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A fine powder of white Chalk (native Calcium carbonate). Whiting has been used as an inert pigment in paints, inks, and puttys and also as a flux in low temperature ceramic glazes. Synthetically prepared calcium carbonate, called precipitated chalk, is much whiter and finer than whiting.

Synonyms and Related Terms

chalk; whitening; Spanish white; limestone whiting; Paris white; English white; gilder's whiting; Pigment White 18; CI 77220

Raman (MFA)

Whiting (Forbes MFA no number), collodion slide, 785 nm copy.tif







Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Small irregular shaped particles (0.1-10 microns);
  • High birefringence with strong interference colors
  • May fluoresce a medium purple color.
  • Reacts with acids to evolve carbon dioxide.
Density 2.70 g/ml
Refractive Index 1.486; 1.645


Properties of Common Abrasives

Characteristics of Common White Pigments

Additional Images

Resources and Citations

  • Nicholas Eastaugh, Valentine Walsh, Tracey Chaplin, Ruth Siddall, Pigment Compendium, Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford, 2004
  • R. J. Gettens, G.L. Stout, Painting Materials, A Short Encyclopaedia, Dover Publications, New York, 1966
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 181
  • Reed Kay, The Painter's Guide To Studio Methods and Materials, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1983
  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • Paint in America, Robert Moss (ed.), John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1994 Comment: Ian Bristow "House Painting in Britain"
  • Susan E. Schur, Conservation Terminology: A review of Past & Current Nomenclature of Materials, Technology and Conservation, Spring (p.34-39); Summer (p.35-38); Fall (p.25-36), 1985