Where: Bushel & Peck’s (328 State Street, Beloit)
Presentation by: Charles Rydberg
President of Beloit based Murmac Paint Company(310 Park Ave. Beloit)
Charles was instrumental in designing the Beloit “College Park Historic Colors” brochure. This publication guided the pallet of colors used on all the historic homes owned by the college. Charles also helped author the Janesville Historic Preservation Ordinance and also served as Chair for their first Historic Preservation Commission.
Perhaps like “white noise” in the background that goes unnoticed the same can be said for the pallet of colors within many neighborhoods. You’ve likely experienced this, I know I have. You’re driving through a neighborhood and all of a sudden you see a house that just pops. Sometimes the colors are dramatic but not always. Sometimes they’re subtle but somehow the home is striking. At least for me it’s usually not even fully clear why. The colors just seem to harmonize and “Click” together.
Driving around old neighborhoods there are fewer and fewer of the big old houses clad in all white. Even the old-timers recall them as always being white and thought white was the authentic non-color of old houses or perhaps just a low maintenance option. In fact these previously colorful homes were changed to all white as a style trend made popular following the Chicago’s Columbian Exposition “White City” in 1893.
Further, the proliferation of artificial siding has made monochrome still more old houses that originally sported varied siding textures, banding, colors, shades and shadows. Have you ever driven by one of those big ol’ aluminum or vinyl sided “Victorians” and wondered what was underneath? This mystery and discovery is part of the fascination surrounding “Great Unveilings” that have become more and more popular in some vintage neighborhoods.
Even if you have a brick home do you know how to harmonize with the shade of brick and roof color? Simply selecting colors that seem to go together from the swatches or booklets at the paint store may add up to a lot of time and money spent on results that just don’t seem to work like you’d hoped. Or worse once it’s up and done… you “settle”. Eh, it’s ok.
For all the time, effort and investment spent wouldn’t you rather have one of those houses that when you’re done the colors Popped?
Mark your calendar. Hope you can join us!
Thanks to the Beloit Daily news for reporting that Rock County has received a grant for lead abatement for 81 older homes of low-income households with children under six. There may be households within Beloit’s historic districts and surrounding vintage neighborhood that fit this criteria. It sounds like a great opportunity to take advantage of if you can. If you think you may qualify or you know of someone who may I’d encourage you to check it out.
For those who may not fit this criteria for grant aid but still have questions…
The health of children is rightfully paramount. Instances of lead poisoning are documentable (see BDN article) and we rightfully should inform ourselves to take what ever actions or precautions are warrented. With governmental regulation it also has the potential of becoming an alarmist issue with a fair amount of F.U.D. (fear, uncertainty and doubt) thrown in. It is difficult to find folks brave enough to offer a counter point to offer another perspective. One gentleman who’s opinion I resepect Bob Yapp states the following.
EPA & HUD lead paint regulations are out of control! The facts however fly in the face of this anti-preservation intrusion into our lives. Lead poisoning in children has been depicted by HUD and the EPA as an epidemic. The facts do not support this notion. Children today have less lead poisoning than ever before in history and it has little to do with lead paint regulations. Taking lead out of gasoline and better factory emissions are responsible for much of this.
In essence we should be teaching the uneducated, educated, poor and well-off families to clean their houses. Common sense education is all that’s needed with lead paint. Lead paint is only a hazard if it’s unstable. Removing lead paint from window jambs and sashes is a safe, quick and easy process if the homeowner or contractor knows how to do it. We must start immediately training small contractors & homeowners how to do this. Right now the contractors that are getting lead certified are gouging home-owner’s pocketbooks because they can.
This is an excerpt from a blog entry rebutting the fallacy around the perceived imperative to replace original windows. It is relevant to the lead issue as windows, their moving parts and peeling paint are often cited relative to lead issues and used as justification for replacement.
From the Illinois State Historic Preservation Offices:
Lead Paint Safety
Virtually all old wood windows have lead paint. It is not necessary or required to have a lead abatement contractor do this work unless your project has federal funding from the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The following downloadable publication (Lead Paint Safety: A Field Guide for Painting, Maintenance and Home Renovation) covers most of the practical methods of doing renovation work and working lead-safe:
Would lead paint concerns be a subject folks would like to see addressed in one of our monthly meetings?
From John Leeke’s website Historic Home Works.
This method has significant advantages over mechanical scraping and shaving, chemical stripping and the dry-heat of torch, hot-air gun and infra-red lamp methods:
- Significantly reduces the risk of starting a building fire compared to dry heat methods.
- Helps control the lead-health risk issue because it is an inherently damp process and eliminates the lead-fume risk.
- No fumes from heat decomposition of binders in the old paint as with dry heat methods.
- Relatively low setup cost compared to dry heat and shaver methods.
- Lower operating and supply costs than chemical paint removal.
- Lower residue disposal costs than chemical paint removal.
I’d not seen steam used for paint removal before. This looks like a great option. Looks somewhat slower but being able to do this without the fumes and lead risk… that’s a good trade-off IMO.
Perhaps another idea for a workshop / demonstration? A trial of each of the wood stripping methods with discussion of trade-offs.
- Nasty but fast caustic chemical stripper
- Safer but slower chemical strippers
- Paint scrapers & power shavers
- Heat Guns / plates
- Infrared heat lamp
- Steam heat