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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Inspired by checking into Calcimine, I wondered, more generally, if any of you have ever had occasion to make a paint or finish product from raw ingredients?

If so, how did it turn out? And, was it fun/difficult/worth it?





I've got a handful of raw ingredients and pigments in my basement, and I've been flirting with the idea for awhile now. Looks like I have an excuse to try!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Should this thread have been in the "General Painting Discussion" forum?
 

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I was a manger at a "batch plant" once. We made a lot of stuff from raw materials. I did help with some of the production when things were busy.
 
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Inspired by checking into Calcimine, I wondered, more generally, if any of you have ever had occasion to make a paint or finish product from raw ingredients?

If so, how did it turn out? And, was it fun/difficult/worth it?





I've got a handful of raw ingredients and pigments in my basement, and I've been flirting with the idea for awhile now. Looks like I have an excuse to try!
As a hobby, it would be fun. But as a means to produce an individuals own special product, it lacks the controls and testing that established manufacturers can afford. Plus, without a UL approval, it's unlikely you can warranty the product.

It's cheaper and better to just buy it off the shelf in my opinion.
 

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I started as apprentice painter in 1974 in good old USSR and we were making our own paint like calcimine but little different ingredients - powdered chalk + boiled soap shavings ( to make it slide better ) boiled carpenter glue that came in chips and was made from bones ( so they told me ) and colorants . To paint a wall with that stuff took 3 painters - one cut in the top , another one - the bottom and one with roller - otherwise it would look uneven in . color . The leftover of that paint actually start stinking after 2 days ! We got latex paint only in 1978 .
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Cool! My wife is from USSR! :) We go to visit Nizhny Novgorod all the time (and a few other places her family lives). I'm curious to know how they did historic painting in Russia. In the center district of NN there are all these beautiful wooden buildings from the 18th and 19th century. I would like to take a crew, and just go one by one and restore them. They have amazing trim carvings, some hand carved, and others 'modern' millwork. I could post some pictures.

What is that white paint they put on the trees? I'm told it's to help them survive the winter, but our trees and canada's trees do just fine without it.

-JH

I started as apprentice painter in 1974 in good old USSR and we were making our own paint like calcimine but little different ingredients - powdered chalk + boiled soap shavings ( to make it slide better ) boiled carpenter glue that came in chips and was made from bones ( so they told me ) and colorants . To paint a wall with that stuff took 3 painters - one cut in the top , another one - the bottom and one with roller - otherwise it would look uneven in . color . The leftover of that paint actually start stinking after 2 days ! We got latex paint only in 1978 .
 

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I've never made paint, but as a 4th generation painter, I often heard stories from my dad and granddad about doing so. It was one heckuva a challenge by all accounts. Pigment, lead, etc. I'm sure getting a color match was a breeze, lol.
 

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My understanding is that in the really old days when all painters made their own stuff, half of your job was keeping your recipes an absolute secret so that nobody else could recreate your products.

As an aside, paints around the world really are incredibly different. A girl who works at my local paint shop just got back from a trip visiting relatives in Europe. For some dumb reason she was helping an uncle to some painting. When they went to the store to get paint, she asked for a few stir sticks. Staff responded "We don't give those out." She asked why they weren't gonna shake the can. Staff responded "Paint doesn't get shaken." She said that when they got home and got working, the paint 'plopped' out of the can like a can of cranberry sauce. Stuff was thick as mush.

She said the whole experience was totally bizarre.
 

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My wife and I go to Mexico every year, and there's a little place in Puerto Vallarta. It's a little shop about 15 feet wide by about 30 feet deep. He's got 50 pound bags of titanium dioxide. And he climbs up on a three-step ladder cuts the bag and dumps it into about 100 gallon drum/ washing machine looking contraption. Add some water, and spins it up. Of course he adds some other stuff in unmarked bags. The dust that flies around is incredible. There's a spigot at the bottom of the drum and he fills up 1 gallon cans, presto Mexican paint. Oh. And probably lung cancer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I did have to add a lot of extra black pigment to a stock color for my customer once. It did not dry well! Especially not in Nov!! I stopped by every evening to wipe the waxy substance off the surface on my way home, until, eventually, it cured.
 

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My wife and I go to Mexico every year, and there's a little place in Puerto Vallarta. It's a little shop about 15 feet wide by about 30 feet deep. He's got 50 pound bags of titanium dioxide. And he climbs up on a three-step ladder cuts the bag and dumps it into about 100 gallon drum/ washing machine looking contraption. Add some water, and spins it up. Of course he adds some other stuff in unmarked bags. The dust that flies around is incredible. There's a spigot at the bottom of the drum and he fills up 1 gallon cans, presto Mexican paint. Oh. And probably lung cancer.
That was the local SW plant btw.
 

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I worked for a company called "Mesquite Vally Paint" in Tucson AZ near down town a couple blocks south of Broadway. They were also painting contractors. He made his own paint. I would help sometimes. He also had huge 100g vats on a big mixer that looked like a giant bread mixer, lots of 5g drums and 5g buckets. The worst part was adding the concentrated ammonia to the semigloss. It was the first painting company I worked at and I remember the fist job he gave me was cleaning all the airless sprayers with lacquer thinner.
 
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