As experts in home renovation and preservation, we know that Honolulu is rich in history, and many of its homes remain iconic landmarks to this day. Of course, with time and exposure to the elements, even the most stunning historical homes require attention and upkeep. A fresh coat of paint, for example, is one of the easiest and most significant ways to restore and refresh the exterior of a historic home. But how do you balance the need for aesthetic improvements with the preservation of the home’s character? This article will provide insight into painting historic homes in Honolulu and how to maintain the balance between renewal and preservation.

Understanding the Historic Preservation Code

Before commencing any work on a historic home, it is crucial to understand the definition of historic preservation and the applicable regulations in Honolulu. The Historical Preservation Law and the Rules Regulating the Management, Protection, and Preservation of Cultural and Historical Properties within the City and County of Honolulu provide the guidelines that homeowners must adhere to when undertaking any renovations or restorations.

According to the Historic Preservation Code, homeowners must use materials and colors that maintain the traditional look of the house, with no significant alterations allowed to the structure. Windows, doors, and other elements that hold historical significance must remain intact.

Preparing for Painting

Before painting any surface of the historic home, it’s crucial to prepare the surface to ensure maximum adherence and longevity of the new paint. Removing old, chipped, or cracked paint is the first step in surface preparation. Sanding and power washing are other ways to ensure that the new paint will adhere correctly. With regard to historical elements, ensure any delicate structures, such as ornate moldings or decorative features, are handled with care.

It’s also essential to identify and repair any structural problems before painting the exterior of any historic home. Check for any issues with historical elements, such as siding, brick or stonework, and repair if necessary.

Choosing the Right Color Scheme

It’s essential to keep the character of the historic home in mind when choosing a new color scheme for the exterior. Conduct thorough research to understand the architectural style and the colors that were traditionally used for that style. Also, consider the color schemes in the surrounding area.

Consulting with a specialist is advisable when selecting a color scheme. A color specialist can guide you in selecting a color scheme that is accurate to the era of the house while also considering contemporary trends and your concerns regarding aesthetics.

Painting Techniques and Best Practices

Choosing the right painting technique is one of the most crucial factors in achieving the desired outcome when painting a historic home. Depending on the surface, brush, spray, or roll techniques may be used.

It’s essential to conduct paintwork when the weather is optimal, usually when the temperature is between 50 – 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Painting a home in extreme weather could result in bubbles or flaking paint. Selecting quality paint is also a crucial part of painting the exterior of historic homes. Given the tropical weather conditions in Honolulu, it is advisable to select paint designed for hot and humid conditions.

Historic homes provide a cultural reference point to their communities. Painting a historic home is an excellent way to preserve its history and renew its luster. However, it’s essential to balance the need for improvement with the need to maintain the home’s character. With these practices in mind, homeowners can restore their historic homes while preserving their unique story for future generations.