Looks like you hit the enter button two times there Richard. The only signs of a finish on the original wood, much of which is still present, was motor oil. I can't say if the wheelbarrow ever was painted but because other implements here are painted they became my starting point. Ultramarine blue was a very common pigment for use in and around the houses here. My original examples at first appeared to also be painted with this color but I realize, now that I can make a comparison, my conclusion was based on the assumption that the paint had at least in part an aesthetic aspect. In fact I am now thinking that the paint was strictly functional to provide protection to the wood and that the paint used was the common primer which was a simple oil binder with lime and enough black pigment to make a grey coloring which would then give a uniform base under the top coat and at the same time act to deepen whatever color was used there. So the paint I thought was faded blue is actually grey, and if anything, were I aiming at a strict restoration, the wheelbarrow should be that color. Well, I'm not living in a museum and the choice I made is also a reflection of another set of values.
It's funny how the practice of fixing or renewing an old piece can give or reveal insights into the possible thought processes of our predecessors.


Don Wagstaff