Historic paints were often made with what was available,
rather than adhering to strict formulas. Recipes for successful
formulas can be found in historic documents, such as newspapers,
illustrating the combinations of ingredients that could be
used to produce a paint.
Linseed oil, a volatile thinner such as turpentine; a hiding
pigment (usually white lead) and coloring pigments.
Natural resin varnish was added to oil-based paint to provide
a hard, more glossy surface.
A translucent layer applied to protect the paint
and to impart a more uniform gloss surface. Usually made
from linseed oil with natural resin varnish added. Some
glazes have small quantities of tinting pigments such as
verdigris or Prussian blue; some had no pigments added.
Water, pigment, and a binder, such as hide glue, other
natural glues, or gums. Usually used on interior plaster
Often used on interior plaster surfaces in utilitarian
spaces and, at times, used on interior beams; consisted
of water, slaked lime, salt, and a variety of other materials.
Occasionally a pigment (usually an ochre or other earth
pigment) was added to provide tint or color.
Used for interior applications, were made from water, glues
(one or more different natural glues, gelatine, and gums)
with whiting as the basic white pigment to which other tinting
pigments were added.
Calcimine, or kalsomine
Often used on interior surfaces and is another common name
Paint prepared with pigment, egg yolk or white and water;
used almost exclusively for decorative treatments.
A waterbased paint made of whiting, pigment, water, and
gum arabic as the binder; used almost exclusively for decorative
Casein also called milk paint, was made with hydrated (slaked)
lime, pigment, and milk. Most often oil was added, making
a strong emulsion paint. Various recipes call for a large
variety of additives to increase durability. Casein paints
were also used for exterior surfaces.