Bees wax was used as a binding medium for paint in Antiquity, and so was a product named Punic wax. The present project in 1996-1997, refers to a series of tests aiming at reconstructing Punic wax.
Some series of experiments to reconstruct Punic wax were made as part of my research on encaustic as paint and surface coating. In the first set of tests, four kinds of encaustic paint – melted and pigmented beeswax, Punic wax as paint, Punic wax as coating, and wax-tempera – were tried on four kinds of support – lime plaster, marmorino, the commercial lime mixture KC-plaster and the commercial gesso product called alltek. Two sets of each combination were prepared. One set was placed in a barn, the other outdoors. At inspection one year later, the two traditional preparations had withstood the hard climate outdoors better, while there was no visible difference on the panels in the barn. The better paint was Punic wax used as paint as well as used for coating.
The second test series was made on large panels prepared either with lime plaster or stucco, also known as marmorino. The paints used were Punic wax with or without the addition of one of the products lime, oil, or egg. Several additional tests were made.
The third testing was made on a wall in the entrance of Ericsson ETX at Mölndal, close to Gothenburg.
The test series were funded by Forskningsstiftelsen för Samhällsplanering, Byggnadsplanering och Projektering, Göteborg. The decoration was financed by the foundation and Ericsson Industries .