Crafted for Reproduction of Original Colours From Painted Objects In The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center, Williamsburg, Virginia, In Simulated Buttermilk Paints
As paintmakers since 1816, the Old Village family has long been recognized as producers of paints that accurately exhibit the decorating colours of early American folk crafts. This tradition continues today with Old Village's appointment of noted paint Colourist and researcher, Frank Welsh to assist in the development of BUTTERMILK PAINT COLOURS from painted objects in a well known Folk Art Center assisted by the Center's curators. Genuine buttermilk paint is a product of the ingenuity of painters and stainers dating to the Middle Ages. It was common to save skim milk, allow it to curdle and mix with a combination of earthen ingredients. Formulas varied. The pigments, or natural substances ground into the pigments, resulted in finishes distinguished by a flat, matte finish that still afforded protection against wear and weather- Old Village has combined this age-old craft with modern technology to reproduce the decorative beauty of buttermilk paint with a water-based product. In selecting colours to reproduce, some may have been originally oil-based and others milk-based. In both cases, Old Village has sought to re-create the bold and unselfconscious spectrum of colours associated with painted folk art furniture and related objects.
Historic Paint Colour Consultant Frank S. Welsh inspected fourteen objects from the collections all dating from the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, chosen for their potential to yield a variety of colours. Knowing that all paints discolour with age due to the yellowing and darkening of the oil vehicles, from change in colour of some pigments and from the accumulation of surface dirt and embedded grime, Mr. Welsh found areas of the paint that were protected in order to detect the original colour. He used a hand-held magnifier, a light, and a scalpel for the examination and Munsell colour books for the visual colour matching. Mr. Welsh usually examines and analyzes paints with a stereomicroscope; however, removal of paints from the objects was not feasible for this project. Therefore, the colours are based on areas found to exhibit the cleanest and brightest colour on the object. Frequently these special areas were thicker drips under the lid of a chest or on the side of a drawer, or behind removed hardware.
In general, there is a striking difference between the present aged colour and the colours of the paints found in the protected locations. Tiny areas tell a totally different story about the striking original colouration of the objects rather than the overall yellowed or grimy appearance.
Where To Use Buttermilk Paints
OLD VILLAGE Buttermilk Paint Colours may be used for a variety of interior decorations, including architectural trim and graining or stencilling on furniture
The colours will dry to a lovely matte finish and still retain the surface texture. Multiple coats will build a longer lasting and more opaque film. A transparent stain effect can be attained by adding water.
How To Use
Sound painting practices apply to Buttermilk Paint Colours just as they do to other paints.
Some Traditional Decorative Effects
Begin each of these decorative techniques by carefully following the preceding general painting instructions.
Use a small, stiff natural brush or small piece of sponge. Both work well for applying colours to stencils. Moisten applicator thoroughly with water and dry with a paper towel. Apply a small drop of paint to applicator and rub on scrap paper to remove excess paint and to spread evenly. This is called "drying the brush and must be done. Tap the brush through the stencil from the edge toward the middle of the area to be coloured. Don't attempt to put too much colour on at first. Go back and repeat. Too little paint is preferable to a smeared and runny stencil. Use a different applicator for each colour. (Note that this method is not appropriate for the bronze and gold leaf effects seen often on painted furniture.)
For added protection and mar resistance when these paints are subject to wear and repeated washings, rub on a coat of clear paste varnish. This will enhance the beauty of the buttermilk paint finish.
OLD VILLAGE Buttermilk Colours are premixed and packaged in cans, not paper bags. No hydrated lime or any other similar product that might endanger health and safest Is used- They do not have to be stored in a refrigerator after opening. No straining Is necessary. Simply recap and they will last a long time.