it is a more expensive option and they were spending a lot of money just to build the addition itself and saved using a less expensive metal. There may have been plans to replace it with something that matched later, that never happened since farming is not always as profitable as farmers would like.
April 18, 2014 at 7:13am        Thanked by chevykaylor
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Take a large piece of cardboard and paint it the color you want to paint the house...then maybe paint two of the windows the trim color, one under the porch and one on the open porch, and prop the painted board next to one of the windows at a time to see how you like...may look different given the shade on the porch, etc...may need to leave it a few days to get the feel of it...for the porch ceiling paint a pale pale will really lighten it up and feel serene...if ceiling is not flat paint the joist white and inside the blue.
April 18, 2014 at 7:27am        Thanked by chevykaylor
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Thank you for responding! I appreciate your suggestions. The cardboard is a nice hack. I've swatched in rooms and then been horrified when the paint went onto a whole wall... really good idea.
April 18, 2014 at 7:30am   
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Your home is going to be so beautiful. Do you mind giving some idea what area it's in?
I think you can go either off-white or a very light gray on the house. If you put shutters on they will also add points of interest, and at least where I'm from, tend to traditionally be dark green or black.
April 18, 2014 at 7:45am   
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I am located in coastal North Carolina. I love that black-green that's on so many traditional homes in the South, but I am afraid it would be too high-contrast and formal looking. Here is another view of the house. It has a pretty face. I'd love to rip off that cheapo "porch" thingy and replace with a wraparound, but then I'm in bank loan territory! Lol. The doors are currently Marine Blue (what was I thinking?).
April 18, 2014 at 7:49am     
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That's a beautiful color blue, but I agree it is quite a lot of contrast.
April 18, 2014 at 8:00am      Thanked by chevykaylor
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Found this info about blue porch ceilings and thought you might find it of interest:
April 18, 2014 at 8:15am        Thanked by chevykaylor
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GN Builders L.L.C
Farmhouses usually use traditional white, colonial yellow, or classical grey colors. You can punch it out and go with something like Barn Red with black shutters and white trim.
April 18, 2014 at 8:42am   
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garden design online
Paint the the roof black with blue.Replace the porch,the patio,redesign landscape,email me if need more design.
April 18, 2014 at 10:12am      Thanked by chevykaylor
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Beverly Anderson Interior Design
I think white is great for the house. Red or dark green for the doors
April 18, 2014 at 10:19am        Thanked by chevykaylor
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@Jessica...thanks for the lesson on blue ceiling...
April 18, 2014 at 12:25pm     
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Hi chevykaylor, I love your farmhouse. We built a farmhouse that we painted barn red (it has board and batten siding and is more of a barn look). We are now deciding on a repaint colour, so I feel your pain. I have been pondering pale yellow or a creamy white. I don't see barn red doing much for your roof. I think, given the classic Greek Revival shape of the house, you should stick with white. You could maybe use black as the trim and for the porch if you really want a change. I'm also not crazy about the idea of shutters; think they might look "tacked on"?

I've been collecting farmhouse photos from Houzz. That might give you some direction as well. Best of luck. I'll be following with interest!

Have you tried uploading photos to Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams websites? They let you try out color combos and can be really helpful.
Exterior Shots
South Facade
View from Walnut Street
April 18, 2014 at 6:18pm        Thanked by chevykaylor
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Beautiful old home and it will look beautiful in a soft white sitting there in the Sandhills of Carolina. Will be very traditional. As much as I love a dark roof, ( dark blue/black), it may absorb too much heat for the house. The green is pretty and traditional. Try adding a beautiful marine green to the front door. It's going to be beautiful!
April 18, 2014 at 6:28pm        Thanked by chevykaylor
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I like a white farm house with a green roof.
April 19, 2014 at 9:31am        Thanked by chevykaylor
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Thank you so much for your feedback! I just love barn red... you're right that it would look terrible with the roof. That roof. So pretty. Makes everything so difficult. :)
April 19, 2014 at 1:31pm   
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Agree with ciscomom4 on the black trim, at least on the fascia -- would really set off the roof. Might paint the window sash (not the trim) black as well.

Or for a different look. Off white for body, very dark green for trim, and a dark red for the window sash.
April 19, 2014 at 7:30pm      Thanked by chevykaylor
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I rather like the white, but maybe a creamier version. The paler yellow for ceiling on the porch. Had a thought that if you added something along the top of the porch...almost like a narrow valance with turned pieces, it might add a little something-something. Would need angled pieces to fill in the sides, but could be worth looking into to dress up the shed roof construction a bit.
April 19, 2014 at 7:44pm      Thanked by chevykaylor
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Scott Design, Inc.
You have a Greek Revival style farmhouse. Keep the two-story main house as the focal point. The porch needs upgrading...better roof and column detail. I would keep the exterior white without shutters.

Create a different facade altogether for the one-story addition. Consider a vertical weathered barn wood with white trim. Possibly the placement of a barn door with rearrangement of existing window or door location. Remove the deck and build a stone and gravel entrance. When you do the roof extend it down over the doorway. For that matter, you can eliminate the porch on the main house and build a porch the entire length of the addition at the time you do the roof.

New Hampshire Farmhouse
Barn Retreat
Menlo Oaks Residence
April 19, 2014 at 8:57pm        Thanked by chevykaylor
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Scott Design, those were some extremely creative and inspired suggestions! The weathered barn trim is such a fantastic idea. Couldn't agree more about the "porch." I seriously considered ripping it off with a crowbar and letting the house's "face" show, but frankly it keeps the a/c bill down quite a bit. Some day I will have the budget to put your vision into action. Thanks for taking the time. Much appreciated.
May 5, 2014 at 12:37pm   
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please consider painting your house light yellow with white trim and then the marine green mentioned above for door. this would be in keeping with the house style, and play into the wonderful roof. I feel you do not really need shutters, and would spend that money upgrading the white painted porch. please post pics in before and after when painting is complete. nice house.
May 5, 2014 at 12:54pm      Thanked by chevykaylor
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You know how we all have certain no-fly zones? Light yellow is one of mine. I lived in a light yellow house with a light yellow kitchen growing up and I am over light yellow. Lol. You are right, it would look lovely. But I would hate it for all the wrong reasons.

With regard to the shutters, I agree that the house would probably look better without them. But Carteret County, NC, is #3 on the list of hurricane strikes in the entire U.S. and functioning shutters have a practical value down here. I am praying for an easy hurricane season. It's been a few years since we've had to deal with anything serious.
May 8, 2014 at 6:38am   
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Love your house. Take your time. Most people seem to be saying white and I would agree with that for the body of the house. A goal would certainly be getting the roof that is on the main house extended to the addition. I agree with you that a wraparound porch would add a lot to the character of the house. Personally, I am a fan of shutters - particularly on white houses. Shutter color is a good way to use the painted cardboard trick. You can literally create cardboard shutters on the front of the main house and play with a variety of colors until you find something you like. I would consider the roof color in the shutter color choice. They need to work together.
May 8, 2014 at 7:25am        Thanked by chevykaylor
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I love your is really is very hard to pick paint I have just been through this process myself.....I have a 1920's farm house which I am painting Chantilly lace by Ben Moore it's a white with a very little bit of yellow, this color has more white pigment than any others by bm. I am doing the doors raspberry truffle which is a deep raspberry color like the name and I am adding shutters in onyx black .........I haven't decided on the porch floor color yet I debating all white or maybe a deep gray.....I love all white houses..............

You already have a white house so maybe you want to change it up........your roof is fabulous and I think would work great with gray......with white trims and an all white porch, which you should keep forever........believe me I feel your pain, I just had to redo a lot of my porch......but it will be worth it in the long term.

How long do you plan to keep the house? People like white houses.....good luck, whatever you chose will be great as the house has fantastic bones........
May 9, 2014 at 1:23pm        Thanked by chevykaylor
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Red or a dark rusty orange would look good on this house. White trim on red and off-white trim on rusty orange.
May 9, 2014 at 6:04pm        Thanked by chevykaylor
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