Marbeleizing with Natural Oil Paints
The stair case to the Noble Floor of the Palazzo Nicolaci, Noto is decorated as if it where marble. With marbleizing to give a veined and mottled appearance. This has recently been restored by the community of Noto with the rest of the grand and quirky rooms in this building.
Distempers and Oil Paints were used in marbleizing on plaster walls, the ground was usually distemper paint, and the glaze often made with a size or milk. If on an oil ground, stale beer or an oil-based “megilp” (made from linseed oil and beeswax) was used.
Darker veins were drawn on the glaze with a small brush, or “pencil”, to resemble marble. When dry, the work was varnished. A type of marbleizing, popular from 1750-1850, utilized a fine vein pattern in dark bluish-gray on an off-white ground.