Did Edwardians paint their exterior stonework?

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Did Edwardians paint their exterior stonework?

Postby New_User_1 » Tue May 17, 2011 7:54 am

Hello all,

I live in a Victorian terrace house which sits in a conservation area. The house was built in 1905, so technically Edwardian era, but Victorian style.

The houses up my street are also Victorian in style, and most have painted thier exterior limestone door and window surrounds white in the past. This gives the houses a fresh look and protects the stonework from the elements. They were all painted before the area was awarded conservation protection.

I would like to paint my stonework in the same way, as it's been exposed to weather over the years and is crumbling. I believe the conservation police will have an issue with this as they do not think that houses of this era (1905) were painted back in those days.

Here's where I would like your help. I am looking for solid evidence that Victoians/Edwardians in around 1905 would have painted their limestone. If anyone knows where I may find this type of evidence (historic websites or documents?) and can direct me, I would be very grateful.

Many thanks,
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Re: Did Edwardians paint their exterior stonework?

Postby Simon TL » Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:20 am


Since you posted your question I have kept an eye out for photos and other evidence. I can't get a clear yes/no, I'm afraid. If the photo has good contrast then it is hard to tell if the brightness of stonework is because of paint or just because it is lighter than bricks.

In Harmsworth's Household Encyclopedia from the 1920s I can find no mention of painting stonework. The closest is the entry for Whitewash which describes whitewashing slate roofs for give more reflected light! There is a recipe which includes slaked lime, plaster of paris, dextrine and zinc oxide. Presumably this would have been tough enough for stonework too. The Painting entry mentions painting exterior woodwork and rainwater pipes, but not stone.

My feeling is that if stonework was not treated like this in the 1920s - when there was more interest in making things 'new' then it is even less likely before this date.

Did you get any views from elsewhere?

Simon TL
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