Size, a viscid preparation, consisting of the shreds and parings of parchment, leather, or vellum, boiled in water ; after which they are strained. It is employed by various artisans, but principally by painters and plasterers, who dilute it with a certain portion of water, and lay it on walls, and ceilings, before they are painted, or whitewashed. Such liquor, however, emits a very disagreeable smell, which continues for several days, till it be perfectly dry : hence, different substitutes have been contrived, the best of which is obtained from potatoes : See vol. iii. p. 437. - There are other preparations, known under the names of gold and silver size, used by carvers and gilders, for applying gold or silver leaf to frame-work, as well as to various toys; and for burnishing glass. The former may be obtained, by first grinding fine bole on a marble stone, adding a little: beef-suet, and triturating the whole together. Next, some common size is to be dissolved in a double quantity of water, and mixed with the ingredients before mentioned.
Silver-size may be prepared, by grinding small portions of black-lead, and tobacco-pipe-clay (both being previously pulverized), with a little Genoa soap ; after which it is duly incorporated with common size.