Historic Paint Colors by Era

American history has always been defined by color. From classical elegance to modern optimism, discover the hues of your favorite eras through seven historical color palettes curated from the Sherwin-Williams archives.

Dining room with a round table in the middle surrounded by six cream-colored chairs. A large, bell-shaped chandelier hangs overhead. In the background, shelving features earth-toned vases, dishware, and artwork. To the right is a window that allows for natural light. The walls are painted in a neutral, beige with yellow undertones called Downing Sand SW 2822 from Sherwin-Williams.
Featured Color: Downing Sand SW 2822

The Classics (1800s–1860s)

Dominated by soft neutrals and gentle grays, this era’s collection includes colors from the earliest days of a young American republic. To bring these historic house colors to your next painting project, order free color chips.

Modern bathroom featuring a wooden floating vanity, round mirror, and walls painted in a warm beige from Sherwin-Williams called Classic Sand SW 0056. To the right of the image is a coordinating paint color palette featuring Classic Sand SW 0056, Porcelain SW 0053, Classic Ivory SW 0051, Silver Gray SW 0049, and Classic Light Buff SW 0050.
Featured Colors: Classic Sand SW 0056, Porcelain SW 0053, Classic Ivory SW 0051, Silver Gray SW 0049, Classic Light Buff SW 0050

Victorian (1830s1910s)

Marked by opulence and ornate detail, this era’s palette features rich, saturated colors that celebrate the verve and vigor of a life well lived. Love the lavish look of these timeless wall colors? Order free color chips to see them in your home.

Living room featuring an ornate fireplace mantel, modern reclining chair and ottoman, and starburst mirror on walls painted in a soft aqua color called Calico SW 0017 from Sherwin-Williams. To the right of the image is a coordinating paint color palette featuring Calico SW 0017, Billiard Green SW 0016, Rookwood Amber SW 2817, Rookwood Dark Red SW 2801, and Deepest Mauve SW 0005.
Featured Colors: Calico SW 0017, Billiard Green SW 0016, Rookwood Amber SW 2817, Rookwood Dark Red SW 2801, Deepest Mauve SW 0005

Colonial Revival (1870s1900s)

Mixing paler colors with lush ones, this era reflects a return to design inspired by ancient Greece, as well as a renewed interest in America’s own past. To see these colonial paint colors in person, order free color chips. Or, if you’re looking for historic Cape Cod house colors, browse our regional paint palettes.

Mudroom with built-in, flat-front cabinetry painted in a dusty blue color called Dutch Tile Blue SW 0031 from Sherwin-Williams. Two jackets and a fedora hat hang on a wooden rack attached to the back wall. To the right of the image is a coordinating paint color palette featuring Dutch Tile Blue SW 0031, Classical Yellow SW 2865, Rosedust SW 0025, Acanthus SW 0029, and Colonial Revival Tan SW 2828.
Featured Colors: Dutch Tile Blue SW 0031, Classical Yellow SW 2865, Rosedust SW 0025, Acanthus SW 0029, Colonial Revival Tan SW 2828

Arts & Crafts (1880s1910s)

Celebrating honest craftsmanship, simplicity and nature, this era featured the natural hues of building materials and the blues and greens of handmade ceramics. To bring these historic craftsman house colors to your home, order free color chips.

Living room featuring a rustic stone fireplace with a wooden mantel that holds stacks of books and a replica sailboat. Two leather chairs frame the edges of the photo and walls are painted in a bronze-brown color called Library Pewter SW 0038 from Sherwin-Williams. To the right of the image is a coordinating paint color palette featuring Library Pewter SW 0038, Dard Hunter Green SW 0041, Roycroft Copper Red SW 2839, White Hyacinth SW 0046, and Weathered Shingle SW 2841.
Featured Colors: Library Pewter SW 0038, Dard Hunter Green SW 0041, Roycroft Copper Red SW 2839, White Hyacinth SW 0046, Weathered Shingle SW 2841

The Jazz Age (1920s)

Experience this lively era with its subtle pastels and classic neutrals that served as the background for striking accents of bold, saturated colors. Ready to jazz up your space with these historic hues? Order free color chips.

Entryway featuring a door and trim painted in a deep red color called Chinese Red SW 0057 from Sherwin-Williams. White walls and herringbone wood floors accent a gold mirror and table. To the right of the image is a coordinating paint color palette featuring Chinese Red SW 0057, Blue Peacock SW 0064, Salon Rose SW 0061, Frostwork SW 0059, and Studio Mauve SW 0062.
Featured Colors: Chinese Red SW 0057, Blue Peacock SW 0064, Salon Rose SW 0061, Frostwork SW 0059, Studio Mauve SW 0062

The Streamlined Years (1930s1950s)

This palette’s warm and creamy hues offer simple sophistication reflective on an era known for its simple, streamlined design. Not sure which of these hues will work best in your home? Order free color chips and we’ll mail all five to your door.

Industrial modern dining room with a heavy iron table and chairs underneath a simple chandelier. Walls are painted in a soft blue color called Copen Blue SW 0068 from Sherwin-Williams and feature a gallery wall of framed black and white artwork. To the right of the image is a coordinating paint color palette featuring Copen Blue SW 0068, Pink Shadow SW 0070, Vogue Green SW 0065, Deep Maroon SW 0072, and Orchid SW 0071.
Featured Color: Copen Blue SW 0068, Pink Shadow SW 0070, Vogue Green SW 0065, Deep Maroon SW 0072, Orchid SW 0071

Suburban Modern (1950s)

Are you a fan of the midcentury era? This palette features clear, bright, cheerful colors reminiscent of America’s post-war optimism. To bring inspired, MCM style to your next painting project, order free color chips.

Living room featuring a midcentury modern sofa, chair, coffee table, and accent table. Walls feature framed, geometric artwork and are painted in a light gray color called Classic French Gray SW 0077 from Sherwin-Williams. To the right of the image is a coordinating paint color palette featuring Classic French Gray SW 0077, Holiday Turquoise SW 0075, Pink Flamingo SW 0080, Avocado SW 2861, and Chartreuse SW 0073.
Featured Color: Classic French Gray SW 0077, Holiday Turquoise SW 0075, Pink Flamingo SW 0080, Avocado SW 2861, Chartreuse SW 0073

Looking for more inspiration and guidance on bringing our Historic Paint Color palettes to life in your home?

10 Comments

  1. I have used Sherwin Williams paints since 1953. Interior and exterior. I wouldn’t use any other brand!

    Edna Gallaghet
  2. Beautiful colors

    Melissa Brewer
  3. Sherwin-Williams historical colors collection has always been helpful to us. In my husband’s painting contractor business, we’ve painted historical homes from a Florida Cracker House to a Modernist house by architect Earl Swenssen. The collection is also great for really any homeowner. We began color consultations in 1999. I have a BFA in Visual Communication, and I find there is a livable SW color that everyone will be delighted with.

    Darla Kearce
    • Sherwin-Williams logo

      Thanks for sharing this Darla, we are so glad to hear that you enjoy using our historical colors! You’re absolutely correct, there are so many options when it comes to colors. Each person should be able to find a few that suit them perfectly. 🙂

      Sherwin-Williams
  4. Sherwin Wiliams paint is very thick, and does not splatter like other paints. It is the only paint I use on my home.

    John Panone
  5. My house walls were painted with the Sears color Antique White. We had some storm damage a couple of years ago and needed to repaint a room. SW had the Sears formulas and I was able to get several gallons of Antique White. Having some leftover paint, I decided to try touching up some scratches and marks on other walls. The color matched perfectly!!! Thank you so much Sherwin-Williams. You saved me from a lot of repainting!

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