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Lead Carbonate Paint

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mrpercysnodgrass

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I have been asked to quote for the restoration of a church clock face. The background will be painted and the numerals and hands will be gilded. I'm fine with the gilding but have no experience with lead paint and I am finding it difficult to find any information. English heritage say "If you want to use lead paint for qualifying structures or artworks in England you must obtain a declaration form from the supplier of the paint, complete it, and send it back to the supplier.' The problem is I can find no suppliers. Is there anybody on this forum that has any experience with obtaining and using lead paint? I would be grateful for any help on this.
 

Doug B

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I can’t help directly but used to work with an old decorator who talked about having a license or permit to mix his own lead paint, I took it from what he said that although you couldn’t buy paint with lead in you could make your own.
I could well be wrong & sadly he’s no longer around to ask, died from asbestosis, as he put it too many years sanding & painting asbestos products.
 

bob543

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You can buy it as artist paint under the name Flake White but most has been replaced by a alternative hue, i have a tin of the genuine stuff in my workshop which ive never used. Lead white paint can darken especially when outside and exposed to the atmosphere. But its often stable when in an oil paint . How big is the clock face?
 
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bob543

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mrpercysnodgrass

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Thank you for your replies. Have I been coming at this from the wrong end? Do I need to get a tin of Flake White and mix pigment to it? I thought there would be a specialist out there with a colour chart!! Below is the clock face, it is hard to gauge the diameter from the ground but I think it is about six feet at the most. Im assuming it is lead paint on it because it is not flaking, one of the faces is south facing and nobody in the village can remember when it was last painted. I have had no reply from English Heritage or a couple of paint manufacturers. I have a friend of a friend who is a boat restorer and I remember being told many years ago that he had a licence to use/mix lead paint so I might see if I can get in contact with him and get some information. He might even be able to supply me with what I need.
IMG_1330.jpeg
 

Jacob

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I can vouch for the longevity of straight non lead linseed oil black paint - my wrought iron gates still looking very black after more than 6 years. Matt finish, not glossy at all.
There's a feeling that lead isn't essential for longevity - it's more to do with the linseed oil and other factors. Unfortunately it takes years to find out exactly what!
 

mrpercysnodgrass

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I can vouch for the longevity of straight non lead linseed oil black paint - my wrought iron gates still looking very black after more than 6 years. Matt finish, not glossy at all.
There's a feeling that lead isn't essential for longevity - it's more to do with the linseed oil and other factors. Unfortunately it takes years to find out exactly what!
I was contemplating raw linseed paint, it would certainly be less hassle to use. I will have to do a bit more research as I can't have a job like this go wrong!
 

Jacob

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I was contemplating raw linseed paint, it would certainly be less hassle to use. I will have to do a bit more research as I can't have a job like this go wrong!
Just checked my gate. Looks good but could do with another layer in a year or so. It doesn't peel like modern paints, it just wears off from the surface. It wasn't cleaned and stripped to any great extent and the old paint is just beginning to show in a few places, which you can't tell from a distance.
I'm pretty sure it wouldn't go wrong for at least 5 years, probably a lot longer. You could write in a term suggesting a second coat in 5 years?
PS there are clock firms all over the place - what about tracking down the Big Ben lot and asking them?
 
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bob543

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Thank you for your replies. Have I been coming at this from the wrong end? Do I need to get a tin of Flake White and mix pigment to it? I thought there would be a specialist out there with a colour chart!! Below is the clock face, it is hard to gauge the diameter from the ground but I think it is about six feet at the most. Im assuming it is lead paint on it because it is not flaking, one of the faces is south facing and nobody in the village can remember when it was last painted. I have had no reply from English Heritage or a couple of paint manufacturers. I have a friend of a friend who is a boat restorer and I remember being told many years ago that he had a licence to use/mix lead paint so I might see if I can get in contact with him and get some information. He might even be able to supply me with what I need.View attachment 112187
Sorry i was assumng the face was white (no idea why). Lead paint in your case would be a good linseed oil based paint made with lead driers. One of the specialist linseed oil based paint makers would probably have something suitable and more or less historical accurate but without the lead.
 

WoodchipWilbur

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I have been asked to quote for the restoration of a church clock face. The background will be painted and the numerals and hands will be gilded. I'm fine with the gilding but have no experience with lead paint and I am finding it difficult to find any information. English heritage say "If you want to use lead paint for qualifying structures or artworks in England you must obtain a declaration form from the supplier of the paint, complete it, and send it back to the supplier.' The problem is I can find no suppliers. Is there anybody on this forum that has any experience with obtaining and using lead paint? I would be grateful for any help on this.
If this is a C of E church clock, then you would be well advised to talk to the appropriate DAC (Diocesan Advice Committee). The work that you are proposing comes under Faculty Jurisdiction - ie the church must apply for "planning permission" to do this. That is down to the parish to do - the process is fairly straightforward and they should know how. But the DAC will have an "expert" on board who will (in all likelihood) specify what paint you use. Talk to the DAC! If you can say what Diocese (or what church) this is, I can give contact details. It may, of course, be that the parish that is engaging you has already done the faculty thing - but doing this job without permission is likely to get both you and the parish into hot water.

There is a Jurisdiction list, called "List A" that has things that can be done without a faculty; however, that says:
A4. Clocks
The inspection and routine maintenance of clocks and clock faces

But it adds the rider that:
Works of maintenance do not include re-painting or re-gilding of clock faces
 

Stevekane

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Just checked my gate. Looks good but could do with another layer in a year or so. It doesn't peel like modern paints, it just wears off from the surface. It wasn't cleaned and stripped to any great extent and the old paint is just beginning to show in a few places, which you can't tell from a distance.
I'm pretty sure it wouldn't go wrong for at least 5 years, probably a lot longer. You could write in a term suggesting a second coat in 5 years?
PS there are clock firms all over the place - what about tracking down the Big Ben lot and asking them?
I think his problem might be that its up a bloody great church tower! And popping up every five years might bankrupt the church jumble sale fund!
 

Jacob

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I think his problem might be that its up a bloody great church tower! And popping up every five years might bankrupt the church jumble sale fund!
Scaffolding is cheap!
 

WoodchipWilbur

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A more pertinent problem is the regulation imposed by the church. It's essential if this is a Church of England Church that the DAC is consulted - but as well as the law, they can be really helpful! If the church hasn't already done it, then you can. Probably dac@derby.anglican.org if the church is in Derby Diocese.
 

mrpercysnodgrass

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A more pertinent problem is the regulation imposed by the church. It's essential if this is a Church of England Church that the DAC is consulted - but as well as the law, they can be really helpful! If the church hasn't already done it, then you can. Probably dac@derby.anglican.org if the church is in Derby Diocese.
Thank you for that reply. As it stands I am just at the stage of giving a guestimate which is why I was trying to find out about the paint. The clock mechanism is in the process of being restored with the involvement of DAC. I was walking through the churchyard last week when I bumped into the warden and he asked if I could give a rough price as they had secured funding for the mechanism but would have to raise funds for the clock faces. He said the DAC advised the numerals and hands ought to be gilded and not alundum paint as they are now! I will drop the warden a line and see if he can get some advise from the DAC before I contact them directly. I used to do quite a lot of work for the church commissioners but got fed up of the long drawn out process of getting a job done but as this one is on my doorstep I thought it would be a nice job to do.
Thanks also for all the other helpful replies to this post, I will keep you updated.
 

WoodchipWilbur

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Good to know that you're up to speed on that! I used to earn a meagre crust, making church furnishings. (It was my proud boast that I had items I'd made on every continent - including an altar set for the British Antarctic Survey.)

I was constantly staggered by the almost total ignorance and (in some cases, indifference) to be found in many parishes to any form of regulation or permission.
 
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