The colour of a house

One of the privileges I enjoy is the opportunity to make my mark on the landscape, and when a client has the boldness to choose a rich colour for their house it is a chance to make a statement.

The project involved the removal of a white painted cement roughcast render on the gable and replacing it with a low profile lime roughcast render. Following on from a previous project of lime washing the panels in the timber framed elevation and removal of masonry paint from the rubble masonry and it’s replacement with lime wash, this second stage project continued the colour scheme and will be added to with the removal of further swathes of white masonry paint on two more elevations sometime in 2016

a white painted cement rendered gable

Choosing a limewash colour can take some time as there is such a variety of shades and tones that can be achieved even with the basic pigments of yellow ochre, raw and burnt umbers, red oxide and black.  The first thing is to establish the colour will dominate: red or yellow, then how the colour is to be influenced; will it be green yellow or a brown yellow, a purple red or an orange red.  then we have to decide on the depth of colour.  I am not a musician but it reminds me a bit of how a tune might be constructed, the dominant colour leading the melody, other colours coming in to add complexity with the umbers acting as the bass to bring richness to the tune.

All this colour design is done with the landscape and location in mind, in this case the soil and stone colour is in the red category so that gave us our starting point for or theme, but we wanted something more refined than a simple red oxide and we certainly didn’t want pink or peach.

I think we got it right what say you?

swan house

We entertained ourselves on this project by a little experiment: nothing too outlandish or risky it was just that I had a few feather pillows to get rid of so I added the feathers to the render. So this render is reinforced with feathers as well as hair. which I think is fitting as the house is called Swan House.


swan house in its habitat

It is so pleasing when a customer is bold enough to go with a colour this rich rather than the more conservative ice cream colours of the houses in the foreground. the trick is for it not to be too loud and garish. It must look like it belongs there not like it’s on a day trip.



About byrnesurfaces

conserver and repairer of historic surfaces
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