Hues That Say You - Page 4

Colorful splashes, mid-century inspiration that set the tone for your modern home

No matter what the choices, experts agree that homeowners shouldn't look at color choices in a vacuum. "When people come through the door of their home, there should be this sense of delight," Mathis says. They should be influenced by history, lifestyle, and a homeowner's personal taste and color preferences.

"There are so many correct choices," colorist Nancy Epstein says. "There's not a right choice. We are finding the right one for you."

Photos: David Toerge, John Eng, Matt Fukushima, Robert Wagner, Joel Puliatti; and courtesy Perfect Wall Color, Vetrazzo, Body Beautiful, Newlook Coatings

Special thanks to Lou Palladino of Palladino Painting, Inc., Dave Salas of California Paints (Sunnyvale), Janice Cunningham of the Lucas Valley Homeowners Association, and Catherine Munson for their assistance in compiling our chart of original Eichler paint colors


Carla Mathis:
John Klopf:
Palladino Painting, Inc.:
Paul Benson Painting:
California Paints:
It's Concrete!:


Paint vs. stain:
inside and out

Wood plays a significant role in Eichler homes, which rely on wood exterior siding and Philippine (AKA lauan) mahogany interior paneling for much of their original character. Homeowners and contractors still carry on great debates over painting versus staining these two surfaces, and about preserving versus removing (and replacing with sheetrock) the interior panels.

But the proper approach for addressing the two surfaces really depends on a homeowner's individual aesthetic, the condition of the wood, and how much money and maintenance homeowners are willing to throw at them.

Eichler took great care in the overall appearance of his homes and created custom wood siding for his home exteriors instead of using the standard plywood patterns of the day. To accentuate the natural beauty of the wood grain, he used stain. Of course, stain usually didn't stand up to time and natural elements, and homeowners were forced to re-stain or paint, oftentimes sooner than expected.

"If you're staining, a job could last anywhere from four to six years, depending on how the sun hits the building," says Lou Palladino of Palladino Painting. "Both transparent and solid stain coatings are more delicate and less durable than paint coatings. However, in the interest of preserving the original Eichler aesthetic, some may prefer going with stain over paint."

While painted siding can be brought back to bare wood and then stained, typically the process is not cost effective. In such cases, homeowners who want the benefits of original stained siding usually explore replacing their siding as the first step in the process.

Stains are manufactured as solids, which cover up the wood like paint; semi-solids, which provide opaque color that conceals the wood grain but still show off some of the texture; and semi-transparent stains, which enhance the wood's texture without concealing the wood grain.

While Eichler originally used mostly Cabot semi-solid oil-based stains on his exteriors, today most painting professionals favor water-based acrylic paints over oil-based products for their longevity.

For home exteriors that are already painted, Palladino recommends re-painting the siding to better protect the home from the elements. "I've had paint jobs that lasted 15 years," he says. "Professional painters know a lot of 'tricks' to help a paint job last longer. But the real secret is in the preparation performed on the existing surfaces."

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