Colour Schemes

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Details of the original colour scheme can be sourced from historical documents and photographs about the particular dwelling, and also from an investigation of the existing paint layers on various surfaces.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.

Further information 

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.

Forms & Information Sheets

Bathurst Regional Council has a number of forms that are required to be completed when proposing to undertake works on any building older than 50 years, a Heritage Item and/or works on any building or structure located within a Conservation Area.

Council has prepared a number of information sheets in relation to works on heritage buildings or places. Please contact Council's Environmental Planning & Building Services Department for copy of the relevant form.

  • Demolition of Built Environment Policy - Council consent is required prior to demolition where a building is:
    -  listed as a heritage item on the Bathurst Region (Interim) Local Environmental Plan 2005
    -  Located within a heritage conservation area
    -  Included in the Bathurst Region Heritage Study, 2007
    -  Is older than 50 years
    These guidelines have been prepared to assist owners, developers and consultants to prepare Statements of Heritage Impacts (SOHI), for Development Applications involving the demolition of a building which contributes to the heritage significance of the Bathurst Region.
    The Residential and Commercial Infill forms below will need to accompany the Development Application for demolition of a building within a heritage conservation area.
  • Residential Infill Application Form - Within the Conservation Area of Bathurst and the historic villages, all infill development must complement and enhance the local character by relating to the predominant scale, massing, colours and materials of the area. This does not mean a developer must mimic the buildings nearby, it is acceptable to relate to the above factors, and yet produce a contemporary design.
  • Commercial Infill Application Form - Within the Conservation Area of Bathurst and the historic villages, all infill development must complement and enhance the local character by relating to the predominant scale, massing, colours and materials of the area. This does not mean a developer must mimic the buildings nearby, it is acceptable to relate to the above factors, and yet produce a contemporary design.  
  • Photographic Recording Guidelines - These guidelines provide guidance for the photographic recording of historic sites for which approval has been granted for demolition.
  • Heritage Survival Kit - This kit has been developed to assist private residential property owners maintain the Bathurst region's unique heritage.


Heritage Survival Kit

The Heritage Survival Kit has been developed by Bathurst Regional Council to assist private residential property owners maintain Bathurst's unique heritage. The kit contains three main parts:

Part 1: provides a list of contacts and advice to help you research the past history of your house.

Part 2: contains a list of tips for caring for old buildings.

Part 3: outlines architectural and financial assistance which may be available to help you maintain your house.

Heritage Victoria have a heritage website which contains information on different architectural styles in Victoria, (which are comparative to those in Bathurst), from the early Victorian period through to modern architecture. As house styles have changed over time, sometimes gradually and sometimes dramatically, they reflect the attitudes and ideas of the time and remain as a built reminder of the collective unconscious of each architectural era.

When people choose to live in a house from an earlier architectural period, they usually want to preserve the original features and character. This website can assist in achieving that objective. It describes the main details of houses still present in Melbourne, (and elsewhere in the country), including their cultural background, key exterior and interior features and colour schemes. This information will assist owners when renovating, such as avoiding the installation of horizontal windows in a Queen Anne house, or terracotta tiles on a Victorian house.

Photographic Recordings

Photography is an important documentary tool in cultural heritage management. It is often a requirement that heritage places - including archaeological sites, buildings and structures, gardens and objects - be photographically recorded prior to alteration or destruction. The guidelines below provide guidance for those commissioning or undertaking photographic recording of heritage places and objects.

The Photographic Recording Guidelines can be downloaded here.

The NSW Heritage Division's Photographic Recording of Heritage Items using film or digital capture can be downloaded here.

Salt attack and rising damp

Heritage Council NSW - Salt attack and rising damp: A guide to salt damp in historic and older buildings.  The guide aims to provide owners, consultants and contractors with sufficient information to understand what causes salt attack and rising damp (and also falling and penetrating damp) and to diagnose and identify appropriate repairs for cases commonly seen in Australia. While emphasis is given to buildings of heritage value, the principles apply to all older buildings.

Rising damp, a worldwide phenomenon, is a major cause of decay to masonry materials such as stone, brick and mortar. Even when mild it can cause unsightly crumbling of exterior masonry and staining of internal finishes. It may also cause musty smells in poorly ventilated rooms. NSW Heritage Office Maintenance Series – Information Sheet 2.1 Rising Damp provides a brief introduction to rising damp, its control and treatment, for the owner or manager of buildings of heritage value. A short bibliography of more detailed works on the subject is included for interested readers.

A copy of the guide can be downloaded here.