Historic Exterior Paint Colors Ascertained

Historical paint analyst extraordinaire Susan Buck began work in early August of last year (2019) to explore the paint layers inside and out at the Tobias Lear House. She had good luck finding the original paint layer for window sash on the one original window remaining in the house, the tall, arched window on the main hall stairway landing. That color was a dusky off white, which Susan matched to Benjamin Moore’s #OC-10 “White Sand” (See Here). There are precious few original clapboards on the house, most having been replaced over the years, but with the help of Project Manager John Schnitzler, Susan sampled one of those early clapboards, possibly from the 1760s, and found the first paint color on it, a dark yellow (a good bit darker than the current yellow exterior), that Susan matched to Benjamin Moore’s #HC-41 “Richmond Gold” (See Here). So, neighbors, those are the colors, (since approved by Historic New England, which holds a preservation easement on the property) you will soon see on the Tobias Lear House, hopefully, this spring or summer (2020), and they will fit in quite nicely in the South End neighborhood.

Susan’s report on the exterior color findings is attached. (PDF report here). Her much more extensive findings on the interior paint history will be posted here at a later date.

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