The best wearing floor paints in our experience have been the house paints made from pure lead and zinc bases with pure tinting colors for producing the shade. On interior floors as well as on porch floors these paints when applied rather thin, i. e., reduced with some pure spirits of turpentine and applied in several coats, brushed out to the utmost, have given most excellent service for years, aside from making a very good surface for repainting.
However, there being a large market for lower-priced and fairly quick drying floor paint, most paint makers make special paints for the purpose, the colors usually shown on sample cards being designated as light and dark lead or stone, buff, spruce, drab or dust color, red, brown or walnut and in rare instances, maroon color. Some makers use lead and zinc oxide, some all zinc oxide, some leaded zinc, some sublimed lead and others lithopone as the white base for these paints, grinding bases in paste form and thinning with special thinners with or without emulsion, but most always using more or less varnish of some sort or another. The most recent formulas for floor paints are based on lithopone for the tints where a white base is required and here are a few formulas on that plan, although the paint maker may find it more convenient to use zinc white or lead.
Drab or Dust Color. - Grind 55 pounds lithopone, green seal or its equivalent, 10 pounds whiting, 12 pounds floated silex, 3 pounds yellow ocher, 1 pound Venetian red, 1 pound lampblack in 2 1/2 gallons boiled linseed oil, resulting in 100 pounds paste, which is best thinned to insure hard drying in, say twelve hours, with 4 gallons mixing varnish, 1 1/2 gallons liquid drier and 1/2 gallon turpentine. This will produce 12 gallons of paint, weighing 12 pounds per gallon. The mixing varnish must be of what is termed a short oil product, drying of itself in eight hours or less.
Lead Colored floor paint may be made on a similar formula by omitting from the base the yellow ocher and the Venetian red, using lampblack only for tinting.
Spruce Color floor paint may be based on a paste of 25 pounds lithopone, 20 pounds yellow ocher, 6 pounds medium chrome yellow, 3 pounds Venetian red, 24 pounds floated silex in 3 gallons boiled linseed oil, thinned as for the drab or dust color.
Red floor paint will require a grinding of 45 pounds Venetian red, 5 pounds zinc oxide, 5 pounds whiting, 20 pounds floated silex in 25 pounds boiled linseed oil. When thinned with 5 gallons mixing varnish and 2 gallons liquid drier the result will be 14 gallons paint weighing close to 11 pounds per gallon.
If Indian red light shade is substituted for Venetian red the paint will pass for maroon color, but only one-half as much Indian red should be figured and the balance of pigment made up with asbestine powder.
Brown or Walnut floor paint is best based on a paste made by mixing and grinding 27 pounds burnt Turkey umber, 3 pounds Venetian red, 5 pounds French yellow ocher, 5 pounds whiting, 25 pounds floated silex and 35 pounds boiled linseed oil. This paste thinned with 5 gallons mixing varnish, 1 1/2 gallons liquid drier and 1/2 gallon turpentine will produce 14 gallons paint weighing close to 11 pounds per gallon.