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1870's Color Mixing Formulas

In mixing different colored paints to produce a more desired tint, it is best to have the principal ingredient thick, and then add to it the other paints thinner. The following table shows the combination of colors required to produce the listed tints. The first named color is the principal ingredient. The additional colors follow in order of their importance. Thus, in mixing a limestone tint; white is the principal ingredient and red is the color of which least is needed. The exact proportions of each depend on the shade of color desired. Have fun experimenting and creating different shades of nontoxic Real Milk Paint.

Desired Tint ....... Color Combination
Buff ....... White, Yellow Ochre, Red
Chestnut ....... Red, Black, Yellow
Chocolate ....... Raw Umber, Red, Black
Claret ....... Red, Umber, Black
Copper ....... Red, Yellow, and Black
Dove ....... White, Vermilion, Blue, Yellow
Drab ....... White, Yellow Ochre, Red, Black
Fawn ....... White, Yellow, Red
Flesh ....... White, Yellow Ochre, Vermilion*
Freestone ....... Red, Black, Yellow Ochre, White
French Gray ....... White, Blue, Lake**
Gray ....... White Lead, Black
Gold ....... White, Stone Ochre, Red
Green Bronze ....... Chrome Green, Black, Yellow
Do Pea ....... White, Chrome Green
Lemon ....... White, Chrome Yellow
Limestone ....... White, Yellow Ochre, Black, Red
Olive ....... Yellow, Blue, Black, White
Orange ....... Yellow, Red
Peach ....... White, Vermilion*
Pearl ....... White, Black, Blue
Pink ....... White, Vermilion*, Lake
Purple ....... Violet, with more Red and White
Rose ....... White, Madder Lake***
Sandstone ...... White, Yellow Ochre, Black, Red
Snuff ....... Yellow, Van Dyke Brown
Violet ....... Red, Blue, White

* Use Bright Red
** Hard to say what this was as lake refers to natural dyestuff - probably a red color
*** Also known as Alizarin - source of the dye color Turkey Red

This chart is reproduced from Dicks Encyclopedia of Practical Receipts and Processes by William B. Dick and is out of print.

We have found this chart useful as a guide in color mixing. Hopefully you will too.