Last edited 11 May 2022


Interior Paint, A guide to internal paint finishes, published on 1 January 2007 by Historic Scotland, states: ‘From the mid-18th century onwards, distemper was the primary finish used on the plaster walls and ceilings of everyday interiors, where practicality took precedence over display. It is formed by mixing chalk powder with an animal glue binder and natural pigments to produce a soft matt finish. There are various regional names, but was sometime called “Paris White”. Often other binders were included to give added durability; such as milk and, latterly, casein, (a by-product of cheese-making) or linseed oil. This gave a “washable distemper”.’

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