This section is from the book "Spons' Mechanics' Own Book: A Manual For Handicraftsmen And Amateurs", by Edward Spon. Also available from Amazon: Spons' Mechanics' Own Book.
A paint for floors, which economizes the use of oil colours and varnish, is described in the German technical press as having been composed by Mareck. It is remarked that this paint can also be used on wood, stone, etc. For flooring, the following mixture has been found applicable: 2 1/8 oz. good, clear joiners' glue is soaked overnight in cold water. It is dissolved, and then is added (being constantly stirred) to thickish milk of lime heated to boiling-poiut, and prepared from 1 lb. quicklime. Into boiling lime is poured (the stirring being continued) as much linseed-oil as becomes united by means of saponification with the lime, and when the oil no longer mixes no more is poured in. If there happens to be too much oil added, it must be combined by the addition of some fresh lime paste. For the quantity of lime previously indicated, about 1/2 lb. oil is required. After this white, thickish foundation paint has cooled, a colour is added which is not affected by lime, and in case of need the paint is diluted with water, or by the addition of a mixture of lime water with some linseed-oil. For yellowish-brown or brownish-red shades about 1/4 the entire bulk is added of a brown solution obtained by boiling shellac and borax with water.
This mixture is specially adapted for painting floors. The paint should be applied uniformly, and is described as covering the floor most effectually, and uniting with it in a durable manner. But it is remarked that it is not suitable for employment in cases where a room is in constant use, as under such circumstances it would probably have to be renewed in some places every 3 months. The most durable floor paint is said to be that composed of linseed-oil varnish, which only requires to be renewed every 6 or 12 months. It penetrates into the wood and makes it water resisting; its properties being thus of a nature to compensate for its higher cost in proportion to other compositions used for a similar purpose. Its use is particularly recommended in schools and workrooms, as it lessens dust and facilitates the cleaning of the boards.