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Blood Paint #26897 08/03/11 03:36 PM
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D L Bahler Offline OP
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For the project I am currently involved in, I may be making a large quantity of blood paint. For those of you who do not know, blood paint is a type of tempera that uses blood serum as the binding agent. Blood serum is the liquid portion of blood with the cells removed, and is historically made by letting blood set outside for a week or so and skimming off the solids that congeal on the surface. It is not accurate to call the serum plasma, because it is more than just the blood plasma. However, with the cells removed it no longer contains the portions prone to disease and rotting.

This blood paint contains a pigment of sorts, which is usually some kind of dirt or other mineral pigment. Often times it will also contain a large amount of linseed oil but not always.

With this mixture, all three portions play an important role. The blood is an extremely durable binder, possibly the most durable binder ever used in paint. It can last for hundreds of years in full exposure to the weather. The pigment is important to preserving the wood also. It serves to block out UV light. Mineral pigments are used because they are stable and unaffected by UV light. The linseed oil (boiled is often used from what I can tell) penetrates the wood and protects it and the paint itself from insect and fungus.

Often times, instead of the oil being in the paint, the wood is first impregnated with linseed oil. Either way, the oil does help the paint to adhere to the wood.

According to tradition, there is a door on a house in Denmark that was painted with a single coat of Ox Blood paint in 1690, and has not been re-coated or repainted since. (Priors Hus, Ærøskøbing)

That is what I do know...

Now, I am in the search for suitable pigments. Historically many different pigments have been used. I know that this type of paint was used in German speaking lands to paint about any exterior exposed wood. However, from region to region the pigment used varies quite a bit. For example, in Zürich the paint is always a deep red, which is not from the blood but from an oxide ocher prominent in the region. However, in Bern the paint is a very dark brown, once again due to local pigments. In Germany, various shades of brown and red are used, with some reds fairly bright. However, it is always the case that a building will be painted the same color as those around it.
In France, it seems the color of the paint varies a lot in a single town (though I am not certain that blood paint was used here)

I am interested in what natural materials I may be able to get from around me here that would yield the desirable colors. I am particularly interested in a dark brown. I am exclusively looking for mineral colors. We have an abundance of peat-rich soil, which is a black-brown. However, I have my doubts as to its stability over time since its color is do to the presence of the peat, which is partially rotted plant matter.

DLB


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Re: Blood Paint #26901 08/04/11 01:19 PM
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daiku Offline
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My brother used a similar blood binder in the rammed earth floor of his strawbale house. They ended up tiling over it because the smell was so strong. Just a data point for you. CB.

PS: Coffee is brown.


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Clark Bremer
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Re: Blood Paint #26904 08/04/11 08:40 PM
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D L Bahler Offline OP
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Did they remove the solids from the blood as I mentioned here? As I understands it, the solids will spoil and produce a foul smell but the serum will not. A lot of paint recipes don's say anything about separating the two, but to me it seems like it should certainly be done. It should be mentioned though, this would also be an exterior application.

It apparently used to be common practice in some places for people with dirt floor houses to pour the serum on their floors to help harden them. Linseed oil was also apparently used in this way...

DLB


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Re: Blood Paint #26915 08/07/11 04:07 AM
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Tim Reilly Offline
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Wow! Very cool. Thanks for the information DLB. I am really interested in trying this myself now smile

Cheers,

Tim

Re: Blood Paint #26916 08/07/11 04:41 AM
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Tim Reilly Offline
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Wow! Very cool. Thanks for the information DLB. I am really interested in trying this myself now smile

Cheers,

Tim

Re: Blood Paint #26918 08/07/11 02:11 PM
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Cecile en Don Wa Offline
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Hello,

Alternative for a bucket o' blood from the butcher - if you have one in your neighborhood - dried blood pellets from the garden shop. Beter check what's in it. Mostly it will just be blood though. Also it's a way to keep it on hand for when needed 'cause you can't store up fresh blood to long. I have used in clay work, (flooring), along with linseed oil mixed in there, with great success giving improved hardness and bonding, no undesirable after effects once dried.

Greetings,

Don Wagstaff

Re: Blood Paint #26921 08/07/11 04:49 PM
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D L Bahler Offline OP
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Don, for myself personally obtaining blood is no problem. As a hunter, I have access to all the deer blood I would want. Also I help butcher some times and as such can have access to cow blood. I suspect that hog blood should be avoided though, and until anyone proves to me otherwise I refuse to use it.

For others though, getting blood may not be so easy and so your suggestion of blood pellets is a good thing. Thanks for the idea. It would also be good as you said for use during a time when fresh blood cannot be had, which is most of the year since we butcher in the late fall or winter. Also most people can't get the blood, because local butcher shops do not slaughter their own animals any more but buy them pre-skinned and ready to carve.

Another thing about blood pellets is that it may significantly reduce the 'nasty factor'. You dont have to gather and separate the blood, which is a big plus, and you dont have to store liquid blood.

It is also possible to freeze the blood serum, and store it that way.

I am still looking for information on pigments, especially natural earth pigments that can well stand up to UV rays. In blood paint on timbers, the main purpose of the pigment is to shield the wood from UV light.

As understand it, dirt is just a fine pigment. The only problem with using regular soil is that it is inconsistent in its color. This may not be a problem for you when you first paint, but later when you have to repaint, or maybe add on and must paint the new to match the old you may have a very hard time finding new dirt to match the old. So for consistency, it is good to 'mine' a pigment from somewhere with a very consistent color to it, which was certainly done in the past, or even better is to produce your own pigment through chemical process. An example of this is the Red Oxide pigment used to paint many old barns in America, which could be simply made by extractive iron oxide from the soil. This substance is very abundant in America (around here, our drinking water is slightly orange before going through the softener because there is so much iron in it)and blocks UV light very well, which explains its popularity as a wood cover. You can also obtain black oxides and yellow oxides from iron-rich deposits. Around here I can simply obtain a deep orange oxide from he ground, especially along creek banks that run near peat bogs.

In other instances, the prevalent paint color used is a result of significant mineral deposits in the area.


Was de eine ilchtet isch fr angeri villech nid so klar.
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Re: Blood Paint [Re: D L Bahler] #29405 07/10/12 07:07 AM
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D Wagstaff Offline
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Hello,

Some results of the trip to the butcher:


Greetings,

Don Wagstaff

Re: Blood Paint [Re: D Wagstaff] #29406 07/10/12 03:53 PM
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D L Bahler Offline OP
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Don,
photos don't seem to load
even when I click "open image in new tab"


Was de eine ilchtet isch fr angeri villech nid so klar.
http://riegelbau.wordpress.com/
Re: Blood Paint [Re: D L Bahler] #29407 07/10/12 08:50 PM
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D Wagstaff Offline
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Hi Dave,

Strange, I have them right here before my eyes on my computer. I'll try this though;


And then go here for the moving pictures.

Hope that helps.

Don Wagstaff

Last edited by D Wagstaff; 07/10/12 08:51 PM. Reason: latenight
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