Choosing a colour scheme for a dwelling should be based on research including the style of the house and the original colour scheme. Chapter 12 of Bathurst Regional Development Control Plan 2014 has recommended colours based on building period.
Details of the original colour scheme can be sourced from historical documents and photographs about the particular dwelling, and also from an investigation of the existing paint layers on various surfaces. Removing successive layers of paint can reveal historical and original colour schemes.
Heritage NSW also provides an informative technical guideline regarding paint finishes.
Finding out the original paint colours of your building - a general guide
Step 1: Where to start
Investigate and scrape different areas of a wall or architectural feature because of possible colour variation, as on mouldings and decorative elements Look in hard to-get-to areas such as under window sills, top or bottom edge of doors and close to joints where the original coating may still be preserved to avoid missing a paint layer. Mark on a plan where you decide to check paint colours - consider concentrating on those areas of the building with greatest heritage significance as these areas may be most relevant area to reinstate the original colours. Avoid inhaling lead paint as it was commonly used before the 1950s.
Step 2: Examine a small area of paintwork on site
Use a sharp knife or blade to cut diagonally across the paint coatings to expose different layers of paint until the original layer is reached. Scrape back with a razor blade or sanding block larger individual layers of paint to help match colours. Apply oil or glycerine to the paint scrape to help bring out the colour for comparisons with paint charts.
Step 3: Record and interpret findings
Record the location and colour of each paint scrape, starting with the base and ending with the current layer. Understanding how a colour fades can help you to identify its changes through sunlight exposure - for example, Brunswick green fades to a light-blue and red paint fades more quickly than most colours.
Match the colours found with a traditional paint chart.
Please contact Council to determine if undertaking the above maintenance works will require formal development consent. In most instances these works can be considered exempt development. Painting in the B3 Zone will require consent, however Council will waive the fee. For more information contact Council to arrange an appointment with Council’s Heritage Advisor.