Tarp colour and finish

Discussion in 'Camp and Trail Gear' started by old ugly, May 27, 2019.

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  1. May 27, 2019 #1

    old ugly

    old ugly

    old ugly

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    Is there any typical colour the original tarps were painted?

    I’m thinking about powder to mix with the linseed oil, will cement colouring powder work?

    Thank you
    Ou
    Tom
     
  2. May 27, 2019 #2

    Ranger Boyd

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    "Spanish red" (which is really more of a reddish brown) cropped up in some period references when I was researching tbe same question several years ago.

    Not sure about the cement pigment, as I never tried that.
     
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  3. May 27, 2019 #3

    Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave

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    Well first, what is the time period of which you are asking? :D
    If it's a time period when oil-cloth really isn't documented as something for shelters, then because of our modern restrictions on using natural brush to make shelters (Forest Rangers and Park Rangers don't like us doing that, very often), know that we are making an "allowance" while trying to get the proper experience...
    <gee LD he just asked about pigment> Sorry...,

    OK sooo modern boiled linseed oil tends to be acidic, and will rot your fabric. Now you can mix powder into BLO as a pigment. One of the most common was "Spanish Brown" which was iron oxide (rust). Another was umber. Ochre was a yellow, and it's suggested that the "fisherman's mack" was originally a linen coat painted with BLO and Ochre, for water resistance and in case the chap fell overboard..., the best to see him in the dark water.... YES you can try the pigment for cement. Mix a small batch, but you may want to check it with a pH paper to see if it's acidic or not. IF you decide to use it then you're talking about 30 days curing time. A couple of weeks for one side, followed by a couple of weeks for the other side. OH and hang it in the shade, outside, to avoid the BLO from spontaneous combustion on the fabric.

    Which is why a lot of folks will get a paint swatch paper that matches an authentic color, and get the local Sherwin Williams store to mix them a quart of oil paint in that color. The pH is designed not to rot whatever is painted. Other folks like to simply use red barn paint. (DON'T use Rustoleum)

    I don't like either, straight. The modern stuff has all sorts of chemical driers, and from what I've experienced, Rustoleum is the worse (for fabric that is ;)) Modern oil based paint, straight, makes the fabric very stiff and very brittle and it's amplified in cold weather. So what I do is "cut" the modern paint with some BLO. Up to about 50/50, maybe more maybe less..., so I'm using the modern stuff as my pigment. It seems to make the pH of the BLO better. Saves a lot of time and guessing too. The BLO at the warehouse store is sold to be used as an additive to modern oil based paint, to increase drying time. (I guess painters know why they want that; I think it gives a better finish in some applications)

    I hope this long worded answer helps you...

    LD
     
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  4. May 28, 2019 #4

    old ugly

    old ugly

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    that's awsum.
    very good
    thanks you
    ou
    tom
     
  5. May 29, 2019 #5

    tenngun

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    We are a do it your self sport, but panther primitive sells Spanish brown tarps pretty reasonably, from personal experience getting a tarp to look good is a lot of work. Crappy is easy.
     
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  6. Jun 8, 2019 #6

    jd411111

    jd411111

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    I bought some actual Iron Oxide on Amazon to color mine. Made a small ground cloth for hunting with 50/50 linseed oil and mineral spirits and maybe a cup and a half of the oxide. Repels water great. took a couple of months to dry and about doubled the weight. Also made a tarp from a cotton bed sheet using mineral spirits and sililcone and oxide. It also works great with no weight increase.
     
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  7. Jun 9, 2019 #7

    WRustyLane

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    I usually make my own rust oxide. I take two 0000 steel wool pads and put them into a quart jar. Fill the jar up with white vinegar and let it set in the sun for several weeks. When the steel wool is disolved (more or less) I pour the mixture into a flat glass dish (sorta like a square pie dish) and let it dry for a couple of weeks. Then I use a razor blade scraper and scrape out all the rust (iron oxide) and chop it up and pulverize it with the razor blade. Then I store it in snuff tins. Works great for not only colouring tarps but works for applying rust to my model trains.
     
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  8. Jul 29, 2019 #8

    tenngun

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    The museum of the fur trad quarterly back in the late seventies or early eighties had a paper on tarps and tents. At the end it said it was important to only use white canvas because color wasn’t invented till 1840
     
  9. Jul 29, 2019 #9

    hawkeye2

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    Tengun I thought it wasn't till the 1950s. I can't find a single color photo of my brothers and me. :D
     
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  10. Jul 30, 2019 #10

    Zonie

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    That's strange.
    Dying material goes back to the Neolithic period. I'm sure someone knew how to dye canvas before 1840?
    Of course dying the fabric would cost extra so white would probably be lower cost and more widely used. (No, I don't have any written information to back up that statement.)
     
  11. Jul 30, 2019 #11

    tenngun

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    It’s not dye or paint, as I understand it color itself came in to existence in 1840.
    You may point to paintings but all of those paintings were black and white until 1840.
    At least that’s what we decided it around the campfire with a jug of apple pie a few months after this article came out.... and I must say I’m a little fuzzy on my recollection of the conversation :p
     
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  12. Jul 30, 2019 #12

    hawkeye2

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