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What You Need to Know About Nantucket’s Historical Colors
September 13, 2022
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If you have been to Nantucket, you will notice that the island has a unique color scheme applied to its buildings. The buildings are a huge contrasting point against the vast oceanic backdrop that provides scenic beauty.

Some people describe the color as gloomy due to its dull hue. However, if you stay longer on the island, you will appreciate the artistry employed in the color scheme.

Knowing the historical colors and significance is necessary if you want to venture into Nantucket’s real estate scene. We will guide you on the colors and background of them.

Why Are Buildings in Nantucket Dull?

Many people ask why the buildings on the island look bland. Explanations range from the aging of the paint to the prevailing oceanic conditions. While the points might be true, the main culprit is titanium or lack of it.

New paints have titanium compounds, which makes the resulting paint job radiant. It is a relatively new technology that did not exist when the island started bustling with activities centuries ago. If the settlers knew the advantages of using titanium on paint, the island would be more vibrant.

Why not change the colors now? You may wonder why the structures are still dull, despite advancements in paint manufacturing. The faded color paint is part of Nantucket’s history, and the commission in charge does its best to retain the island’s trademark look.

Lately, there have been measures to incorporate more color schemes that match the existing ones. We will look at some of the acceptable colors in Nantucket.

What are the Approved Colors on Nantucket?

If you decide to set up a structure on this island, you need to keep up with the historic paint colors. As earlier hinted, the colors have a dull hue to keep up with the ancient trademark look.

Colors on the Walls

According to the Historic District Commission, the colors on the walls need to be subdued, reflecting on the town’s peaceful nature. Ideal paint jobs include a fading brown to grey hue, which you will see on most buildings. It ensures uniformity, something that makes Nantucket lively and scenic to tourists.

If you have an artsy side, you can mix several colors to develop the desired shade, which the Historic District Commission will approve.

Doors and Windows

Doors and windows are more than entry points. They communicate about the owner’s preferences when it comes to styling. You will find that most houses in Nantucket have similar styled doors and windows. You can get creative with various paint jobs to uplift your house’s décor.

Highlighted below are some of the colors to choose from.

  • Quaker Gray

Quaker grey is one of the most popular paint jobs on the island. It is calm and matches the demeanor of the town. You can easily get the paint, and it will give your house a chill appearance that can complement the faded look of most buildings around.

  • Nantucket Gray

Still, sticking to the gray hues, you may opt for Nantucket gray, named after the island. It has a toned-down appearance, which is excellent if you want a paint job that is not screaming.

  • Tristam’s Red

If you love some liveliness in your structures, you can go for Tristam’s red. It closely resembles maroon but with more pomp. You will spot this paint job on several upcoming structures in the town.

  • Nantucket Red

Here is another color named after the island, which has a light-pinkish appearance. You can use it to make your house look lively.

  • Shades of Green

Shades of green have been common on the island for a long time and complement its outlook. You can pick either Essex or chrome green, depending on your preference. The former is a darker shade, while chrome is on the lighter side.

  • Shades of Blue

Blue is a common color in most islands, and you may expect it to be standard in Nantucket. Surprisingly that is not the case, as blue paint on the island’s structure debuted later than most entries in this piece.

Blue goes well with the gray color of the walls, working towards the intended calmness. Approved schemes are Nantucket blue and Newport blue.

A Guide to Your Aid

Before settling on a particular color for your structure, it would help if you went through Building With Nantucket in Mind. It is a book published in 1992 that gives you the necessary info about construction on this island while keeping the historical architecture intact.

Get this book and be conversant with the building rules and regulations. Using the info provided, you will have an easy time getting approval for your building, factoring in the color you pick.

Getting a Color Change

If you want to change the appearance of your house or building, you must go through the Historic District Commission for approval. As you can see, there is a list of approved colors that you should adhere to.

When applying for a color change, you will need a completed and signed application form with a $50 fee. Additionally, you need to provide four copies of locus maps and four copies of exterior elevations. Take pictures of the structure and the color you decide on.

You can either submit hard copies of the documents or in electronic form after scanning.

Final Thought

Though the buildings in Nantucket may appear dull to a refined eye, it speaks of their beauty and centuries-old history. If you are a property owner on this island or planning to get property, you should be aware of the historic paint colors.

The paint colors have been a mainstay in Nantucket and are its trademark. We show you some of the colors in this piece, but you can check out more here. ‘Building With Nantucket In Mind’ is an asset you should have if you want to venture into this town’s real estate scene.