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Researching the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada
  Recherche sur la Forteresse-de-Louisbourg Lieu historique national du Canada




A. Storm

May 1982

(Fortress of Louisbourg
Report H G 05)

Chapter V


Oil paints were the best and probably the most commonly used paints available in the eighteenth century. They were the only ones that could be used for exterior work because of their comparative immunity to the detrimental effects of the elements. [1] Generally speaking, the processes involved in painting with oil were quite similar regardless of the object being painted.

It began with boiling of the oil. Oil placed in brass or copper kettles was allowed to simmer or boil very gently over a slow fire, until clarified. Sometimes fish oil was added to linseed oil in the following proportions: 2 barrels of fish oil to 65 gallons of linseed oil. 32 gallons of fish oil with 29-1/2 gallons of linseed oil. [2]


PREPARATION OF OIL - Use a brass or copper kettle . . . cover the bottom of the vessel with red lead, laid smooth and even; in the proportion of half a pound to each gallon of oil; boil the same over a slow fire, until the oil will singe a feather; then let it cool, and add one gill of Copal Varnish, or spirits of turpentine to each gallon of oil.

Paints must be ground dry, and perfectly pulverized, in the manner before directed; or which is preferable for small quantities, with a marble and muller.

When thoroughly pulverized, mix the white lead with oil and grind them separately from the coloring ingredients.

In like manner, mix the articles which you propose to use for making the color as prussian blue, stone yellow, Venetian red, etc., after pulverized with your boiled or clarified oil, and grind them in oil separately from the white lead. After the materials are thus thoroughly ground in oil, separately; mix them together: according to the following directions, and grind them together; giving them a consistence to work free as before directed and they are then fit for use. Used alone, both fish oil and linseed oil were absorbed into the wood like a stain. White lead oxide provided an opaque body in which coloring pigments stood out clearly. The white lead, in a dry state, was finely ground and mixed with a color before being combined with boiled linseed oil. The mixture was not to be so thick as to clog the brush; nor so thin as to run upon the board. The ratio of white lead to oil was 5 pounds per gallon. (Or, an another source has it, 3/4 oil to 1/4 of essence). The proportion mentioned for a green paint was one livre of pigment mixed with one livre of white lead to be added to the appropriate quantity of oil. The quantities hereinafter stated, are to be understood, after the several paints have been mixed with and ground in oil.

Prepare the room for painting, by filling the cracks and nail holes; and covering the nail heads with putty, that the surface may be smooth and even. [3]

PUTTY is made of whiting and linseed oil, well beaten together on a grinding stone, or with a wooden mallet, to the consistency of a very thick dough. [4]

For sizing - dissolve one pound of glue in one gallon boiling water; add two pounds of Spanish white; and when cold, and well mixed; lay it on carefully; and even with the grain of the wood, with a clean brush. [5]

On stone walls for priming use not glue, because it might be destroyed by dampness and the paint scale off. The wall should merely be anointed with linseed oil; and after several days, when it is quite dry, use a paint made of earth's ground in linseed oil. [6]

Though oil paint is always applied cold, when it is a question of painting a wall, it is optional to give one or two coats of boiling linseed oil so that the oil may impregnate itself into the wall, and that the plaster can remain shiny, after which two or three coats of lead mixed with oil and distempered only in essence are applied ..... [7]

Directions for mixing and painting the following colors for inside work, viz.

ICE COLOR - To one pint of white lead, add one teaspoonful rosin; one teaspoonful verdigris; and half a teaspoonful of lampblack.

SEA GREEN - To one pint of white lead, add one tablespoonful of verdigris; one do. of spruce yellow. Mix and grind them well together; and if upon experiment it should be too light, add of the coloring ingredients at discretion.

DARK STONE COLOR - To six pounds white lead, add eight ounces yellow ochre; and half a gill of lampblack.

RED COLOR - May be made with either, 1. vermillion; 2. red lead; ground in oil. Spanish brown and red ochre are coarser paints.

CLARET COLOR - Is made with white lead 3 parts; and Spanish brown 1 part; well mixed and tinged with a small quantity of lampblack.

CHOCOLATE COLOR - Is made with Spanish brown and lampblack, and may be varied at discretion.

MAHOGANY COLOR - Prime with spruce yellow; when thoroughly dry, add to the yellow a small quantity of white lead, say four ounces lead to one pound yellow, and lay the second coat. For the third coat take a sufficient quantity of stone yellow pulverized; heat it on coals in iron; taking care to stir it constantly until it changes to a red color; then let it cool; mix and grind it with clarified or boiled oil, and it will be fit for use. Then for shading the work take umber pulverized and prepare it by heating as before until it changes to a darker color; then mix and grind it in oil. When both are prepared lay the third coat; and immediately shade it with the umber, that the colors may more easily blend together.

For shading use a "raining or flat brush, and lay the paint in imitation of Mahogany wood, of which have a sample handsomely polished before you. When thoroughly dry, finish with a coat of copal varnish neatly laid with a clean brush. [8]

RED CEDAR COLOR - Prime with red lead, and white lead, equal quantities. For the second coat use the same. For the third coat, to four pounds white lead add two ounces vermillion well ground mixed, and immediately while the third coat is green, shade with indict red in imitation of the grains and knots of cedar. For shading, the indict red should be well ground and mixed; and placed on a pallet or pane of glass, that it may take easily with the brush. [8]

An eighteenth century French paint formula gives the following recipe:

A. The paint is made with three ingredients. Their quantities in parts by weight are as follows:

Powdered pigment (red ochre or Van Dyke Brown) 39 parts

Red lead 1-2/3 parts

Boiled linseed oil 20 parts

The boiled linseed oil contains a little red lead and a little sulphate of zinc. These additives help the oil to dry.

B. The wood is painted in two coats.

1. The first, relatively light, consists of a mix of:

14 parts by weight of paint

7-3/4 parts by weight of turpentine

2. The second coat consists of a mix of:

12 parts by weight of paint

4 parts by weight of linseed oil

4-2/3 parts by weight of turpentine

The linseed oil is a mixture of:

2-2/3 parts by weight of boiled linseed oil

1-1/3 parts by weight of raw linseed oil. [9]

Undoubtedly, the most common binder for house paints was linseed oil, and the most popular thinner was turpentine. The most widely used pigment was probably lead white. Although paints could also be made by grinding many other pigments in oil, lead white seems to have served as the base for most colors. [10] It worked very well in oil; it imparted a drying quality to the film; and it possessed great covering power.

"One hastens the drying qualities of oil paints by the addition of the litharge, and a bit of oil of turpentine. [11]

A recipe to make drying oil: Boil 1 lb. of red lead, quarter of a pound of litharge with 3 quarts of linseed oil until it will be as thick as syrup, and when cold and well settled pour the clearest into a bottle. This should be used one quart to three of raw oil. [12]

Another recommended: To make a drying oil to make any color that is mixed with it, dry quickly,

Add two ounces of litharge of lead to a quart of linseed oil (though some use red lead) powdered very fine, and boil it for near an hour in an earthen pan, or till the oil be grown fat, or almost of the consistence of molasses, then set it on fire with a lighted paper, keep it stirring while burning, which need not be above a minute or two, then put out the flame, and let it stand till it be thoroughly cold, and that the litharge has settled well to the bottom; then pour off the clear oil, and put it in a bladder, close tied up for use. When you mix your colors for working, take three parts of plain linseed oil, and one part of this drying oil and mixing them well together, temper up your colors with this mixture. This fat drying oil shall not only make the colors dry sooner; but will also add a beauty and lustre to the colors. Some colors indeed don't need to have their drying hastened by a fat oil, as red lead. Verdigrease and umber, they being very drying of their own nature; but yet fat oil added to those also, add a great beauty and lustre to their color. Some painters to make their color dry, take COPPERAS, and having beaten it to powder burn it in a fire-shovel; as people do when they burn alum, that is, they set it on a fire, till being melted with the heat, it be continued thereon so long, till all the moisture be exhaled and the matter remain a dry white calx; some of this powder of burnt COPPERAS being added to the colors in grinding, will make the color dry very well. There is indeed one inconvenience in the drying oil abovementioned, which is, that it makes the oil of a deep reddish color, which is apt to alter the native beauty of some colors, as whites, making them turn yellow, and blues become greenish. [13]

But a drying oil may be prepared, which shall be of a clear white color, as follows:

Put two ounces of litharge to a quart of linseed oil, put the mixture into a glass, and set it in the hot sun for a month in the summer time; stirring the litharge and the oil well together twice a week during the whole time; and you will not fail in that time to have not only an oil very white and clear (for the sun takes away all color either from linseed or walnut oil) but also it will become in that time very fat and thick, and attain a very drying quality. By the same methods may nut oil be made to dry, as well as that of linseed, it being preferred before that of linseed, for all white painting that is not exposed to the open air, for 'tis observed, that in all close places, linseed oil is apt to make white lead turn yellow. [14]

You must take notice that all simple colors used in house painting, appear much more beautiful and lustrous when they appear as if glazed over with a varnish, to which both the drying oil mentioned before, contributes very much, and also the oil of turpentine, that painters use to make their colors dry soon.

But experience has taught, that some good clear turpentine, dissolved in the aforesaid oil of turpentine, before it be mixed with the oil colors, will make those colors shine much when dry, and preserve their beauty beyond most other things, drying with an extreme glassy surface, more smooth, than oil alone, and will also better resist the injuries of the air and weather, provided too much of it be not put in. [15] Usually, paints were made by first grinding lead white in oil. Then this white paint was tinted to the desired hue with a colored pigment. A great variety of colors was available to painters of the period because there were three types of oil paint with which they could work: opaque paints with a lead white base, opaque paints made from a colored pigment, and a number of transparent paints made from lakes and glazing pigments. Used singly, or in conjunction with one another, almost any color known could be duplicated.

To Make Transparent Colors

For The Green. Put in very strong vinegar, verdigrise, rue-juice and gum-arable. Set this in the sun for a fortnight, or, if you have no sun, boil it on the fire. Strain it, bottle and stop it. Shake it well before using.

For The Red. Make a lye with salt of tartar in it, put to infuse for one night, some India wood, with a little alum. Boil all, and reduce to one third. Run it through a linen cloth, and mix some gum arable with it - with more or less alum, you make it of a higher or paler hue.

For The Yellow. Bruise avignon seed which we in this country call French berries and put it in a lye of salt of tartar to boil on the fire, to the reduction of two thirds. Run it, and boil it one bubble more. Then bottle and cork it . . . A small addition of saffron renders it more lively.

For The Blue. Soak in chamber-lye, for one night, a certain quantity of German Palma Christi. Take it out and grind it with a little quick lime. More or less quick lime will raise or lower it in hue. And nothing more is required to dilute it than chamber-lye and gum-arable. [16]

Cedar, richest in color of all the variegated finishes, consisted of a ground coat of transparent pink which has been laid over a thick, smooth priming coat of a darker color, often gray or olive drab. The "raining was drawn over the pink with sweeping brush strokes of deep rose red, and simulated the richness of cedar wood to a marked degree.

A recipe for a type of finish called "graining" to simulate wood or marble: "Cedar. Take a white lead and India red, brown or red pink, and make dark for the knots and grain. Add a little white vitriol and make it dry. The knots and grain to be put on as soon as the ground, so that the colors may mix together a little." The last line provides an important clue to the artistic success of the eighteenth century "raining. The overtones were skillfully blended into the ground colors, giving thereby an effect of soft but vibrant color. [17]

After a pigment was ground in oil it was usually too thick to be applied and had to be thinned by adding more oil, turpentine, or both.

1744 instructions direct that one quart of oil should be added to every six pounds of paint which was supplied in paste form/ground in oil, that is, the paste had to be prepared by grinding the dry pigment into the oil to ensure that each particle was thoroughly wetted by the oil and that clumps of grains were broken up. One pound of color ground will paint ten yards of work. [18]

A great variety of surface textures was also available depending on the relative proportions of oil and turpentine used. For example, oil dried with a gloss, but if it were thinned with a large quantity of turpentine, it tended to dry with a flatter finish.

The infrequent mention of the use of turpentine in the first part of the eighteenth century, the heavy use of oils, and the tradition of polishing the wall surface has indicated a high glossy surface.

To a certain extent, formulas depended on the intended use of the paint. Exterior paints, for example, contained more oil than interior paints because a high oil content helped the dried finish ward off the destructive effects of the weather. Generally, although common procedures were followed, no hard and fast rule for making a paint existed, and the product was often the result of the knowledge and experience of the man doing the painting.

The first step in painting a wall was to make sure it was dry, for if any moisture were present, it would "cause the paint to discharge from the wall."

For Painting in Oil on a stone wall, "fresco", you must, when the wall is perfectly dry, give it two or three coats of boiling oil, or more, if necessary, so that the face of the wall may remain greasy, and can soak in no more; then, lay another coat of siccative colors, which is done as follows. Grind some common whitening or chalk, red ochre, and other sorts of earth, pretty stiff, and lay a coat of it on the wall. When this is very dry, then draw and paint on it whatever you will, observing to mix a little varnish among your colors that you may not be obliged to varnish them afterwards. [19]

If the surface being painted consisted of new wood, the next step was called knotting, a process by which all knots were covered with a mixture of size, lead white, and red lead. [20] The mixture formed a hard coating over the knots that prevented any resin from coming out and spoiling the paint.

There are a number of recipes for "stopping" or killing knots, drawing out the excess turpentine, as practiced during the eighteenth century. One such recipe calls for a mixture of red lead, litharge, oil and turpentines. This was done previous to the application of the first prime on new wood.

When the interior was to be painted three times in oil, the first coat seems to have contained a higher proportion of drier than subsequent coats. However, for the eighteenth century it is still a moot question as to exact proportions of pigments or the amount of turpentine, compared to their use in later years.

The prime coats varied greatly. In some cases it appears that only one coat was given to an interior. In most work, however, a thin first prime coat was laid of red lead, Spanish brown, or a thinner coat of the final color. This was not painted until it dried, which might well be several days depending upon the driers added to the oil. Each coat was rubbed with a cloth of pumice and holes filled before the final coat.

The first layer of applied paint was called priming. It consisted of a coat of lead white, with a little red lead mixed in. ground in linseed oil. In some instances, the surface was primed simply by covering it with one or two coats of boiled linseed oil; this was usually done when a new plaster surface was being painted. After the priming had dried, all cracks, nail holes, and other defects were filled in with a putty made of lead white and linseed oil.

The second coat of paint was often similar to the priming except that it was thinned with turpentine. [22] This second coat was often crossed, which meant it was brushed in the opposite direction to that of the finish coat. Before drying, it was brushed back in the proper direction. [23] Crossing was one means of insuring complete, even coverage of the surface being painted. The third coat, which was commonly thinned with equal quantities of oil and turpentine, was usually tinted to the approximate color of the finish coat. The fourth coat could be the finish coat, although a fifth coat was often used. [24]

When old work was being repainted, the processes involved were very similar except in the preparatory stages. The old work first had to be scrubbed with soap and water, or turpentine, to remove any accumulated dirt and grease. [25] Then a coat of white lead, thinned with a large quantity of turpentine, was laid on and allowed to dry. After patching all defects with putty, the surface was painted in the same manner as new work. [26]

Painting in coats of oil paint was not only highly expensive if done yearly, but odorous.

TO PREPARE OILS FOR OUTSIDE WORK. Use only brass or copper vessels. Place red lead in the proportion of one pound to four gallons of oil, at the bottom of the vessel - add the oil: then let them simmer or boil very gently over a slow fire, until clarified. When the red froth ceases to rise to the top, the oil is clarified and fit for use. [27]

TO PREPARE PAINTS FOR OUTSIDE WORK. Take a smooth iron kettle of medium size. Put into the kettle from four to six pounds of dry paint and grind it with the aid of an iron ball from 12 to 24 pounds weight, and grind it until thoroughly pulverized. This may be known, when by feeling you perceive no coarse particles. After a sufficient quantity of paint is ground dry, as directed' then put in the same kettle six or eight pounds of the dry paint at each time, and add oil until the ball will move easy and free - add also the materials necessary to produce the color which you propose to paint, according to the directions which follow, mix them thoroughly with the ball, and place the paint in suitable vessels for use. The proper consistence of the paint for use, may be best determined by experiment on a smooth board, with your brush, taking care that it should not be so thick as to adhere to, or clog the brush, nor so thin as to run up on the board after laid.

New brushes may be used for priming, or the first coats; but for finishing use only brushes about half worn.

It is important that the hand of the painter, and the handle of the brush be kept clean, and free from oil and paint; and that the brush be held while painting, firm by the handle. . . and that the building be prepared by filling the cracks and fractures with putty; and sweeping off the dust, spiderwebs, etc. In all cases, but especially in finishing; the paint should be laid strait and true, corresponding with the grain of the wood. [28] The first coats are applied almost clear, to feed and soak into the wood well: after which, to paint either a door, or a window, one must apply on the wood a coat of white lead (blanc de céruse) ground with oil, and distempered with 3/4 oil to one quart of essence; and when this is dry, two other coats of the desired color are then applied, ground also with oil and distempered with pure essence for interiors and with oil for the exteriors; while being sure to add more or less of the color according to the shade desired: one can add at the end a coat of varnish on the oil paint as on the distemper. [29]

Directions for Mixing and Painting the following colors, for outside work, viz.

WHITE - For the first coat, use two thirds Spanish white; and one third white lead; ground and mixed in the kettle as before directed. When this is thoroughly dry; for the second coat use equal quantities of Spanish white and white lead; and for the last coat, white lead only.

CREAM COLOR - Add to white as above directed; in the proportion of one pound to thirty pounds Spruce yellow, or English ochre, well ground. The yellow tinge may be varied at pleasure, by Increasing or diminishing the proportion of the spruce yellow or ochre.

STRAW COLOR - Lay on the two first coats white; or slightly tinged with yellow; and for the last coat; to every ten pounds of white lead add one pound of spruce yellow or English ochre well ground and mixed.

ORANGE COLOR - Add to straw color, one pound of red lead to every ten pounds of the above mixture.

PEA-GREEN - In the first coat, use the first coat for a white color, tinged with lampblack; and for the last two coats, add verdigris in proportion of one pound to every ten pounds of white lead.

PARROT GREEN - Prime with white, tinged with lampblack as above directed; and for the two last coats, use five pounds white lead, one pound of verdigris and four ounces spruce yellow, or in that proportion.

GRASS GREEN - Prime as above, and for the two last coats use equal quantities of verdigris and white lead. Add to the three last mentioned colors, spirits of turpentine in the proportion of half a pint to each gallon of paint.

RED - For the first and second coats, use two pounds of red lead and ten pounds of Spanish brown, well ground and mixed. For the last coat four pounds of red lead and eight pounds of Spanish brown; or which gives a richer and more durable color; finish with Venetian red only.

SLATE - To equal quantities of white lead and Spanish white; add lampblack in the proportion of one common sized paper to each twenty pounds of the above mixture. . . the shade may be varied at the discretion of the painter.

BLACK - To every ten pounds of Spanish white, add ten papers of lampblack or which is preferable for beauty and duration, use lampblack only well mixed with oil.

For Painting Sashes, Oil and white lead only should be used. [30]

The Painting of Exterior New Wood.

The wood ought at first setting up to be primed with Spanish brown, Spanish white, and red lead (about a fifth part) to make the other two colors dry, well ground with linseed oil, will make excellent primer. Then afterwards the same color (but much more whiter) for second primer: and lastly, with fair white, made of white lead, and about a fifth part in quantity (not in weight) of Spanish white. [31]

Within a few years this needed to be repainted. White lead quickly lost its gloss and became a dusty powder. At such a time the old work was rubbed with pumice stone and any knots or holes filled with putty. Then the process of "three times in oil" was repeated. Less expensive variations were "twice in oil".

"It has been observed, that timber laid over with white when it has stood some time in the weather, the color will crack and shrink up together, just as pitch does, if laid on anything that stands in the sun; the cause of this is that the color was laid on with too stiff a body; for being wrought too thick once, it will dry with a skin on the outside which will keep the inside moist, and prevent its binding firm, from whence those cracks proceed! [32]

Ochres seem to have been the most frequently used pigments, either alone or in various combinations. Lampblack, indigo, and other dark pigments were often added to produce desired shades. There seems to have been no standard proportions as to the ingredients of eighteenth century colors. Rather, each paint was mixed to the desired shade. Thus, the general terms covering common exterior, as well as interior, colors are too broad to be easily recreated. The whole area of the ratio of pigment colors and oils is one which offers great opportunity for chemical and documentary research. One recipe for the ratio of pigments and oil in compound paint colors of the eighteenth century gives the following for exterior work: one layer of white céruse (white lead) ground in nut oil and dilute in same oil with additions of a little litharge (yellow protoxide of lead), then give two layers of green composed of 1 lb. of verdegris and 2 lbs. of white lead ground and diluted in nut-oil. [33]

"The manner of coloring all sorts of timber-work, particularly of gun-carriages, wagons, wainscot, doors, windows, posts, rails, gates, border boards for gardens, etc. which require either beauty or preservation from the violence of rain, or injury of seasons. A description of preparing the surface to be painted by filling holes and joints with a putty prepared by beating whiting and linseed oil to form a "very thick dough". It then recommended priming the surface with a coat of Spanish brown mixed "very thin" with linseed oil, "as much oil as it (the surface being painted) will drink up". Two days later a second coat of the primer was to be applied to be followed by a coat of white lead "well ground and tempered with linseed oil", applied with a bristle brush. After a second, or if necessary, a third coat, the surface was finished unless a color was desired. A timber color was achieved by mixing umber and white, and lead color by mixing indigo and white. A cheaper alternative to the coat of white lead was to continue with Spanish brown mixed stiffer than the priming coat. [34]

Three coats are used for imprinting on garden trellises, the first two are white lead, and for the other a mixture of half gray-green and half mountain-green, and a livre of this is mixed with a livre of white lead; this is the proportion always used, all of it must be in oil. [35]

For Painting Iron Works thick oil (d'huile grasse), is used or else a composition of white lead ground with nut oil (or copperas), in which lampblack or english black is mixed; this color is used on doors, railings, balconies and other iron works . . . [36]

ON LAMPBLACK USED IN PAINTING. It is of so fine a body, that if only tempered with linseed oil, it will serve to work with on most occasions without grinding. But being thus used, it will require a long time to dry, unless there be a good deal of drying oil mixed with it, or, which is better, some verdegris finely ground. This, and the drying oil together, will make it dry quickly. Some also add turpentine, which also gives it a drying quality. Without some of these ingredients it will be a long time in drying. In the substance of the color is a greasy fatness which retards the drying. To remedy this, the lamphlack has to be burnt in a fire, until it is red-hot, and ceases to smoke. It is burnt, or rather dried in the following manner. It is put into an Iron ladle, or a crucible, and set over a clear fire. Let it remain there until it is red-hot, or so near it that there is no manner of smoke . . coming from it. [37]

Earthy paints are more durable when exposed to the air than the metallic paints. White lead, in particular, by a small mixture of yellow ochre, produces a more pleasing as well as a lasting color than white lead alone, which decomposes in a year or two, in the air. The color it assumes is a cream color, and it has a full and rich appearance.

It is difficult to state when any specific formula came into general usage since most arose from combination of two or more color pigments in any pleasing ratio.

"Some colors that arise from mixture" done in a fine eighteenth century script (1723) are contained in a catalogue of pigments:

Ash color is made of white lead and lampblack. You may make the color dark or light as you please, and it is a pretty color for a common room.

A lead color is made of indigo and white.

A flesh color is made of white lead and vermilion.

A buff color is made of yellow oaker and white lead.

For a willow green take verdigrease alone.

For a light willow green take verdigrease and white lead.

For a grass green take verdigrease and pink. ("yellow-pink", i.e. Dutch or English pink).

Orange color yellow oaker and red lead

Brick color, red lead and a little white and yellow oaken

Stone color white and a little yellow. [38]

The yellow for stone and other colors seems to have been only the two forms of yellow ochre described in the same work as "much used to paint houses with".

A color resembling new OAK TIMBER (often called "wainscot color") is made of umber and white lead.

A CARNATION is made of lake and white.

A LIGHT TIMBER COLOR, spruce ochre, white and a little umber.

OLIVE-WOOD is imitated with ochre and a little white, veined over with burnt umber.

WALNUT-TREE is best imitated with ochre and a little white and veined over with the same color alone, and in the deepest places with black.

CHOCOLATE - Lampblack and Spanish brown, prepared as the blacks (with litharge and red lead as driers).

BLUE is mostly compounded with a proportion of white lead, according to the shade required, whether darker or lighter. This color does not require so much dried as many others [39]

SANDING PAINT. This was not a common practice, but known in 1744.

"The house is of wood, cut and painted so as to resemble hewn stone". Fine white sand, or the softest of free stone, pounded fine and run through a meal sifter of middling fineness. The planks (plained) are painted in the usual manner with white lead ground in oil and after the first coat is dry, give them a second (the paint a little thicker) and while it is fresh throw the sand against same, as long as it will stick, and till every part of the paint is well covered. When this dries, it should resemble stone". [40]

Eaves, shutters, windows, doors & doorcases, rails and bannisters for stair-cases, window cases, pediments, friezes and cornices, and all other timber-works which are exposed to the weather were painted for protection from the elements (sun and rain). In other cases where only certain parts of a building needed the functional protection of paint, warehouses and shops were given priming coats on doors, windows and shutters. [41]

There is indication that where naval stores were readily available, the earliest "painting" of clapboards or shingles were done in tar. [42]

OF PRESERVING TIMBER. When timber or boards, etc., have been well seasoned or dried in the sun or air, and fixed in their places, and what labour you intend is bestowed upon them, care is to be taken to defend and preserve them, to which the smearing them with linseed oil or tar, or the like oleaginous matter, contributes much to their preservation and duration.

The practice of the HOLLANDERS deserves our notice, who to preserve their gates, Port Cullis's, Draw-bridges, sluices, etc., coat them over with a mixture of pitch and tar, whereon they strew small pieces of cockles and other shells, beaten almost to powder, and mixed with sea sand; which incrust and arm it wonderfully against all assaults of wind and weather. [43]

Throughout the century tar was used to protect the lowest part of wood or brick buildings. However, framed houses of any pretension by the first quarter of the century were often painted in oil.

An English 1723 paint guide recommended:

Poles and posts are sometimes laid over only with white, which they call store color. Sometimes posts and poles are laid over with Indigo and white, which is called lead color. Window frames are laid in white, if the building be new; but if not, then they generally are laid in lead color, or Indigo and white, and the bars with red lead. Doors and gates, if painted in panels, then the shadows of a white ground are Umber and white; but if laid in a lead color, then the shadows are lifted with black. [44]

The painting of interior walls in new wood was started by rubbing the woodwork with powdered pumice/sanding. Next the primer was applied once, then twice, then the final application of paint.

A recipe for the ratio of pigments and oils in compound paint colors of the eighteenth century gives the following for either exterior arbor or garden work, or for "ballustrades and railings and to preserve wainscotting." 1 layer white céruse (white lead) ground in oil of walnut and dilute in the same oil with additions of a little litharge (yellow protoxide of lead), then give two layers of green composed of one pound of verdigrease and 2 lbs. of white lead ground and diluted in oil of walnut. [45]

This may well have been the sort of green produced by green verditer or Paris blue mixed with one of the yellow ochres.

How to scour, refresh and preserve Oil Painting.

If your painting be wainscotting, or any other joinery or carpentry work that is painted in oil, take wood ashes well sifted, which mix with water somewhat thick, then take a large strong bristle brush, and dip it in the moistened ashes, and therewith rub and scour your painting all over very gently in all places alike, and you will find that all the soil is taken off, then wash it clean with fair water, and let it dry; and you will find your painting to be near as fresh as when laid on. [46]

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