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.
The first coat of paint applied to any surface is termed the "priming-coat." It usually consists of red-lead and boiled and raw linseed-oil. Experience has shown that such a priming not only dries quickly itself, but also accelerates the drying of the next coat. The latter action must be attributed to the oxygen contained in the red-lead, only a small portion of which is absorbed by the oil with which it is mixed. Kall, of Heidelberg, prepares a substitute for boiled oil by mixing 10 parts whipped blood, just as it is furnished from the slaughter-houses, with 1 part of air-slaked lime sifted into it through a fine sieve. The two are well mixed, and left standing for 24 hours. The dirty portion that collects on top is taken off, and the solid portion is broken loose from the lime at the bottom; the latter is stirred up with water, left to settle, and the water poured off after the lime has settled. The clear liquid is well mixed up with the solid substance before mentioned. This mass is left standing for 10 or 12 days, after which a solution of potash permanganate is added, which decolorizes it and prevents putrefaction.
Finally the mixture is stirred up, diluted with more water to give it the consistence of very thin size, filtered, a few drops of oil of lavender added, and the preparation preserved in closed vessels. It is said to keep a long time without change. A single coat of this liquid will suffice to prepare wood or paper, as well as lime or hard plaster walls, for painting with oil colours. This substance is cheaper than linseed-oil, and closes the pores of the surface so perfectly that it takes much less paint to cover it than when primed with oil.