How to Paint a Historic Home

Photo credit: Old-Picture

The New Year is upon us and with it comes a fresh start. What better way to kick off a fresh year than with a fresh coat of paint? If you are buying a historic home, of which there are so many in Atlanta, there are some special considerations you need to take into account before starting this project with your contractor. Below are our best tried-and-true tips on how to paint a historic home.

Peeling Paint

How to Paint a Historic Home

Photo credit: Michael Fredricks via Remodelista

If you’ve recently moved into a historic home or have simply been putting off home-improvement projects, an issue many of these houses face is peeling exterior and interior paint. According to a brief on Old House Web, before the 1950s, paint was largely made with what was available — everything from lime, linseed oil, pigments or even milk. Because of the varying composition of what have been on your home for decades, maybe even centuries, paint will peel. Before you or your trusted painter takes on the project, you have to remove the peeling paint or you’ll be dealing with home repairs sooner than you’d like. The process will differ from your exterior to your interior, but before you start scraping, you need to check for lead paint.

About lead paint

How to Paint a Historic Home

Photo credit: Beloit NPA

If your home predates 1978, you need to check it for lead paint. This should be disclosed on your inspection if you purchased your home however, it’s never a bad idea to have it double checked. Lead paint is most often found indoors on walls, window sills, ceilings, trim or wood floors. Outside it’s often found on the home’s trim, stained or painted siding and painted bricks. Lead paint is poisonous and especially dangerous if you have young children.

When you’re interviewing professional painters, you should ask about their EPA certification for lead paint abatement and disposal. Some states, including Georgia, have different requirements than the Federal EPA so it’s best to work with a company that’s certified on both the state and federal level (like Castle is).

Modern paint

How to Paint a Historic Home

Photo credit: Garden & Gun

The great news is that technology in paint formulations has come leaps and bounds since even 50 years ago. When you’re repainting a historic home with today’s paint, you can achieve the same color, texture and gloss without any of the dangerous compounds like white lead or volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Have you ever painted a historic home? Learned any lessons or have any expert tips?

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