The case for lead paint can be quite compelling, the authenticity and its appearance are a given, its ability to flex with the material applied to maintains a great level of protection, which in turn provide value for money by extending the the maintenance cycle. But its hazardous nature during preparation (dry sanding causes lots of dust) means that it was banned from general use and now is only available under license and applicable to Grade I and II* listed buildings.

The continuing restrictions on manufacture and importation of chemicals have resulted in production of white lead pigment coming to a stop. This may not seem serious but it does beg the question when approaching a building of historical importance as what to use, surly a modern paint will not have the look or feel of a traditional lead paint and what of linseed based paints?

There are paint trails being held by the National Trust at Buscot in Oxfordshire to determine the most appropriate alternative sampling a range of paints all in the same colour on 13 garage doors to test their longevity and to better understand the paints presently available. In addition to this the Paint Research Association will also carry trails into different paints to the same end.

If you are interested in any aspect of traditional buildings, please visit http://www.welshheritageforum.com

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