Asphaltum Paint

Here is the paint I used on my planes, drill press and various other items. Its a high gloss black paint that comes from an old recipe. It is quite durable, I have had it on my planes for almost 2 years and they have held up quite well. Heres how I make it. 

Warning! Turpentine is flammable and poisonous. Handle with care and follow all warnings on the labels. These are the methods I use and am no way responsible for your actions or result of your actions. I do my baking in an outdoor oven (in my shed) and it should not be done indoors.

Mix the following in a mason jar.

           - 2 Parts linseed oil (I use oil I processed myself)

           - 3 Parts Asphaltum powder

           - 3 Parts Colophony rosin (I use powdered)

           - 4.5 Parts Turpentine

After mixing I put the lid on, place the jar in a window that gets lots of sun. I shake the jar every day, usually letting it sit for a few weeks there. 


         I brush the paint on in very light coats, as light as possible. Then bake in an oven in my shed, you don’t want to do this indoors, it does not smell very nice when it is baking. A toaster oven works very well for small objects, I did the Stanley #4 and #6 in there. Here is my baking times.

           - Stage 1 - Bake at 250F for 30 min

           - Stage 2 - Bake at 350F for 30 min

           - Stage 3 - Bake at 400f for 45 min

Let it cool in the oven with the door slightly opened. Usually one coat is not enough, so I sand between coats with very fine sand paper (sia wool works best, but I can’t find it locally anymore). Four to Five coats is what I usually seem to like on most items. 

For a faster method, instead of putting it in the window and waiting a few weeks or so, I also have heated the colophony rosin and linseed oil in a pot (do this outside) on a hot plate on a double boiler. Once melted I added the asphaltum powder and turpentine and mix well. Then I transfer to a jar for storage. I made a large batch this way and have been using it for years, and found it seems to just get better with time. 



© Shane Larson 2018