Historic Bath has made a drastic change to the Palmer-Marsh House.After a fire in the home in 1989, an analysis of the historic paint finishes, known as chromo-chronology, was undertaken on both the interior and exterior of the building. Through that analysis it was determined that originally the entire exterior – clapboards, shutters, doors – was painted in a color known as Spanish Brown. This was the most widely used paint color throughout the colonies during the eighteenth century. Spanish Brown or red ochre is part of a large family of natural earth pigments whose color is produced from anhydrous ferric oxide (iron oxide or rust) or the mineral hematite. When the iron oxide was mixed with linseed oil, it created a very stable and inexpensive paint. Although the color may not appeal to modern aesthetics, the faithful recreation of the original exterior paint scheme furthers our continued efforts to achieve the most historically accurate interpretation of our historic buildings.
The painting has now been completed and the house is all decked out for Christmas!