Table of contents:
- Truss: Orientation based on examples
- Colors: epochs and regions
- Color of the compartments
- Lines, companions and scratches
- To the author
Video: Color The Framework
Colored half-timbering presents classic craftsmanship - also when renovating. Evidence of a successful design can be found via findings, regional or epochal colors also provide information.
Author | Photos: Melanie Nüsch
As visitors to rural areas or places steeped in history, we combine colorful half-timbering with romantic history, tradition, home and cosiness. This is due to the special appearance of half-timbered buildings, which are decorated from simple to ornate, individually, but also as an ensemble for an interesting panorama. People are happy to let their gaze wander over colored half-timbered buildings on marketplaces such as Waiblingen, Alsfeld or Nienburg and admire their diversity.
In medieval half-timbered towns, significant half-timbered buildings are particularly richly decorated with colored carvings. When it comes to renovation, careful handling is important here. Together with the preservation of historical monuments, professionally justifiable design options can be explored. The binding list of monuments of the respective monument office or the resulting published monument topography shows whether an object is under monument protection as a single cultural monument or in an ensemble. In the case of a monument, it is always advisable to first contact the authorities and only then to plan the work. If the color of the framework appearance is desired, an examination of the findings is usually required in order toto get to the mark of the color scheme characteristic of the respective building.
Truss: Orientation based on examples
If there is no meaningful evidence from such an investigation, it helps to research the construction time and the environment for a technically justifiable redesign. Certain epochs and different regions show recurring examples that can be used as a guide. In principle, until the 19th century it was almost exclusively earth pigments and only a few mineral pigments that determined the colors in the building. For blue staining, there were only plant juices that were more suitable for dyeing fabrics, blue crystals such as smalt or Bremen blue, which would have been far too little brilliant on wooden surfaces or the too valuable lapis lazuli. Green tones often came from natural soils. Earthy red tones,Ocher tones and - as the only organic pigment - black from various combustion residues. However, a historical bright orange color can also be identified. Lead red lead could be produced in the Middle Ages as well as other lead colors. Of course, wood does not need corrosion protection, but the ancestors were happy about the possibility of particularly intense colors. Back then, it didn't matter that they could be toxic.didn't matter at the time.didn't matter at the time.
Colors: epochs and regions
There is all sorts of technical information about certain colors in epochs and regions, but in their entirety they sometimes seem very confusing. And some findings undermine the rules. This is due to the fact that only very few copies of half-timbered buildings from very early epochs are preserved and then usually not in their original appearance. Historical designs were made from natural materials and their durability was limited. Basically, however, the following statements can be summarized, at least roughly on the basis of evidence found:
In southern Germany, early medieval houses in cities mainly contain shades of red, later also more often ocher or umbra green colors. Gray colors are more likely to be found in later epochs from the Baroque or Classicism. In middle Germany z. In northern Hesse, for example, black and gray tones appear very early in addition to red tones, which often also tend to bluish gray from the Baroque period. If you go more north, you will find fewer shades of red, more black or gray and a special feature, the common overlays of compartment and wood. It dates from the 18th century. Here you deliberately painted over the compartments and the wooden parts together with a mostly light tone to represent a more valuable solid house. The fact that red was not used as often as a variant is probably due to the brick-faced infills.
Color of the compartments
Compartments were whitewashed with the often colored and darker wood. In the past, lime was the coating material for this and it has a strong intrinsic color and could only be tinted a little with pigments. In order to create a pleasant picture and not the greatest possible contrast, it is always advisable to slightly break the white of the compartments in the direction of the wood color.
On later modern half-timbered buildings at the turn of the century, there are sometimes heavily colored compartments in which the wood is often painted brown or dark in contrast. On the one hand, new color technologies made it possible, such as B. the silicate technology. On the other hand, this design goes hand in hand with historicism, in which one took a romantic look at the building history and liked to emphasize the decorative. While certain ornaments were also used with a deeper meaning in the Middle Ages, in historicism they are just jewelry.
Lines, companions and scratches
A so-called companion or dash is a line that runs all the way around at the transition from wood to plaster surface and, in the history, even ran partly on the wood and protruded into the compartment. It offered a way to artificially "straighten" the construction. If you want to implement such a thing today, you have to critically question this design due to durability considerations. From a physical point of view, it is rather disadvantageous to paint with the mostly denser wood color on the most sensitive area, the transition joint. Ritzer is called thinner lines, which still connect directly to the companion or can be done freely in the compartment. Scratches are so thin that they can be brushed up in one movement and not painted over a large area. Sometimes you can find lines in the compartment,which deliberately combined with light and dark contrasts lead to an optical cuboid within the compartment area. Such light and shadow paintings only emerged from the Renaissance, because in this epoch the spatial representation and the design with the perspective came into being.
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To the author
Melanie Nüsch is a master painter and restorer in the painter and varnish trade with a master craftsman in Schlitz. As a seminar leader at the Propstei Johannesberg, she leads the seminar "Painting on half-timbered houses" - along with other advanced training.
More information on her and other seminars on the subject of timber frame renovation: