Colour Ranges

May 8th, 2011 | | Colour Ranges | Paint Technical | No Comments

Parsons’ Decorative Finishes (3) – Permanent Greens

Longfield Permanent Greens

A previous post has already introduced the subject of a most useful work that was published in the 1930s – Parsons’ Decorative Finishes. Subsequently I have used it as a ‘prompt’ for a post that dealt with imitation stone paints.

Thomas Parsons’ Decorative Finishes

The book contains four pages of colour samples that Thomas Parsons’ produced in a variety of gloss finishes (an explanation for this extraordinary number of options is given in another post):

1) Endelline Enamel;
2) Lacreite Enamel;
3) Gloss Paint;
4) Anti-Corrosive Gloss Paint;
5) Seaside Gloss Paint;
6) Parsolac Enamel; and
7) Parsons’ Half-Time Enamel.

One of these four pages is shown below:

Gloss Samples

You will notice ten greens on this page – of a sort that was once used on lawn mowers of the 1950s:

These sort of greens became known as Chrome greens and were introduced in the 1810s, seeing wide use from the second quarter of the nineteenth century. They were mixed colours produced by combining chrome yellow and Prussian blue, a mixture that George Field, the colour maker and writer, said was known as Brunswick green. This name, however, tends to cause a certain amount of confusion and, although used extensively in the United Kingdom, it is less well known in the United States, where chrome green is preferred.

George Field’s Chromatography; or, A treatise on colours and pigments: and of their powers in painting.
1841 edition.

In spite of having excellent hiding power and being produced at low cost these greens were not stable, having a tendency to become blue in strong light. This problem is acknowledged in Parsons’ Decorative Finishes, where a whole page is devoted to Longfield Permanent Greens. Tellingly, they are recommended for -

“permanency of colour on exterior work, as they do not take on their characteristic washy blue appearance.”*

This tendency for the green to turn blue has been covered in a previous post, where the problem is well illustrated.

I have termed this phenomenon the “Penrice Effect” after the house where I first encountered it.

* How refreshing to find a manufacturer who was prepared to acknowledge a known problem.

1930s Paint Colours
Should anyone want to use any of the paint colours shown on these colour cards Papers and Paints will be able to match them in most conventional finishes.

Papers and Paints can be found here:

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