Technical Procedures Disclaimer
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We’ve reviewed these procedures for general consistency with federal standards for rehabilitating historic buildings and provide them only as a reference. Specifications should only be applied under the guidance of a qualified preservation professional who can assess the applicability of a procedure to a particular building, project or location. References to products and suppliers serve as general guidelines and do not constitute a federal endorsement nor a determination that a product or method is the best alternative or compliant with current environmental regulations and safety standards.
This standard includes guidance on the preparation of calcimine paint. It also includes general information on its composition, characteristics, advantages, disadvantages and uses.
- Water-based paint
- Whiting (ground chalk) is the primary pigment in calcimine paint
- Sometimes tinted
- Also known as Kalsomine or distemper
- Similar to whitewash paint
- Dissolves with water
- Fairly easy to make
- Easy to apply
- Easy to remove, requiring only water and elbow grease
- Non-yellowing (because there is no oil binder)
- Effective in adhering to masonry surfaces
- Effective in covering rough plaster surfaces
- Well-suited for walls and ceilings
- Moisture and abrasion sensitive
- Requires frequent maintenance
- Recoating requires complete removal of the first coat as application of a second coat tends to dissolve the glue binder and lift the first coat from the surface
- Cannot be washed as it is water-soluble
- Traditionally used as an interior finish to whiten walls and ceilings
- Used on plaster or masonry-type surfaces
- Applied in one heavy coat, as the application of multiple coats tends to soften the glue binder
- Applied with wide brushes
- May be coated over with oil-based paint Latex paint (since it is water-base) can NOT be used over calcimine paint
- Water-based paint will cause the calcimine to soften and eventually peel
- Whiting (chalk crushed to a powder) is mixed with glue size binder and water to make a paste
Prepared Dutch Kalsomine is available from Johnson Paint Company, 355 Newbury St, Boston, MA 02115, 617/536-4838. It is manufactured by the Muralo Company of Bayonne, New Jersey.