View Full Version : Carbon Paint?
04-01-2008, 07:51 AM
Evald mentioned in another thread that he made a killer black paint from an old boiler's black carbon soot?
I have an old converted coal boiler (now oil) that i clean out once every few years and get a big pile of soot. Is this the base for the carbon black paint? and if so what are its best uses? canvas, exterior use, etc.?
I would love to reuse this nasty waste and turn it into something inspiring.
04-01-2008, 07:08 PM
Suba - Carbon black (soot) long ago was the basis for printers' ink and also for common black liquid ink used in nibbed pens. The difference between ink and paint mainly is the carrier/binder.
Maybe a clear interior or exterior binder of some sort, as acrylic or latex, would work. The soot will be chemically nonreactive; just another pigment. You'll have to try it and see if it's as dark and with the luster, etc., that you want.
04-02-2008, 07:14 AM
The carbon black dust that fell on my basement floor at last boiler cleaning is still holding its black stain firm. And the mop used to try in vein to clean it up has long since been tossed as it was impossible to clean.
Fritchie - Thanks for the info.
04-02-2008, 08:21 AM
Suburban A -
I use carbon black all the time for a pigment in paints, plastic resins (for casting or lay-up), coloring of wax for sculpture/encaustic, coloring of cement or mortar, etc., and also as a drawing medium (like charcoal dust it needs to be fixed afterwards). If you go to the art-supply store they sell it with the other dry pigments (usually one of the less expensive ones), but you can also get it at places that sell tile/mortar/grout in larger quantities. I just keep the dry powder in containers in the studio and mix it as needed for the particular application. Since you are re-claiming it from the boiler you might want to invest in a fine-mesh sieve (like ceramicists use for making glazes, etc.) to keep stray particles of rust, grit, etc. out of the powder if using it as a pigment in paint or as a drawing medium.
Mix with clear varnishes/polyurethanes for straight-up black paint, or as a tinting agent for adjusting colors of pre-mixed paints. For smoother mixing with less likelihood of trapped 'bubbles' of pure pigment, first add the dry powder to a small quantity of the paint or binder in a separate container and mix well into a paste or slurry. Pre-mixing this slurry facilitates the mixing process when tinting the liquid in the larger container.
04-02-2008, 11:04 AM
Don - Thanks for the advise. I see a darker future over here.
04-03-2008, 07:44 AM
In my days as a disgruntled dismemberer of massive steel boilers I encountered mountains of varying deposits and settlings of carbon. It is not all usable for fine pigments. Some is chunky, some has other fun stuff mixed-in like asbestos fibers or even dirt. You want the stuff fine enough that gravity has not pulled it off the inside walls of the pipes or tanks. If its already fallen, its not as good. Once harvested you can mix it mith your chosen medium for application. My secret recipe for oil paint is actually no real sectret. Just raw linseed and carbon, ground with a glass muller. I have never tried it on a sculpture finish but I bet if you stirred it vigorously into some clear epoxy or some Penetrol you'd get some hearty stuff.
04-04-2008, 12:20 AM
Years ago I aquired a box of carbon black for coloring concrete. I've mixed that stuff with about everything. I love mixing it with red clay to a goopy concistency and applying it to new things that need to look old. In a sense I make liquid pencil lead, works great when you need to cover large areas. I wipe it on and then off like the karate kid. I like the clay as a binder because it has volume and is partially absorbant of fixatative compounds such as acrlyic, polyurethane or oils. Up until the carbon-clay combo is fixed, it remains workable which can be nice if you need a few days to fuss with the look and feel of a piece. Just add some water to the brush and start working the marks, shades and passages.....till your satisfied.....then fix it with one clear coat or another ( after it dries ). It also mixes well with fast and final which is a hole patching material, it has some volume and dries like paint. I've also had great results with epoxy.
A stache of carbon black is like a fundemental neccessity. If you don't have some, get some. You don't have to get it out of a boiler ( though that makes for a good story ) ....you can get it at Lowes or Home Depot, anywhere they sell concrete colorants.
04-04-2008, 09:00 AM
Factory-made pigments are all well and good, Aaron, but there can be a lot of filler in those powders, silicates usually. Its like the diner that puts bread crumbs in their tuna salad. They are robbing you of protien, while making $ on the expanded product. Not the highest in quality.
04-04-2008, 04:02 PM
Wow, i can't believe you guys got me all fired up to clean my boiler!
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