Calcimine

Calcimine

How to make calcimine, or kalsomine.

Craftsman Style

Kalsomine, or calcimine, is much like whitewash; it is a water-paint, having a lime as a: base; but whereas whitewash is a mixture of fresh caustic water-slaked lime with water, and has enough adhesive quality to make it stick by itself fairly well, kalsomine is made of the carbonate of lime, or chalk ground to a fine powder and known as whiting, Paris white, or Spanish white, mixed not with pure water but with size, or a thin solution of glue, which is the binder.

To make calcimine, fifteen or twenty pounds of whiting are mixed with water enough to make a thick paste; half a pound of good white glue, which has previously been dissolved in water by the method already described, is added to it, and enough hot water is then added to make about one-fifth as many gallons as there are pounds of whiting; that is, five pounds of whiting make a gallon of kalsomine. When cool it will be a jelly, and is then ready for application. If it is desired to have it tinted, the color must be mixed with enough water to make a thin fluid and added to the whiting before the glue is added; at least, this is the best way, though it is often put into the hot kalsomine after it is finished, because then the color may be judged by painting out a little on a piece of paper and drying it. The color is darker when wet, and can only be judged when dry. At the same time the operator can tell if enough glue has been put in so that the kalsomine will not rub off; different kinds of glue differ in strength. If a pure white is desired, it is not uncommon to add a little ultramarine, to correct the slightly yellowish tint which would otherwise be present.

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