The National Park Service developed research techniques for determining historic paint colors as part of its historic structures restoration program.

This Technical Leaflet summarizes some of the key techniques for paint color restoration.

Topics covered include preservation of paint evidence, exposing accumulated colors, dating paint layers, determining mediums of the paint used, recognizing paint removal, and matching colors for restoration.

For more information on similar topics, please refer to Technical Leaflet Bundle 9, Historic House Restoration: Inside and Outside.

Technical Leaflet #15 (1968)


For more recent research on this topic, see the National Park Service’s Preservation Brief 28, “Painting Historic Interiors.”