• paint colors & vintage guides

    Here are some basic recommendations for paint colors with a mid century feel.

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    Important: We all care very much about managing environmental and safety issues properly, so when undertaking your restoration project, be sure to familiarize yourself with and use recommended best practices. For example, the EPA hosts a website on lead in the home and a website on asbestos in the home. Consult professionals regarding these materials, and also about the proper disposal of debris, etc.

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    Comments

    1. sablemable says:

      Here’s my dilemma: The brick siding on my ranch is in the orange shades and since there are four brick ranches, including mine, together on the same block, I’d like to paint the trim and garage overhead. I was thinking of avocado, but not sure yet.

      Any suggestions, retro friends?

    2. I have a 1955 large ranch home. When you enter the foyer you are just about in the dining room (the only feature I don’t like about my house). There is a brick planter box that is about 18″ high X 10′ long that separates the dining room from the foyer, has anyone else ever seen that? When we bought the home the dining room was painted an off white color – I think it might have been ony the second color the dining room had ever been painted. I painted it a very light green/gray color and I hate it! I have been on a kick lately wanting to paint it chocolate brown. But, I can’t find any pictures of brown dining rooms anywhere – I am crazy? I am open to suggestions. Also, I have a wall of built in china cabinets that are painted cream on the out side and a coralish pink color on the inside. Please advise!

      • Pam Kueber says:

        Hi Diane, and welcome. Why don’t you send me some photos at retrorenovation at gmail dot com. Sound like you have a lovely home! Pam

    3. Thank you! I think I have a wonderful house too, and as soon as I can figure out how to add pictures I will! I am very lucky to be the third owner of a very special home. Overall it is nearly 5000 square feet, with two kitchens and an actual “electrical room” not just one breaker box but about 10! The original homeowners were very well off and spared no expense when building the home which is my good luck. I am glad to be joining such a great site!

    4. first time poster, love looking! I wanted to say thanks, I had a certain retro colour I was looking for so when I came to this section, I saw Sherwin Williams recommended. It was there in the Suburban Modern brochure! yeah! Burma Jade for our 50′s 1.5 story house. As it turns out a SW store opened a month ago up the street from my house and on the day I went in to get a colour swatch they were starting a 40% off sale the following day! The fates were smiling on me for sure! I have convinced my neutral colour lovin’ husband to paint the garage doors this colour in addition to the door I bought it for.

      • pam kueber says:

        Welcome, Yvonne. The retro decorating gods were indeed smiling upon you! Send me a photo when you’re done! Send to: retrorenovation [at] gmail [dot] com. I can’t wait to see it!

    5. I just bought my first home – it’s a fixer which is okay since I get to start from scratch, basically! We just finished painting, using Sherwin Williams “sea salt” for the main rooms. I love this color and it has a very mid-century feel to it, but is calming and not overpowering. It’s a bit more pale and more green than turquoise.

      • pam kueber says:

        Welcome, Nanci – and thanks for that tip. It’s always a great value to know what colors that readers had success with!

    6. Carolyn West says:

      Is there any place where I can buy some actual 1955-56 brown kitchen tiles? I got a few newly made pieces, but (1) they are not quite the same color, (2) they don’t make the raised edge pieces , and (3) the 1/4 round type pieces to go around the sink are smaller. Hence, I am no where yet. I need to replace sink, but don’t want to tear out the whole kitchen. It is truly a vintage ranch kitchen. Any ideas??? Thanks.

    7. Stephanie says:

      My husband and I just bought a 1955 raised ranch. It is in desperate need of paint outside. We cannot come up with colors that will look good on the house. We want to keep the 1955 feel but also make it more “modern”.

      Any help from anyone – please? And thank you!

    8. Our dilemma is INTERIOR paint color for a room that is using avocado and orange with a little white & yellow.
      Plain white walls seem so “rental”… but yellow seems TOO bright… any green shades would make the room too green (the large sofa is green) and orange is not happening.
      We can do lauan or grass cloth on one focal wall… but then what on the rest of the wall?
      HELP!!!

      (Thanks.)

      • stacie, can you send me some pics and i’ll see what i can do – maybe do a post asking for reader suggestions… retrorenovation [at] gmail [dot] com

    9. Corinne Herndon says:

      Pam: I still am looking for a upper cabinet door in the light wood grain, The door dropped from the hinges and broke the top out. Is there anyone what can fix cabinet doors to match. I have not had any luck on the forum. The door is a Youngstown, top cabinet opening on the left,
      16 5/8x 2905/8. I hate to think of loosing the whole set of cabinets if I cannot find a replacement or get it fixed. I love my kitchen. Thanks for your website!

    10. Julie McCormick says:

      Hello, I need help! I started this project and can’t seem to make a decision on what to do with this room. I love the country vintage look! Took up the carpet and did decide that I would love to paint the wood floor….But wow ….what color????? I found the old fireplace mantle at an antique store and thought is would add a nice country touch… It’s a small room… with a sliding glass door… which makes it a bit too bright. I love the darker look. I would love anyone’s input on what colors I should use in this room. Your help would be greatly appreciated!!! Thank You:)

      Julie McCormick

    11. Please help me. My kitchen and living room share one huge wall. I am decorating my kitchen with the 50′s theme. Mama’s kitchen back in the day. I need a very cool retro color that will look good in the kitchen as well as the living area. Please help me, the painter is coming next week lol!

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