Restoration and Historic Preservation

Art First brings historic buildings to vibrant life

Before restoration, the wrong colors often do nothing to highlight the importance of an architectural treasure. We can solve this by two methods:

1. Classic color design can be appropriate to its era

Our thorough study of the history of architectural color has revealed the paint colors and the placement of colors which were popular at different times. Some of these color combinations still prove appealing today, while other color palettes are best left behind. Art First Colors for Architecture can bring a treasured old structure back to vibrant life using a classic color design, or we can design an updated color palette to suit your style. 

2. Microscopic analysis to determine the original paint colors.

To find your historic building's original paint colors we sample tiny chips of paint from the building. We embed these into polished blocks, and under a powerful microscope determine the the sequence of different colors applied over time. We provide you with color matches to a national paint brand, plus an official report.

Art First used microscopic analysis to discover original paint colors for The State Capitol, Carson City, Nevada, and The Storey County Courthouse, Virginia City, Nevada

From the architect directing the paint color research for two historic properties in Nevada :

"This is great, I am so impressed!  Now that I know there is someone out there in the world of preservation with your expertise, I plan on referring more clients to you! "

Peter R. Dubé NCARB | AIA | LEED Green Associate|  Reno|  Nevada|  89501

    Art First designed the colors for:

    and aided in the restoration of

    From the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum, Ilwaco, WA:

    "Dear Ms. McMurray,
    Everyone is thrilled with your paint analysis findings, because even the in-between layers document known periods in the life of the NAHCOTTA. The findings contain important original fabric significant to national 1880’s Pullman railroad history.  Respectfully" ~ Barbara

    Visitors to the Museum "Outside, view the Museum’s largest artifact, the narrow gauge, passenger coach, the NAHCOTTA. Built in 1889 by the Pullman Palace Car Company of Chicago, IL. The car ran on the local narrow gauge rail that came to be called the “Clamshell Railroad.” read more

    A Satisfied Client writes:

    “You helped me with both interior and exterior colors for our very unique house, a Gothic Revival from 1885. It has taken a long while to get the house ready for sale, but the day has come. Working with you gave me the possibility of finding perfect colors about which I can feel confident. Thank you.” ~ Pam

    We provide excellent colors for all styles of buildings: Victorian style, Arts and Crafts, Craftsman, Colonial, Stick style, Foursquare, Farmhouse, Bungalow, Cape Cod, European, Chateau, New American, Southwestern, Mission, Neoclassical, Italianate, Ranch, Art Deco, Dutch Colonial, Georgian, Federal,  Mid-Century Modern, Gothic revival, Greek revival, Pacific lodge, Queen Anne, Rustic, Spanish colonial, Tudor revival and Contemporary.