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Thursday, December 27, 2018

Pozzolana Paint Formulations/ Roman Tradition

'Chalk Paint' is essentially gouache with acrylic/ vinyl binders making the dried surface insensitive to water.

Mt. Vesuvius ( Naples, Campania in Italy) erupted periodically for centuries providing 'pozzolana ' clay ( meta-kaolin) which the Romans used to make concreate.

Of course, as a chemist, I produce 'pozzolana' thermally at 600 deg.C for 2-3 hrs. Temperature and time are important , otherwise you will generate alumina.


I mix the meta-kaolin with commercial latex ( actually a misnomer; it has higher content of vinyls vs. acrylics) , dye or pigment and another additive (secret at this point). I also add some additional 'polyacrylic ester' to boost quality of the formulation.

Artists use the 'acrylic paints ' ( more expensive but longer-lasting painted surfaces) .

Furniture finishers often use chalk paints ( calcium carbonate or plaster of paris) to produce the distinctive matte coloration.

I am currently completing this artwork using my 'pozzolana paint' formulations. Brush flow, drying time are excellent.



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