Properties and Uses of Calcimine Paint
- Procedure code:
- Interiors Handbook for Historic Interiors, Vol, II
- Last Modified:
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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.