August 2004 Newsletter

Home made Paint Recipes:

From an Interesting Danish site with 20 recipes for home made paint

20 RECIPIES for traditional types of PAINTS from Denmark

By Søren Vadstrup


There could be many different reasons why you would want to paint the woodwork or the masonry of a house. Maybe it is because of a delight in colours, or just because of tradition, habits or a wish to emphasize particular details.

The starting point for the majority of the following types of paints intended for woodwork or masonry is mainly that they must preserve the underlying wood or the brickwork for as long as possible.

Therefore, they first of all have great covering power against the sunlight (pigmentated), secondly they are porous (open to diffusion), so that the humidity contained in the wood can evaporate and thirdly they are much weaker than the material they cover, whether it is wood or masonry.

Emulsion paint is a very strong paint suitable for all kinds of purposes. However, it is too strong for outdoor woodwork or brickstone and furthermore it is dense and unflexible. The plastics do not go very well with alteration and changes of old materials caused by humidity, temperature and natural decomposition. Beyond this, emulsion paint pollutes our environment both in the course of its manufacture as well as application and decomposition.

Finally, it must be added that there have been enormous economic consequences on society in all its aspects because of the many problems due to damaged wood and masonry (often quite new) as a result of an incorrect treatment with emulsion paint.

All the paints mentioned in the following recipes solely contain binders that are environmentally degradable as they consist of harmless materials, that are completely decomposed in the nature. The paints neither contain any dangerous solvents nor preservatives that affect the surrounding's while they dry up.

It may seem a paradox that paints containing such weak materials as linseed oil, flour, casein (buttermilk), paste, wax etc. are suitable for anything at all. On the contrary we have thousands of years of experience with some of the paints while we only can relate to some of the other kinds for the last ten, twenty or maybe hundred years.

All of the 20 mentioned types of paint are well tested and they turned out to be very different. Some are "strong", some are very delicate and weak, some are for indoor use, while others are preserved well outdoor and some are suitable for planned wood and others for rough wood.

Unfortunately only a few of these 20 types of paint can be bought ready-for-use on the market (only paint made from linseed oil plus distemper made from cellulose-glue or casein-glue) and sadly enough only very few professional house painters and decorators are interested in these paints or even know them and know how to prepare them.

Anyhow, returning to the aesthetic aspect when painting your own house, experience shows that in contrast to various modern products of surface treatment, old types of paint are far more beautiful, whether they are quite new or going through their natural phase of decomposition.

OVERVIEW of traditional and natural PAINTS

A: Oil Paints

1. Oilpaint made from boiled linseed oil

2. Oilpaint made from raw linseed oil

3. Oilpaint made from wood tar

4. Oilpaint made from fish-oil

B: Glue Paints

1. Distemper made from animal glue

2. Distemper made from cellulose-glue

3. Moss-colour (Carragen-glue-colour)

4. Distemper made from beer

5. Distemper made from potato flour (Sichell-glue)

6. Distemper made from flour-paste

7. Distemper made from flour-porridge (Swedish mud-colour)

8. Distemper made from casein.

C: Tempera Paints

1. Glue tempera made from animal or vegetable glue

2. Paste tempera made from flourpaste

3. Paste tempera made from flour porridge

4. Casein tempera

5. Soap tempera

6. Egg and oil tempera

7. Waxcasein tempera 8.Oxblood

A: Oil Paints


All pigments are suitable for the preparation of oilpaints, apart from some of the real earthern colours as terra di Siena, earth green and chalk white.

How to use:

Oilpaints can be used on planed and rough wood. Some of the oilpaints are completely fast and weatherproof. Paints made from linseed oil can be used both indoors and outdoors.


The paints must be coated on the surface in very thin layers, 2 or 3 layers that contain still more linseed oil in proportion to the pigment. The drying demands a large amount of daylight (but not direct sunlight) and air. Do not mix the paint with white spirit.

a1: Paints made from linseed varnish:

1 litre of boiled linseed oil (linseed varnish) is added to about 1/2 kg of pigment. The precise amount of pigment depends of the colour, the product and the oil. First a thick paste is well mixed and then more linseed varnish is added until the paint seems suitable to cover and put on. If necessary, max. 5 per cent of the so called "drier" or "siccative" is added to cut down the drying process of the paint layer. Some times the varnish contains drier already.

White linseed oil paint can be made from 2 white pigments: Titan white and zinc white in the proportion of 8:2 (80% of titan white and 20 % of zinc white) because the titan white makes a porous and faint paint while the zinc white makes a very hard, tight and hard-wearing paint.

Qualities: Half mat, often with visible strokes of the brush. The paint turns vaguely yellow in the dark but is bleached by daylight.

Drying: 48 hours - depending on the pigment.

Use: Planed wood both indoors and outdoors, for instance windows.

Durability: 10-15 years. After 5-10 years a coating of linseed varnish or raw linseed oil must be given to maintain the qualities.

a2: Paint made from raw linseed oil.

This paint is made as the paint mentioned in the recipe a1, - paint made from linseed varnish -, but instead of adding the linseed varnish, raw linseed oil is added.

Qualities: Half glossy. Wheatherproof and fast.

Drying: 48 hours - depending on the pigment.

Use: Planed wood both indoors and outdoors, for instance windows.

Durability: About 10 years. After 5-10 years a coating of linseed varnish or raw linseed-oil must be given to maintain the qualities.

a3: Paint made from wood tar:

The wood tar can be used without dilution, but it does demand either heating of the tar or preparation in nice hot wheater, while the tar is very thick. The colour of the wood tar is light brown, but it becomes darker in the course of time.

If you wish to use the wood tar as a binder/glue for a pigmentized surface treatment it will be an advantage, - all though not necessary, to dilute the tar. 1 litre of wood tar can for instance be diluted with 1 litre of linseed oil. Depending on the wheather and the temperature as already mentionned, the mixture might seem too heavy and an additional thinner can be added, such as white spirit, kerosene or even the so called "wood preservation". This mixture is added an adequate amount of "colour paste", prepared from some of the binder mixed with the pigment.

Qualities: Mat and relatively rough and shimmering surface and appearance. Weather proof and fast, but wild probably smell of wood tar in the beginning. The paint turns darker in the shadow but is bleached by daylight. If the paint gets wet, by rain for instance, the colour will be tinged with white (saponification), but when this will disappear when the paint dries up.

Drying: About 3 weeks.

How to use: Outdoors on rough wood.

Durability: About 10 years. After 5-10 years a coating of linseed varnish or wood tar can be given.

a4: Paints made from fish-oil:

An old Greenland recipe states that 2 kg of train oil (seal- or whale cod-liver oil or blubber) is added 300 gm of crushed resin and about 1 kg of red iron oxide.

The ingredients must be boiling when they are mixed. First some of the train is heated up until boiling point and then the crushed resin is added and eventually the remains of the train oil. When the mixture is boiling the pigment is added while stirring.

If the preparation is done on an open fire you must be careful that the train oil does not catch fire. If occasion should arise close the lid tightly.

You can also use cod-liver oil as a binder and mix it with the pigment. Fish-oil paint made from cod-liver oil does not hardly smell at all and it will dry up in a couple of weeks, depending on the pigment.

Qualities: Mat and relatively rough with an uneven surface and appearance. Weather proof and fast. Will smell of fish oil in the beginning.

Drying: About 2 weeks.

How to use: On rough wood outdoors.

Durability: About 10 years. After 5-10 years a coating of linseed varnish must be given to maintain the qualities.

B: Glue Paints


All pigments are suitable for the preparation of gluepaints, apart from black oxide that can be hard to work with and Terra di Siena that can be difficult to mix with certain types of glue. White gluepaint is prepared with whiting as a pigment.

How to use:

The major part of gluepaints can only be used indoors, where they will appear very mat, colourful and beautiful. In return they are very delicate towards wear, grease and stains of water, that only can be removed by repainting the surface. The most attractive quality of the gluepaints is its beautiful reflection of light due to the grains of pigment that are lying on the top of the paint layer.

Particularly strong colours as red, green and blue, when not mixed uith white, will appear with a velvety reflection of light. The colours often appear even more beautiful if they are mixed with some black pigment. You "make the colour dirty" as it is said.

If you wish to add a certain tint to the colour by preparing the colour from different basal pigments, you can either mix all the pigments into one pigment-paste or you can put them in water one by one and eventually mix them all.

It is advisable to look at the nuances of the colour only in daylight and never in artificial light. Painting with glue-paint should also only be done in daylight.

Do not keep the gluepaint in an iron or tin container for a longer period, as it can become rusty. The most suitable material for the keeping of the gluepaints are plastic paint pots with tight lids.

Gluepaint made from chalk white can decompose in the pot, if it is not used for a long time. The same will happen if a wall painted with gluepaint is humidified for a long period.

Repainting with gluepaint:

When the layer of gluepaint has become old and stained you can wash the old paint off with clean water and then, when the wall has dried up, you can paint again with gluepaint. The method you can use is to weet the old paint layer with water and bold strokes of the brush (large brush) and then "pull off" the paintlayer with a sponge, that is frequently rinsed in clean water. In this way you avoid that the paint is running down the wall and on to the floor.

Another method is to apply a "sealer" on the old paint layer by using soapsuds (1/2 kg of soap and 3/4 litre of hot water). When the wall is completely dry, you can repaint it with gluepaint.


The last-mentioned method can be used when you do smal, repair work. If you have kept the remains of the original gluepaint in a paint pot - as dried lumps, these can be grated on a grater and mixed with a suitable amount of water and then be used again as a new gluepaint, without adding more glue.

b1: Distemper made from animal glue (bone glue or skin glue).

Skin glue is made from raw hides,- often refuses of skin from the tanneries, that among other things are boiled and the gelatine is extracted. The glue is also called a leather glue and is sold in powder form or as plates. Skin glue that is extracted from rabbit skin is containing the requisite quantity of glue and that is why it is v%ry suitable for glue paint.

Bone glue is extracted by boiling degreased animal-bones, -gristle and -horn. The glue is also called "joiners glue" and is sold as crushed glue or pearl glue. Bone glue does not contain the same requisite quantity of glue that skin glue does and that is why the last mentioned is preferred for the preparation of gluepaint.

When preparing the gluepaint the first thing you must do is to to soak the pigment powder in water. A rule of thumb is that 1 kg of pigment gives 1 litre of gluepaint. As different pigments absorb highly different amounts of glue the rule of thumb does not work exactly every time. We shall return to this subject later on.

First you must soak the pigment powder in half the amount of water, that is 1 kg of pigment to 0,5 litre of water. Let the pigment macerate for some time for instance through the night, in the way that all the the pigment grains are well water-saturated. Mix the so called pigment paste well afterwards.

The next step is to prepare an amount of glue that will correspond to the other half of the gluepaint that you wish to use.The skin glue is poured in cold water in the proportion 1:1. Absorbing the water the glue will swell (expand) in a couple of hours. You now heat up this mixture of water and glue in a water bath, but be careful that the mixture does not boil.

After this, you pour about 5/6 of the pigment paste into a paint pot and then you add 5/6 of the hot glue and stir thoroughly. More water can be added if necessary. The consistency required must be thick like junket.

It is now the time to brush out a sample of this temporary glue paint mix, preferably on a surface that correspond to the one you plan to paint on. When this paint layer is dry, - if necessary the drying time can be speeded up with heat - , you can check if the gluepaint is containing the requisite quantity of glue or not by touching the paint layer. If it comes off it is not containing the requisite quantity of glue and more glue must be added. If the paint is too glossy and without the reflection of light, that is characteristic for gluepaint, more pigment paste must be ad`ed. You repeat the brushing out of samples until the gluepaint is satisactory.

The gluepaint can be applied on any kind of absorbing material: Paper, setting coat on a wall, rough or planed wood. Experience shows that a pretreatment with thin soapy water (1/2 kg of soft soap and 3 - 4 litres of hot water) will make it easier to apply the paint, while the dried soap will macerate the material on which the paint is applied and will delay the penetration of the gluepaint, which makes it possible to work with wet paints. 1 or 2 layers of soapsuds can be used when applying new layers of paint or if you wish to change the colours because the dried soap will seal the old paint layer.

After this, the gluepaint is applied with a specific brush suitable for gluepaint, that is to say a relatively broad brush with hair arranged in bundles. While applying the paint it must never dry and you must work gently and quickly. It will often be necessary to apply two coats of paint, and if so you must make sure that the first paint layer is well dry before you apply the next.

Qualities: Mat with a beautiful reflection of light. Though gluepaint does not come off, it is neither hard wearing nor washable. Stains of grease cannot be removed.

Drying: 2 hours.

Use: Only indoors and only on absorbing materials: Paper, setting coat (dry) on a wall, rough or planed wood.

Durability: It depends on the circumstances.

b2: Distemper made from cellulose-glue.

Cellulose-glue is made from the wadding contained in conifer wood that is pulverized and treated with alkaline salt. Cellulose-glue is thereby a so called vegetable glue (plant glue) and is also called paste or methylcellulose. You can buy it as a powder and it is the most popular glue used for gluepaints, while it is very easy and quick to mix with plain cold water.

Cellulose-glue is more elastic than the animal glue and that is why even a "glued over" paint layer will not peel off. The paint is drying up when the water is evaporating. The glue is not poisonous.

The proportion between the glue powder and the water appear from the packing, but in most cases it is 1 part of glue to 25 parts of water.

The preparation of the gluepaint is done in the same way as described in "gluepaints made from animal glue". The pigment is soaked in water the day before use so that the consistency does not become to thin. The glue is made from the recipe on the package.

The glue and the pigment-paste are now in each pot. In a third pot you pour 5/6 of the glue with 5/6 of the pigment-paste and you can now brush out a sample. When the colour is dry you must test if it comes off and if so, you must add more glue . If the paint is too glossy you must add more pigment-paste. If the paint itself seems too thick, you must add more water. The consistency required must bee like junket.

Qualities: Mat with a beautiful reflection of light. Though gluepaint does not come off, it is neither hardwearing nor washable. Stains of grease cannot be removed.

Drying: 2 hours

Use: Only indoors and only on absorbing materials: Paper, setting coat (dry) on a wall, rough or processed wood.

Durability: It varies, depending on the circumstances.

b3: Distemper with a decoction of Iceland moss.

The glue in moss-colour, the so called Iceland moss, is neither connected with Iceland nor moss. It consists of an aqueous extract from different kinds of lichen and alga, for instance the carragen, that grows in Ireland.

The moss-colour is suitable for painting of ceilings, because the glue is very weak, which makes it easy to wash off the paint if you wish to repaint the surface and it leaves the most beautiful mat and clear surface with extreme reflections of light. Apart from this it has an adequate viscosity that prevents the paint from "running" down the brush. As a pigment you can use whiting.

Moss-colour can be bought in pre-mixed packages and you just have to add some water.

Qualities: Mat with a beautiful reflection of light. Will come off.

Drying: 2 hours

Use: Only indoors and only on absorbing materials: Paper, setting coat (dry), rough or planed wood. It is mainly used on ceilings (ceiling paint).

b4: Distemper made from beer:

Distemper made from beer is prepared by mixing pigment and beer (Dark lager as "Rød Tuborg" or "Gamle Carlsberg" is said to be the best) in a way that the paint is having great covering power and is easy to apply.

When working with minor works, dor instance decorating like woodgraining or marbling, the beer-colour is often mixed on the palette. The pigment is placed on the palettte, if necessary mixed with other pigments. You dip the brush in the beer and mix the colour on the palette. Use an artistic brush.

Beer paint is often glazing but not waterproof. If you apply a lacquer afterwards it will make it waterproof.

Qualities: Mat with a beautiful reflection of light. Some of the pigments are glazing but they do not come off.

Drying: 1-2 hours.

Uqg: Only indoors and only on absorbing material: Paper, setting coat (dry), rough or planed wood.

b5: Distemper made from potato flour (painters glue or Sichel-glue)

The glue "painters glue" or Sichel glue are made from potato flour and can be bought in a dry form. The glue powder is mixed with water and stands for 5-10 minutes after which the plant glue is prepared as described under "distemper made from animal glue", (b1).

Qualities, drying and use are the same as "distemper made from cellulose".

b6: Distemper made from flour-paste (cask glue)

The binder is made from an adequate amount of flour stirred into cold water until a paste free from lumps is reached. Still stirring, you add boiling water until a jelly-like flour-glue, free from lumps, is produced. You can also buy flour glue under the name of "Fustagelim", (cask glue).

This glue is mixed with the pigment, macerated with water into a thick pigment-paste, and you add water or glue until the distemper has a great covering power and is easy to apply and does not come off. You can test this by brushing out one or more samples.

If you tend to keep the distemper for a longer period you must add a preservative.

Qualities, drying and use are as described under "Distemper made from cellulose", apart from the fact that distemper made from fl/ur has a marked tendency to become mouldy if the painted wall is cold or humid for some length of time.

b7: Distemper made from rye flour-porridge (swedish mud-colour)

This distemper has a classic reddish brown colour and is called "swedish red colour". It is mainly used outdoors and is particularly known from the numerous "swedish red" wooden houses. The paint can have other colours as: yellow (golden ochre), black (lampblack), brown (umber), white. blue or green.

The oldest and most used pigment is however the "Falu-red", a by-product that is generated when extracting copper up in the mountains of "Store Kopperberg" at the town of Falun in the middle of Sweden. A recipe on this so called mud-colour from the beginning of the eighteenth century goes like this:

2 kg of ferrous sulphate is dissolved into 50 litres of boiling water. In this dissolution 2 - 2 1/2 kg of finely grounded rye or wheat flour is whisked in. After 15 minutes of boiling and stirring 8 kg of red colour pigment is added while stirring energetically. Let this mixture boil for another 15 minutes and the paint is ready. If necessary you can add 1 - 1 1/2 litres of linseed oil, wood tar or fish oil or cod-liver oil to make the paint stronger.

The ferrous sulphate is mainly used to block for the algae. As the ferrous sulphate will become rusty in the course of time the colour will become darker and darker. When painting with yellow, green and blue and other lighter colours zinc sulphate is used instead of ferrous sulphate to block for the algae.

Qualities: Mat. Weatherproof but not washable. Will normally cover after just one coat of paint. The pigment "Falu-red" is non-inflammable.

Drying: 2 hours.

Use: Only on rough, dried wood.

Durability: About 10-15 years. Dark colours will last longer than the the light ones.

b8: Distemper made from casein

100 gm of dry casein is stirred into 200 ml of water. Then you add 800 ml of hot water (not boiling).

While still stirring you add 20-25 gm of powdered ammonia (ammomium hydrogen carbonate) for each litre of dissolution of casein. During this proces the mixture will effervesce notably and there-fore it is very important, that you mix the glue in a big pot from the start. When the glue is not effervescing any longer you add 5 ml of "Ata-mon" (antimould) a litre.

Instead of dry casein you can use 200 gm of curd mixed in 1 litre of hot water. You must still remember to add 20-25 gm of powdered ammonia for each litre of dissolution of casein plus the antimould.

You now add the pigment to the glue (about 1/2 kg of pigment is used for one litre of glue, depending on the pigment). But first you must prepare some pigment paste and make sure that it is well mixed and that it is of a thick consistency.

Afterwards, glue is added until the paint has great covering power and is easy to apply. Check that the paint does not come off by brushing out some samples on an adequate material.

Qualities: Mat. Weatherproof but not washable.

Drying: 1/2 hour.

Use: Indoors on setting coats, paper, plasterboard or wood. Outdoors on rough wood and on setting coats. Casein paint is among other things very suitable on a quite new setting coat, while the paint will dry easily on this basic material.

Durability: 5-10 years.

Distemper made from calcimine and casein A variation of the casein-gluepaint is prepared by mixing the whitewash or limewater with a spot of casein, in the form of dry casein dissolved in hot water or in the form of buttermilk, skimmed milk or curd. In this way the limewash is able to contain more pigment, as the casein is providing the requisite quantity of glue to the lime. Intensification of the lime with casein is often used when painting with strong colours (red, blue, green and black); But you must be aware of the fact that you change the lime-wash into a gluepaint, which will affect the surface tension, the tempering process and the adherence to the material on which you are applying the paint.

C: Tempera Paints

When preparing tempera paints (latin: temparare = to mix in the right proportions) you mix the oil of the oilpaints with the water of the gluepaints, and in so doing make the oil emulsify from an oil phase into a aqueous phase.


All pigments are suitable for the preparation of tempera-paints apart from certain genuine earthern colours as terra di Siena, earth green and chalk.

How to use:

All tempera paints are water- and weatherproof and can be used both indoors and outdoors.

c1. Glue tempera made from cellulose-glue.

1 part of raw linseed oil (if necessary linseed varnish) to 1 part of cellulose-glue (texture like junket) are well mixed. 5 ml of "Atamon" per litre is added to prevent mould growth.

From this glue you prepare a pigment paste made from, for instance, 1 kg of pigment mixed with an adequate amount of glue until the paint is easy to apply and has a covering power. Check that the paint does not come off by brushing out some samples on a suitable material.

Qualities: Semi mat. The paint is weatherproof and does not come off.

Drying: 2 hours.

Use: Indoors on setting coats, paper, plasterboard or wood. Outdoors oJ planed or rough wood.

Durability: 5-10 years.

c2: Paste tempera made from flourpaste (cask glue).

1 part of linseed oil is stirred into 1 part of cask glue (flourpaste). You can either buy the flour glue under the name of "fustagelim" (cask glue) or prepare it yourself by mixing water and wheatflour into a jelly-like glue. Add 5 ml of "Atamon" (antimould) per litre.

The pigment (about 1/2 kg is used for the preparation of 1 kg of paint, - depending on the pigment) is thoroughly mixed with water in order to reach a thick pigment paste. Then you gradually add the binder until the paint seems easy to apply and does not come off. You can test this by brushing out some samples on a suitable material.

Qualities: Mat. The paint is wheaterproof but it has a vague tendency to come off.

Drying: 1 hour

Usd: Indoors on setting coats, paper, plasterboard or wood. Outdoors on rough wood.

Durability: About 5-10 years.

c3: Paste-tempera made from rye flour-porridge.

Paste-tempera is prepared by mixing the pigment and 1/2 - 1 litre of linseed oil or wood-tar with the distemper made from rye flour-porridge as described in the recipe b7, "swedish mud-colour". In this way the paint will not come off any longer.

If you wish to obtain a better adherence, - to processed wood for instance, you just let the paint boil for a longer time, 1 hour for instance.

Qualities: Mat. Wheatherproof but not washable.

Drying: 2-3 hours.

Use: Only outdoors on rough or planed wood.

Durability: About 10-15 years.

c4. Casein tempera

1 part of linseed oil is stirred into 2 parts of butter milk and 20-25 gm of powdered ammonia is added per litre of paint. With this glue and some pigment you prepare a pigment-paste and by gradually adding more glue while you carefully stir the mixture, you end up with a good paint that will have a covering power. You can add 100 gm of ferrous sulphate per litre to avoid alga on the wood. N.B: You can only use the ferrous sulphate when preparing dark colours while it will become rusty. When preparing light colours you must use zinc vitriol or "Atamon"(antimould).

You can only prepare casein-tempera by mixing linseed oil with casein-paint as described in the recipe b8. 1 part of linseed oil to 2 parts of casein-paint/casein-dissolution.

Qualities: Semi mat. The paint is wheatherproof and does not come off.

Drying: 1 hour.

Use: Indoors on setting coats, paper., plaster-board or wood. Outdoors mainly on rough wood or setting coats.

Dureability: 10-15 years.

c5: Soap tempera

1 part of soft soap is well mixed with 2 parts of linseed oil and some powdered ammonia is added (20-25 gm per litre). Some of this glue/binder is used for the preparation of a pigment paste with the bulk of the pigment. When this paste is well mixed you add more pigment and glue (oil/soap emulsion) until the paint seems easy to apply. Check that the paint does not come off by brushing out some samples on a suitable material.

Qualities: Half glossy and a little shining. The paint is wheatherproof and has a vague tendency to come off. It is not washable.

Drying: 6 hours.

Use: Only outdoors on rough wood or setting coats.

Durability: About 5 years. Experience shows that on a setting coat the paint will endure - for more than 20 years.

c6: Egg and oil tempera

Ingredients: 1 part of egg (both the yolk and the egg white), 1 part of boiled linseed oil (linseed oil varnish) and 1 part of water. First you whip the eggs very well with the same amount of linseed oil. Afterwards you add the water little by little while stirring so that the water and the linseed oil are dispersed, - in other words the egg makes the mixture emulsify. The pigments are well mixed with the binder to get a thick paste, after which the remains of the binder is added.

Qualities: Half glossy or high glossy. The paint is wheather-proof and will not come off.

Drying: 1 hour - depending on the pigment.

Use: Rough or planed wood, both indoors and out-doors.

Durability: 20-25 years.

c7: Waxcasein tempera

3 parts of hot casein-glue (recipe no. b8) is mixed with 1 part of melted beeswax. The beeswax is melting at 64 degrees C and is poured into the hot glue while stirring. Into this hot mixture you now pour the pigment in the usual way, that is you first mix a thick pigmentpaste with all the pigment and some of the binder, after which you add more binder until the paint seems easy to apply and has a covering power and furthermore does not come off.

The amount of wax varies. If you add more wax the paint will turn out more glossy and vice versa.

Qualities: Half glossy. The paint is wheatherproof and does not come off.

Drying: 10-15 minutes, depending on the pigment.

Use: Rough or planed wood, mainly indoors. Masonry and setting coats, both outdoors and indoors.

Durability: About 10 years. Paints made from wax can only be repainted with waxpaints.

c8: Oxblood or deerblood tempera

Strain out the lumps in the fresh blood by whipping it before use. Mix the blood with a paste made from red, black or other dark pigments,

depending on the shade of colour you wish to reach.

Qualities: Mat. The paint is wheatherproof and does not come off. It is a very strong paint that demands a hard ground.

Drying: 2 hours.

Use: Planed or rough wood, both outdoors and indoors.

Durability: 300 years?

An oak door on the "Priors Hus" (Priors house) in "Ærøskøbing" on the island of "Ærø" in Denmark has, according to the tradition, been painted with only one layer of oxblood. This took place in 1690 and it has never been necessary to repaint it again.

How to paint

Demands to the material you paint on.

Apart from the paints made from linseed oil, all of the mentioned paints demand an absorbing ground, which means that any glossy or impenetrable paintlayers must be removed by scraping, grinding or by heating it up.

Impregnation of wood.

Before applying the paint all wood, also fresh wood, must be impregnated all with raw linseed oil. You can apply the oil with a brush or you can dip it on, but you can also immerse the wood into a bath of linseed oil.

The linseed oil will prevent the wood from hydrate and thereby prevent mould growth or algae. If necessary you can furthermore apply an antimould to the wood, for instance zinc sulphate mixed with linseed oil or "Atamon" (antimould).

Some good advice concerning the preparation of paints.

You must be aware that each pigment absorb different amounts of glue. Therefore you must always evaluate the paint after brushing out a sample.

It will always be a good idea to let the paint stand until the next day, in the way that the colour and the glue will be well mixed.

If there are any lumps in the paint you must pour it through a strainer. Finally you must remember to stir the paint at regular intervals while working with it.

Applying and extension.

It is very important that the paint is applied in as thin coats as possible, while thick layers dry up very slowly and peeling can appear.

The majority of the paints will cover 10-15 square metres per litre of paint on an ordinary absorbing ground. If the ground is very absorbing, - like dried wood for instance, the paint will cover a smaller area.


When preparing traditional paints finely grounded and fast pigments are used. They can be bought in well-assorted paint shops.

White pigments: Chalk (not in oil), zinc white, titanium white.

Yellow pigments: Golden ochre, ferric oxide yellow, (artificial ochre), cadmium yellow (poisonous).

Red pigments: Red ochre (burnt ochre), red iron oxide (= indian red), Falu-red, cinnabar (+).

Blue pigments: Ultramarine blue, cobalt blue, Paris blue (not in egg and oil-tempera).

Green pigments: Green earth (bohemian green earth)(only in gluepaints), chromium oxide green.

Brown pigments: Raw umber and burnt umber, raw terra di Siena, Kassler brown, ferric oxide brown (reddish-purple)(=caput mortuum=death`s head)

Black pigments: Lampblack (=carbon black), boneblack, ferric oxide black (artificial boneblack) (not in gluepaints).

From :

Letters to the editor

From: James
Subject: Re: Dingle's Water Car and How It Could Save the World
Date: 12th June 2004

Dear Ken

Please publish this letter because I think that it could be helpful to those trying to build Joe Cells.

There have been plans for water-cell conversions of cars on the internet but it would be impossible to build a working water car from these plans because there is an essential feature missing which is present in Dingle's car. I believe that the authors of these plans are either deliberately trying to provide disinformation to discourage further investigation by the curious or else they wish to protect themselves in the event that their authorship could be proved. If the latter is the case then maybe they are hoping someone will be intelligent enough to to supply the missing piece of the jigsaw.

The Dingle car does not burn Hydrogen and Oxygen made by hydrolysis as has been supposed. In fact it burns Hydrogen and Nitrous Oxide. The latter is produced by an electric discharge in the empty space of the reactor under conditions of low pressure caused by the induction stroke of the engine. The combustion of Nitrous Oxide and Hydrogen has the following properties:

1. The combustion of Nitrous Oxide and Hydrogen (N2 + 1/2O2) is an endothermic process which absorbs heat and has a heat of formation of 74 kJ. In practice the engine runs cool and the exhaust is cool. The radiator can freeze up requiring anti-freeze in the coolant.

2. When equal parts of Hydrogen and Nitrous Oxide are ignited the volume of gas decreases by a half plus some water. In practice this means that the charge in the cylinder implodes rather than explodes and the timing of the engine has to be advanced by 20 to 80 degrees.

3. Nitrous Oxide contains three times as much Oxygen as does air so that when Hydrogen combusts in it there is an unusually strong explosion. This may allow the gas flow from hydrolysis to be sufficient to power the car.

4. a considerable amount of water is evaporated in the reactor due to the low pressure caused by the engine's induction stroke. This water vapour will condense in the cylinders and give up it's latent heat of evaporation to the combustion of Nitrous Oxide and Hydrogen.

The electrolysis of water (H20 = H2 + 1/2O2) an the formation of Nitrous Oxide (1/2N2 + 1/2O2) are also endothermic reactions with a heat of formation of 242 kJ and 90 kJ respectively. In theory it ought to be possible to recycle all of the Nitrogen and water from the exhaust making it a closed system, but Dingle for some reason has to refill the reactor from an on-board water tank.

Where does the energy come from to power the vehicle? I believe the energy comes from ambient heat in the space surrounding the engine. The temperature differential between the inside and the outside of the engine compartment would be insufficient to accelerate a car to 200km/h. I believe that the cooling system is functioning as a heat pump supplying thermal energy to the engine and that the power of the engine depends on the rate that heat is pumped into it as well as the difference in the temperature between the outside and inside of the engine compartment. This would make it analogous to the Stirling engine which uses an external heat source to expand a fixed mas of gas in it's cylinders. Unlike the Stirling engine the Dingle Engine is not a Carnot cycle engine and is therefore much more efficient. It can also extract energy from low temperature sources. This hypothesis is supported by the fact that there are reports that water cars with aluminium engine blocks function better than cars with iron engine blocks. If this hypothesis is true then I would expect water cars to be more successful in hot countries and this is confirmed by the fact that there are said to be many water cars in Australia.

It may be the case in cooler regions it would be necessary to burn hydrocarbon fuel in addition to the Nitrous Oxide and Hydrogen in order to achieve sufficient power. If this is the case then two or three cylinders of a four cylinder engine could be reserved for N2 + 1/2O2 combustion with advanced timing and the remaining cylinders would burn hydrocarbon fuel with normal timing. That is cylinders with different fuels would require different ignition systems. The heat of combustion of hydrocarbon fuel could be collected from the exhaust using a heat exchanger and routed back to the engine via the water jacket to supply the heat needed by N2 + 1/2O2 combustion. This would make it an extremely efficient engine and I would expect outstanding fuel consumption figures like 300 mpg.

The environmental benefits of water cars would include not only a diminution of harmful emissions and oil consumption. If applied on a large enough scale this technology could actually reverse global warming because heat is being taken out of the environment and converted into kinetic energy. There is a possible environmental risk in the fact that Nitrous Oxide would be leaked into the atmosphere, but this could be minimised by recycling all of the exhaust. Compared to the Nitrogen Dioxide released by normal internal combustion engines Nitrous Oxide is fairly benign and has even been used as a propellent for spray cans instead of CFCs.

Thanks for that James....Ken

From: James
Subject: Re: Dingle's Water Car and How It Could Save the World
Date: 26th June 2004

I have revised some of my ideas about how the Dingle Car works and I am writing to you again with my new theories.

I believe that there has been a fundamental misunderstanding concerning how Dingle's water car really works. Consider the difference in the power output of a car's alternator and the power output of the engine. If the alternator has an output of 1 kW and the engine has an output of 80 kW that is a difference of 1:80. That means that an electrolyser to supply hydrogen and oxygen to the engine must produce a volume of gas that has an energy content 80 times the electrical energy supplied by the alternator. If we take into account the fact that only one quarter of the energy released in combustion is turned into mechanical power that means that the electrolyser must have to be 240 times over unity. Good luck to anyone who that thinks that they can do it but in my opinion it is impossible to supply fuel for a car engine by on-board hydrolysis.

My hypothesis is that it is not the hydrolysis that is over-unity but the combustion in the engine. I believe that Dingle's engine is rather like a heat pump in that it achieves over 100% efficiency by drawing on ambient heat absorbed through the radiator. It is really ambient heat that supplies the power to the engine and the so-called 'fuel' functions as a heat exchanger. The power of the engine thus depends on the rate of heat flow through the radiator. This hypothesis is supported by the fact that most successful water cars exist in a hot country like Australia.

I believe that Dingle uses an electric discharge to modify the gases produced by electrolysis to make the combustion an endothermic process that works in the opposite way that a Carnot cycle engine works. That is at ignition the mixture implodes and cools. This is supported by reports of water cars, including Dingles, running cool with their ignition advanced by 20 to 80 degrees. Sometimes the radiator can freeze up after prolonged running. There are only two gases that I know of that can support explosive endothermic combustion of Hydrogen. These are Nitrous Oxide (N20), and Ozone (O3). About the only way you could produce Nitrous Oxide on-board is by heating Ammonium Nitrate. As this is impracticable then the only alternative is Ozone. This is easily produced by an electric discharge of either pure Oxygen or atmospheric Oxygen. In the photographs Dingle appears to have separated the Oxygen and Hydrogen and inserted a spark plug in the Oxygen pipe. A better way to ionize Oxygen is to pass it across two metal plates, one of which is earthed and the other is charged to 10,000 volts. The low pressure caused by the engine's intake stroke would facilitate conversion to Ozone and give a higher yield than the 15% which is normal. This technique may remove the requirement to separate the gases as they leave the electrolyser. This could be achieved by charging the metal container of the electrolyser to 10,000 volts. An alternative technique would be to pass the gas through a spiral of polythene pipe with a Mercury vapour lamp inside since ultra violet light also turns Oxygen into Ozone. The easiest way of all is to make the electrolyte a Sulphuric acid solution of specific gravity 1.1 (15%). This could be combined with one of the other techniques to improve yield. A considerable amount of water vapour is also produced if the pressure in the electrolyser is affected by the engine's change in displacement. This water vapour, if mixed with the other gases, would absorb latent heat of evaporation from the combustion making it less powerful. Therefore the gas should be bubbled through another liquid and air filled container to isolate the electrolyser from changes in pressure caused by the engine.

In cooler regions there may not be enough heat in the air to produce enough power to accelerate the vehicle to 200 km/hr. It may be possible to reserve three cylinders of a four cylinder engine for hydrogen/Ozone combustion and have one cylinder burning hydrocarbon fuel. This would require two carburettors and different timings for the cylinders using different fuels. Waste heat from the combustion of the hydrocarbon fuel could be captured in a heat exchanger in the exhaust and directed back to the 'coolant' in the water jacket. This waste heat would then supply heat to the Hydrogen/Ozone combustion increasing efficiency to such an extent that a fuel consumption of 300 mpg could be possible.

The free energy sceptics are bound to point out that this system violates the second law of thermodynamics which states that for heat to do work it must move from a high temperature source to a low temperature sink. Consequently a Carnot cycle engine cannot have an exhaust that is lower in temperature than the temperature of the environment. As the source and sink are the same temperature are the same temperature in this case and the exhaust is cooler than the temperature of the surroundings this would appear to make it impossible to extract useful energy from ambient heat in this case. I have thought long and hard about this issue and I cannot see how such a system could not work even taking these objections into account. One day there will be a grass roots energy revolution when people will take responsibility for how their energy use affects the planet and they will draw 'free energy' from ambient heat and ambient electricity.

As well as halting fossil fuel consumption and it's harmful effect on the environment this technology would actually reverse global warming because it would take heat out of the environment. There is a pollution issue because Ozone would escape from engines unless the exhaust is recycled to the intake.

Thanks for that update James.......Ken

From: James
Subject: Re: Dingle's Water Car and How It Could Save the World
Date: 14th July 2004

Forget everything I have previously written. I have recently being reviewing the evidence for cars running on electrolysis of water and I have reached a surprising conclusion.

Firstly it has been observed that usually in the electrolysis of water most of what is emitted from the cell is water vapour in the form of a fine mist. It seems likely that this water vapour plays a more important role in the functioning of the vehicle than the gases from the electrodes.  This hypothesis is supported by Joe's observation that his car would run without without the electricity supply to the cell.  There also seems to be a self induced electric discharge involved with practical Joe Cells because Alex Schiffer has observed a pink glow in the air surrounding them.  It seems to me that it is possible that this water vapour has an electric charge as it enters the engine.  How water droplets obtain an electric charge is uncertain at this time but some clues may be provided by the process of charge separation in thunder clouds.  My hypothesis is that as positively charged water vapour enters the cylinder which is at earth potential then the vapour will rapidly condense on the sides of the cylinder bringing about implosion without the production of heat.  This hypothesis is supported by Joe's observation that the engine would run without the spark plugs being connected.  If I am right about this it would mean that the Joe Cell car is propelled by static electricity.  Recent research by George Wiseman of Eagle Research also supports this hypothesis and his results are at  George has observed the production of a third gas being formed as bubbles between the the electrodes and that when this gas is separated and ignited it implodes with an electric discharge.  He has assembled some impressive data to support his observations as well as data from others who have reproduced his experiment.

This hypothesis makes some of the details of Joe Cell construction intelligible.   For instance having the outer case of the cell as the positive electrode would confine the positively charged water droplets within the cell.  The two outer electrodes which are not connected to the supply would interrupt the transport of ions between the positive and negative electrodes so that part of the electron flow would be diverted to the production of bubbles of charged water vapour.  To avoid the vapour condensing in the intake manifold it may be necessary to electrically insulate it from the engine block.

How this third gas is formed is not yet known but it may be connected with air dissolved in the water.  One theory put forward be a Joe Cell

constructor at other_hfsystems.html is that atmospheric Nitrogen combines with ions in the solution to make what he calls Nitrogen Hydroxide (NOH?) and that the main products of this electrolysis is Nitrogen Hydroxide and Oxygen which means that no combustion occurs inside the engine at all.  I can accept that this so called Nitrogen Hydroxide is the charge carrier in the water droplets but Nitrogen is a highly inert gas due to it's high temperature of disassociation.  At normal ambient temperatures and with low voltages I cannot see how Atmospheric Nitrogen could form any compounds.

The other mystery is why does the battery not discharge while the vehicle is in use?  Are we to believe certain Joe Cell advocates that Zero Point Energy or Aether is involved?  If energy is supplied from the environment then it could either be ambient heat absorbed through the radiator of ambient electricity from free ions.  The later option is what may be providing the power for the Testatika machine.

Check out this similar pre-combustion fuel system:

Of course it could all be a hoax.

From: Louis
Date: 12th June 2004


I was recently perusing your "Astro" website, and noticed the following statement:

"It is a not too difficult task to get a magnet motor to run but are any of them OVER UNITY as Adams claims is possible? Does anyone know of this being achieved, particularly our interstate readers? Please let me know of any information regarding experiments in this area."

I have been working with a few local engineers, trying to get a magnetic motor to run, and we have been having a devil of a time with magnetic lock-up. How have you been able to circumvent this problem?

I appreciate any information you are able to provide.

Many Thanks,



The meeting began at 8.05PM with Robert showing that he is a man of many talents by piping in the beginning of it, which certainly gained everyone's attention. There were 38 people in attendance but there was only a few pieces of hardware on display.

Dennis opened the discussions with information off the Internet about some carbon fibre windmill blades that are available from America for US$89. These are 6 bladed, 59 inches long, very thin, start in a wind of 4.7mph and can rotate up to 2000rpm. The website for these blades is : Another website for larger blades is

Roger queried if the SA plant for making solar cells was going ahead (it is), gave away some leftovers from his property which has been sold. There will be an open weekend at the property on the 7th and 8th of August.

Devashon brought along some articles on a carbon nanotube, nanotrees and the combining of valve and transistor technology. Jan followed with some articles on transformer/magnet combinations, the Joe Cell and Perendev. Uli interrupted with interesting information on a machine that is used to "magnify" the output of generators and is claimed to have twice the output than the input. The website is

Jan mentioned a book on gravity machines by John Collins and showed some overheads of this. He then began playing with his stick demonstrating some principles of levers and other physics. Finally he showed a newspaper clipping of a gravity car, but it only works downhill!!

Robert brought up the subject of Tesla and his lights that had no wires and the rumour that he could light a whole room without any globes. This stimulated conversation with lots of theories.

Randal brought along some LED lights which are replacements for quartz halogen units, the main difference being that these have 21 LEDs and only draw 120mA on 12V.

Andrew demonstrated the commercial Jaycar version (ST 3340) of the shaker torch similar to the one that I entered in last years competition. Uli mentioned diesel generators from China that produce 10KW, are only $2000 and will run on biodiesel.

I showed the F&P generators that I have been working on tests being carried out in star and delta mode. I have also machined a couple of stators to increase the gap between the stator and the magnets to decrease the cogging. This certainly achieved the desired result with the downside being naturally a reduced output.

Ken brought along some articles about a meteor shower, a steam engine built with modern technology that has less emissions than a diesel and material called Thermite which is a reaction of iron oxide and aluminium dust which can be used for creating heat to cast metals. Uli mentioned some experiments he had done with aluminium and caustic soda to produce hydrogen which ended up with a 5 metre flame and an unhappy wife!

Ron gave a very good presentation of an idea he has had to create a "Technical Hub" of which ASTRO as a group and individual members have been invited to participate. The idea is to buy some land, erect sheds on it as a central point to do experimental work, enabling the sharing of expensive equipment and also ideas an expertise. A list of interested people was created so if you think that this is for you contact Ron at the next meeting.

Peter mentioned that GM are taking back their EV's that are on lease and crushing them while the MDI group is making air cars which can go 200Kms with a maximum speed of 120Kms/Hr. Finally Robert introduced Kate who had some books on Nutritional Medicine for sale. After the meeting there was lots of discussions over hot drinks and biscuits with quite a few people still there around midnight.


Robert ... opened the meeting at 8.15pm.

Andrew ... Said that he had found an Internet site for electric scooters at very reasonable prices, see He explained that if the scooter had a power consumption of less than 200 watts, it did not need licensing.

He also stated that the Earth's magnetic deviation was 11degrees off alignment (Notional Geophysical Society of USA). Some are speculating that it is nearing pole flip time (ed.).

Bruce asked if anyone had copies of the Jan -June 1998 Astro Newsletters. Ashley has them!

Peter ... described a new Scottish wind turbine, see below.

Renewable Devices have developed the Swift Rooftop Wind Energy System, the worlds first silent, building-mountable wind turbine. 20 year product life with low maintenance. Rated power output: 1.5 kW ... Annual Power Supplied: 4200 kWh. Design enables use of turbine in turbulent air flows. Silent mast mounting technology eliminates unwanted vibration to building. See the Webb site for pictures and more info.

Denis (F & P Energy Group) Said that it was impractical to use a turbine in the Metropolitan area as a mast of at least 30 meters was needed to overcome wind turbulences.

Robert ... said that he had sold his property and had an old windmill stand to give away to anyone interested. It was suitable for a wind energy generator. (19 metres)

Vic ... mentioned the new electric motor from John Ettridge which claimed double output to that of a conventional motor.

Dino ... said that he had heard the pro's and con's about it. He also mentioned that ULI had tested it and he said that it could not possibly work.

MathewN ... mentioned cancer statistics from Nexus magazine June - July 2004.

RobN ... mentioned a paper on chemo-therapy which claimed that it actually worked and he said that if one had too much iron in the blood, it stopped the uptake of oxygen. This can be tested through assay.

Chinese wormwood (Artemisemin) balances the iron in the blood as a remedy.

Denis ... mentioned an article on prostate cancer.

Devashon ... said that Chinese Mushrooms could reverse the damage cause by radiation and chemo-therapy. He said to do an internet search on "Chinese mushrooms" for more information. He also added that when taken as an herbal tea, it had the affect of eliminating cancer.

GUEST SPEAKER ... RobertN introduced Martin Simpson, the manager of Menzel's Plastics, as the evening's guest speaker. As probably expected the topic was to be plastics. Martin had brought in quite a large selection of plastics as samples to demonstrate their characteristics and properties. He showed little tricks like using old tooth brushes and acrylic mirror to make safe inspection mirrors and he described how to identify certain plastics by burning a small shaving and identifying the smell. For example polythene smells like a candle and denron smells cheesy. It was quite an entertaining and informative talk, just what was needed to enlighten a bunch of hoary old experimenters.

If you want any more information or plastics please drop in and see Martin at Menzels Plastics, 971 South Road, Melrose Park, South Australia 5039. Phone (08) 8277 7444 Fax 61 8 8277 8444.

Many thanks Martin, a thoroughly enjoyable talk.

The meeting closed at 10.40pm followed by supper and chin-wagging.

Until next meeting



ASTRO Home Page

Please go to main page for contact details


DISCLAIMER: All information given in this newsletter is for educational purposes only. No claims are made on or for the validity or correctness of the material provided. ASTRO S.A. Incorporated accepts no responsibility for any mishaps or accidents incurred by any persons utilising this information.