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Chinese Colors

Submit an Entry: House Paint Colors

By mark a. reed

Chinese Colors

Colors from the Forbidden City. Click the picture for a larger view.

Chinese Colors

It's in the details. Click the picture for a larger view.

Paint Colors

  • Honey Cup custom color for the yellow roof tiles.
  • Gloss black and gloss safety red for the driveway.
  • Gloss white for the walls.

These four colors are the primary colors used overall for the house, the fence and driveway.Gold trim paint was used for accent areas.

Paint Brand

Most of my exterior paint was RUST-OLEUM professional high performance protective enamel (oil-based). The roof over the porch was painted using a green and white mixture for the look of an aged patina.

Ralph Lauren gold trim paint.

About My House

To create a true representation of a Chinese House with a sophisticated character, colors were chosen to convey splendor, reminiscent of the Forbidden City in Beijing, China.

Using bold red and yellow, most commonly found on restaurants, required considerable thought, especially with regard to hue.

Rust-oleum Dandelion yellow was used on my roof until Honey Cup (more gold in hue) became available and satisfied the desired color, finalizing the look of an Imperial Palace.

Why I Chose These Colors

The golden roof title once was limited to the Imperial Palace and to have the same regal look required the roof of my home to be golden yellow. Honey Cup comes close to the gold desired and covers asphalt singles well.

The concrete driveway was painted Gloss Black with Safety Red borders to symbolize a carpet, as well as mask any future stains.

The walls were painted with Gloss White to give an overall richness and uniformity with the other gloss paints. The Midwest can have the harshest of weather conditions and oil-based paint has worked well for lasting protection, minimizing frequent repainting.

Extra strips of wood were attached to wood underneath the gutters to give the appearance of a hipped roof because the new gutters bowed for drainage.

A hipped roof was crucial in achieving the authenticity of a Chinese house. The 2x4” blocks were painted Honey Cup and configured to emphasis the desired effect of a hipped roof. Corner pieces were designed to complete the turned up ends of the roof, then painted red.

The enclosed porch roof was painted with a blend of colors to achieve a look of patina. The detail scroll work under the porch roof needed bright metallic gold spray paint to create a contrast. The down posts were painted hunter green with gold accent.

The welcome arch that frames the Reed logo (Reed palm tree in circle with intersecting parallel lines) on the garage door required a light orange, mixing the Honey Cup and red until the right color was obtained. The orange had to be the right shade so it would standout against the large expanse of red behind the arch. Hunter green was used on the arch post. The arch is used as a message board to challenge those who pass and read, to THINK. The red garage door was accented using Ralph Lauren gold trim for the logo.

I was able to finish repainting the roof a week ago with 16 gallons of Honey Cup and two 3” paint brushes, within just a couple of days.

Tips and Tricks

  • I'm ecstatic.
  • I sketch the area to be painted and use pencil colors to color in each area until I get the desired color combination and shade.
  • Large areas requiring custom paint, try to purchase that color from the same store. If unable to do so, take the last couple of cans form the one store and mix with cans from the other store before continuing your paint job. There may be a slight difference in the mix or lot number from one store to the next.
  • Take a look at the way colors match in creation to achieve beauty.

Jackie Craven, About.com Architecture, says:

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