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brindisi
Refinishing circa 1835 Casings

25 years ago my wife and I purchased a house we estimate was originally built around 1835. Originally it was a four room farm house (two upstairs and two downstairs). We have finally gotten around to redoing one of the original downstairs rooms and the first thing we wanted to do was to get rid of the old lead paint. The woodwork is quite intricate. The window casings and window sashes we stripped completely down to bare wood and remounted the old glass and put on new paint. The baseboard, since it had a large flat surface, I decided to scrape down. About 6 layers of paint pretty much 'popped' off with a scraper. The first layer is a dull gray and looks almost like plaster. My question is - Was it common to use a plaster like material to 'prime' the casings back in the early 1800's? The first photo attached is a shot of the baseboard prior to final sanding. The second is a shot of the window casing after the new paint finish but prior to re installation of the sashes. Thanks in advance.

MLBSF
Re: Refinishing circa 1835 Casings

my best guess is that is was more of a "white wash" than a paint, akin to a stain.

Hank Bauer
Re: Refinishing circa 1835 Casings

Do you think it could have been milk paint?

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Refinishing circa 1835 Casings

It's most likely milk paint.
Jack

brindisi
Re: Refinishing circa 1835 Casings

I was thinking that it could be milk paint but seemed kind of soft. I don't think it is white wash as I am quite familiar with that (my barn is covered with it on the inside).
Yesterday I was using a half-sheet orbital sander to sand it smooth and I note that it actually melts and builds up large globs on the sand paper.

Hank Bauer
Re: Refinishing circa 1835 Casings

Sounds like A Brilliant Whitewash which would consist of Lime,Salt,Starch (Rice Water) Whiting and Glue.
In the South it would be called Rabbit Paint (made with rabbit glue)
Also at that time period it may have been Clearcole a mixture of Size (adhesive and Whiting &/or color.
Sanding would cause the glue to melt and stick to the sand paper.

brindisi
Re: Refinishing circa 1835 Casings

After looking at several items on the web, I believe that it may in fact be clearcole. I hadn't ever heard of it before. Thinks for the lead.

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