Bob Buckter is a second-generation San Francisco native and has been working in San Francisco, with Dolores Park as his front yard, since 1978. He enjoys skiing in Squaw Valley and traveling to Costa Rica when not scheming about color palettes.

I have been in the architectural color design business since 1970, my first job being 1908 17th Street in San Francisco, CA. My specialty is historic homes, but I also pick out great paint colors for apartment buildings, condominium complexes, concrete tilt-ups, shopping centers, hotels, churches, single family homes, and new construction; both exterior and interior to suit individual needs and purposes. The results produce: added value to real estate, marketability and pride of ownership. Color consultation is available by mail for exteriors outside the San Francisco Bay Area. I can provide architectural suggestions and enhancements, awning design and paint graphics depending on the project needs. A carefully designed color scheme can do wonders for a formerly “dull and uninteresting” building and is a nominal addition to the cost of painting.


The early beginnings of the revival color in San Francisco began in the mid- late 1960 with the acid trip exteriors primarily in the Haight and Western Addition neighborhoods. Butch Kardum and Jason Wonders in the 1970s were pioneers in creating color design as part of a service, the colorist movement began to change the drab buildings in San Francisco to the expressive homes we see today. In 2016 another color trend emerged, the gray/blue Platte, an easy solution for upkeep with a modern feel and has that curb appeal for selling properties. The legacy of attention to detail on these historic homes attract tourists and the passing public, creating pride of ownership and these buildings have become the jewels of the city.

“I do anything that rises from the ground, except people.”


I was a Victorian Painting Contractor in San Francisco after college in the early 1970s. During the last three years of contracting, I found that developing an attractive color scheme was the most interesting part of my business. Starting with Victorian and other historic homes, I designed color schemes for the painters to follow. Soon signs proclaiming “Bob Buckter Color Consultant” were seen all over San Francisco (and still are today).

I expanded the business in the early 1980s to include modern residential and commercial/industrial buildings. Today, about 10% of business is commercial, about 25% is modern residential (including many homeowners associations), 55% is historic and 10% is interior, which is usually done in conjunction with exterior work. I produce about 300 jobs each year. I have regular clients who are property management groups who call me in frequently. Some are individuals who own many buildings and contact me for my expertise whenever they paint one, and many are new clients who have heard of my work from others, or have seen my work around San Francisco.


Highlights of Bob Buckter’s detailed artistry that spans over 23,000 residential and commercial buildings

View Dr. Color’s Work
“Dr. Color was awesome to work with!
A true legend, the original color consultant!”
Harman N.

“Our 1895 San Francisco Victorian has been graced with Bob Buckter’s designs for over a decade. We loved what he had done to it, before we bought it, so much that we called him when it was time to repaint“

Deb U.
“Bob is amazing with color.
The nickname Dr. Color definitely suits him well.”
J n B G.

“The thought that went into the intricate details of the exterior coloring really showed – and it’s the kind of thing that really never gets old even when you see it every day.”

Tam P.