Heritage Colour Made Simple

Dulux Weathershield

An acrylic self priming paint for exterior use. Its unique MaxiFlex™ Stretch Technology gives a tough flexible finish, for long life protection all Australian weather conditions. Dulux guarantees that this product will not blister, flake or peel for 10 years.

Learn More

Berger Solarscreen

A water based exterior paint specially formulated to help protect exterior paint surfaces from the harmful effects of the Australian sun. It can be easily applied to most exterior surfaces without the need for a primer.

Learn More

Heritage Colour Made Simple Articles

Heritage Colour Made Simple

by Share Comment

Whether you recreate the original colour scheme or take a more contemporary approach for your heritage house, it pays to look at what has come before you.


Australian houses were more elaborate during this period from around 1850-1900, with complex cast iron and plasterwork being the key features. Terraced housing became popular during the 19th century, with their ornamented plastered facades making them popular for many inner city dwellers today. The intricate details of Victorian houses offer the homeowner much scope for ‘picking out’ and highlighting architectural features or instead limiting the palette and creating a more simple frontage.

Historically, Victorian houses were painted in colours such as stone and cream, with trims finished in darker colours such as Brunswick Green and Indian Red.

This Victorian house features a scheme that enhances and celebrates the intricacy of the woodwork. The walls, door and fence are Dulux Lime White and Dulux Indian Red. The window and door trims are Dulux Jade Blue. Note the bull-nose veranda roof which was popular at the time and was sometimes painted in wide contrasting stripes of colour, derived from the remainder of the paintwork.

These Victorian terraces exhibit a more restrained approach, where two-colour schemes are used to minimise the details of the plasterwork, delivering an elegantly modern result.


As the name suggests the Federation style began around 1900 and continued into the second decade of the 20th CENTURY with a more Edwardian slant, reflecting the English cottage style. Usually made from brick, Federation houses are framed and articulated by their wooden trims and detailed fretwork and this is where the homeowner can incorporate their personal style with colour.  Colours became more muted during this time. While Victorian colours such as Red Oxide were still popular, softer tones of blue, green and pink began to be incorporated.

This Federation home demonstrates the move towards the more whimsical tones of the early 20th century. Several colours are used but the look is still understated. The fascia is Dulux Purple Brown. The fretwork is Dulux Grey Green and windows and balusters are finished in Dulux Lime White. The render is Dulux Pale Vellum.

Californian Bungalow

This style became widespread in Australia between the two world wars and is recognised by its columned front, gabled roof and stained glass windows. Again, traditional colours such as Red Oxide, Indian Red and Brunswick Green continued to be used but a trend toward earthier tones developed strongly around this time. Greens became particularly popular with Grey Green and Eau-de-nil being two favourites.

This Californian Bungalow features a colour scheme inspired by stone-coloured neutrals and highlighted by a subtle use of Dulux Red Oxide on the fascia. The woodwork and render is Dulux Regency White and the windows and fence are finished in Dulux York Stone.

This example of the Californian Bungalow displays the move towards using a scheme based on complementary tones with a subdued contrast. Dulux Mud Pack is the main house colour while the fascia and basecourse are Dulux Ploughed Earth. The window and door trims are highlighted with Dulux Antique White. Note how the gables are not ‘picked out’, delivering a more contemporary look.

Join the discussion!
Try these other helpful articles
Eye View All

White seems like the easiest, safest and most straight-forward way to go when choosing paint colours. For that reason many home-owners start their painting project by saying they are going to paint their house simply ‘off-white’, only to find themselves bamboozled by the seemingly endless spectrum of white paint on offer.

Over recent years the proportion of paint sold to DIYers in Australia has fallen from 55% to 45%, signalling a move towards consumers handing over the paint brush to a trade painter, rather than taking on the job themselves.

This product has been added to your cart View Cart or Continue Shopping