Wax paint

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Wax-based paint
MFA# 1990.373


A mixture of wax and pigment often with additions of Turpentine (oil) or Mastic resin. Wax paints were used in ancient times for decoration. They do not tend to discolor like oil paint, but may collect dirt. Wax paints are also soft and easily damaged. See also Encaustic paint and Wax emulsion.

Synonyms and Related Terms

encaustic; wax emulsion; pintura a la cera (Esp.); encáustica (Esp.); peinture à la cire (Fr.); encausto (It.); encáustica (Port.); saponified wax

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Soluble in turpentine.

Resources and Citations

  • M. Doerner, The Materials of the Artist, Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1934
  • Reed Kay, The Painter's Guide To Studio Methods and Materials, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1983
  • Dictionary of Building Preservation, Ward Bucher, ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York City, 1996