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18th & 19th Century Finnish Buildings – Part IV: Painting the buildings

Painting old Finnish buildings is quite straightforward; red or grey in most cases. Practically all utility building were left unpainted, the wood would turn grey in a few years and over the years it would gather some brown hues on it.

Vicarage model painted

Vicarage model painted

This building might as well be yellow, but as it presents a real world building, which is red, then this is red too.

Walls are dry-brushed with rich, darkish red (e.g. Red Gore) with appropriate highlights. The roof is dry-brushed with varying levels of grey. All black roofs present tar coated roofs and tar isn’t actually black when spread on a roof and exposed to sun – it turns dark brown. It isn’t apparent from the picture, but the roof has also brown hues, which makes the model more realistic.

The roof edges, door and window frames were painted white. In the model, the windows are printed pictures, which saves the trouble of painting them. Because of the contrast brought by these white frames, the highlights should not be brought to white on walls and especially not on the roofs.

Red houses

Red houses

Here we have more red buildings, some with yellow doors.

Red house with closed porch

Red house with closed porch

Unpainted buildings

Even though the real buildings weren’t painted, it doesn’t relieve you from that task.

Cattle shed with manure pile

Cattle shed with manure pile

Most buildings are dry-brushed with greys, up to white highlights and with those brown hues. If the building is brand new, then the colors would be sand color with e.g. pale skin highlights.

Reddish clay has always been available in Finland, so the chimneys are best painted with red or terracotta. Most utility buildings will not have any fireplace, not necessarily even those used for animals. The notable exception here is, of  course, sauna.

Simple house and sauna

Simple house and sauna

The bigger building here is a house, but as it presents an unpainted building, the weather has treated it like the others.

Basic utility buildings

Basic utility buildings

More utility buildings. They could use more brown, but that should not be overdone. Even though the real world examples presented on other pages have a lot of brown, we have to remember that those buildings are well over a hundred years old and the brown effect increases with age. A 5-10 year old building would be mostly just grey.

If, for some mysterious reason, you decide to build some Finnish buildings of your own then here’s a sample of period windows. Scale, cut & paste, print as needed.

Finnish 18th & 19th century windows samples

Finnish 18th & 19th century windows samples

2 Responses to “18th & 19th Century Finnish Buildings – Part IV: Painting the buildings”

  1. Oogie says:

    Have you based the buildings on those found on Rajasaari, Helsinki?

    • PetriH says:

      You probably mean Seurasaari? Half of the building shown in Parts I & II are from there, the rest were taken on our trip to the actual battle sites of the Russo-Swedish war.

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