Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

June, 2003

Oleoresinous Oil Based Paints

Q. I want to know the composition of old paint in buildings, because we want we want reproduce an identical painting.

A. Thank you for your email Unfortunately, all of the paints with which I'm familiar are based on modern synthetic resins. You might be able to find the relevant information in a library, such as in the Encyclopedia Britanica, but look under the heading "oleoresinous varnishes". While modern paints are synthetically made, the old paints were based on a variety of naturally ocurring oils; hence the term "oleoresinous".

A technical library might also carry the book, "Organic Coating Technology" by Henry Flemming Payne, published by John Wiley & Sons. My edition was issued in 1954. This book miight be too technical for your purposes, but it will have the information you require.

Another excellent source of material on this topic comes from a series of monographs published by the Federation of Societies for Coating Technology. You can check with the Federation at and visit their online bookstore. If possible, get their old monographs which were published in the 1960s.

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