Sherwin Williams Suburban Modern paint collection — download the discontinued brochures here

Sherwin-Williams Suburban Modern paint collection

Several readers have written to alert me that Sherwin-Williams no longer has brochures for our beloved Suburban Modern paint palettes in their stores. These have been tried, true, authentic paint colors for our 1950s, 1960s and 1970s colors for years. BUT: You can still get the brochures — with the paint codes — two ways.

So far, both the interior and exterior paint collection brochures still are available on Sherwin-Williams’ website. And, just in case they are completely discontinued at some point, I scanned both brochures — interior and exterior — and put them into a downloadable PDF.

If you want to try these colors — you need to print out the brochures from online, take them into to the store, match them to sample chips, and then decide whether you want to go to the next step of getting samples. Going through this step-by-step process is really important, because what you see on the computer is likely NOT what you will see on the chip… and then, you always want to test any color on the wall.

  1. Chad says:

    As of today the brochures are back up. It looks like the new versions have fewer swatches than the old ones, and I’m disappointed because the old Victorian brochure had a lot of compatible shades that I thought I could use together – I played with their color visualizer a bit and now really can’t wait to get some color on the front of my house, hopefully next year.

  2. Joe Felice says:

    From what I’ve observed and remember, the most-popular interior colors in the ’50s were turquoise, aqua, and pink, with yellow (either canary yellow or buttercup), red and coral as accent/trim colors. Any color can be matched with today’s computers, so long as you have a piece or a chip about the size of a quarter and it doesn’t have a reflective finish.

  3. Sam says:

    okay so i picked out burma jade, but since we are on a budget,,, i need to match it to a cheaper paint! sorry sherman wiliams! but 80 a can to 80 for 5 cans is a big difference! does anyone know a good way to match the paint colors? help! i’m at home depot!

  4. Sam says:

    hi pam i am on here reading and asking love your blog!!

    we are renovating this house in a historic neighborhood that is very particular, and we are opening our vintage clothing store in it. we are having the worst time picking out paint colors! we can’t be too funky, the neighborhood won’t like it, and we don’t want to be beige or southwestern either. we are in the southwest. someone from the neighborhood mentioned a miami deco look but i can’t pin anything down. i am using the sherman williams generator but want it to have more than just a solid color. any suggestions? everyone on here is so helpful. we have a huge job ahead of us with landscaping etc. (we lost our store space long story) and are doing it on our own! i tried to figure how to get photos on here but couldn’t figure that out?
    thanks so much!
    here’s the flicker set link named 205 carlisle if anyone could help i’d appreciate it!!


  5. David says:

    The brochures have a copyright date of 2001, so they probably were seeming a bit dated to Sherwin Williams’ marketing people. I regret their discontinuation, too: the graphical presentation had pizazz and it was handy to have each era on a separate card with all the colors for that time period grouped together. (Although Sherwin Williams’ ideas of historical time periods was more than a bit wacky–more on that in a sec.)

    I was recently in our local (Sonoma County in California) Sherwin Williams paint store and I have found that there is now a group color card called “Historical Colors: Interior Colors” available; it’s a large, 8 1/2 by 11 or so, four-leaf brochure, with color photos on the outside panels and the inner folded leaves, and color paint chips on the inner four panels. As near as I can tell, all the colors from the older, individual era color cards are there, with the same names as before. Each has a small symbol (a square, a star, etc) beside its name which is matched to a timeline at the foot of the panels. Star = “colonial” or whatever. The color chips themselves are arranged on the panels by color families rather than time period. Not as handy, but still worth perusing.

    As to Sherwin Williams’ grasp of history? not good, at least prior to 1900. The designate “Colonial” as “1800s”: huh? “real” historians think of colonial as from about 1620 to the Revolutionary War, pop ideas of “colonia” pretty much think of the time of the Revolutionary War. The mid 1800s, which is Sherwin Williams’ designation, is the Civil War here in the States, ie, the height of the American “Victorian” period. So “Victorian”, which SW puts at 1900, is really from about 1840 through the end of the 1800s, or just before SW’s designation. I suspect their confusion comes from thinking in terms of the architectual revivals of those styles, especially the Colonial Revival, which was big from about 1880 through the Second World War (and is still pretty strong today!).

    But enough history lesson. I just wanted to alert folks to the fact that those colors are still available, still with the same names, and easily found now with this new, big, all in one color card (it has a copyright date of 2011).

    1. pam kueber says:

      Thanks, David. Your comment is a timely one, as I am just about to head out to run Saturday errands, including stopping at SW to get some paint for my office. I’ll look for this!

      1. David says:

        Oops! I misnamed the paint chip card: it’s called “Historical Collection: Interior Colors.” And my typos in this post were a bit embarrassing (can I plead it was early in the morning here in California and I had just gotten out of bed?) But the paint chip card is as described.

  6. Janet says:

    Sherwin-Williams in Pueblo, Colorado, has a few Suburban Modern brochures. I got one today, and I see that the colors don’t match the pdf’s that I printed out.

    Here’s the information for the store: 3205 N. Elizabeth, Pueblo, CO 81008, (719) 544-7812. The obsolete brochures are in Crystal’s file drawer in the office. I don’t know if they’d mail a brochure but it might be worth a try.

    1. pam kueber says:

      Yes, trying to capture colors on a computer — then print them out — is notoriously difficult and rife for errors. Even depending on the colors on the card is not smart — you gotta get a sample and put it on your wall or cabinetry or trim or whatever to truly get the effect.

  7. Janet says:

    They don’t seem to have these exact colors in chips in the stores any more. However, they do retain the formulas on their computers. I was able to buy a can of “Roycroft Adobe” from their discontinued Arts and Crafts brochure — they looked up the name on the computer and made the color.

    Do visit any Sherwin-Williams dealer you come across and ask about the brochures. Somebody is bound to have a few, at least for a while. Eventually Ebay may have them.

  8. I went to my files and found I still have the Exterior colors brochure (yay!), but not the Interior colors 🙁 So thanks, Pam, for making these sources available online!

    After looking at the brochure again, I’m seriously considering Sycamore Tan for the body color of my house – to be painted this summer, FINALLY! I think it’s a color the Mulchman and I can agree on.

  9. Lauryn says:

    I was in Sherwin Williams the other day and noticed they didn’t have those brochures anymore. We picked up the Streamline Years (the 1930s) when we started our project, but were also interested in the Suburban Modern brochures. Sad they don’t still have them, as they’re were a great reference for the different eras, but I’m glad you can at least still get the colors.

  10. Tina says:

    I was lucky a few months ago that one of my local Sherwin Williams stores still had the brochures and grabbed a couple. When I visited another store, they told me they had none and weren’t expecting any.

    I painted my entire newy renovated basement in Chartreuse SW0073 (it is gorgeous) and the laundry room Sunbeam Yellow SW0078. They don’t look anything like the colors that the brochure shows on my computer screen.

    Even if the brochures are discontinued, won’t the paint colors still be available? There must be a formula for mixing the codes, no?

    1. pam kueber says:

      Tina, sorry but I must not have written clearly: The codes are in the brochures. I am betting the sample chips for each of these colors are still in the stores too. So: You can still easily find and get the colors – just not the brochures.

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