Category Archives: Buildings & Grounds

Articles interpreting the landscape and architecture of the Village

Freight Wagon 2021

Our faded wagon is no more. That’s all thanks to a crew of six volunteers who worked together to give it a fresh coat of paint. This was no small undertaking as you can tell by the picture below.

Before Picture of Freight Wagon

As you can imagine, with any item that sits in the summer sun, there was a lot of painstaking prep work to be done before the actual painting began. The flakey paint on the wagon had to be brushed and scraped off. A wood preservative was applied. There were also a few areas where the wood had to be restored and large cracks were filled and sanded.

The paint they used was Old Fashioned Milk Paint, https://www.milkpaint.com/. It is made of ground up natural colored pigments that are permanent. It was easy to color-match the paint by holding swatches next to the areas not faded by the sun.

The 14-foot long bed was a pretty straight forward painting job. It got two coats of “federal blue” colored paint.

Traditionally, the undercarriage and spoked wheels of wagons were painted “red lead.” This paint was made by mixing ferrous oxide (rust) and lead (for sticking ability) together. Using the rust was a great way to prevent corrosion on the parts that came in the most contact with water and mud. The modern powdered milk paint has no toxins at all. We used “Salem red” paint color for the wheels and undercarriage.

The red and black undercarriage and wheels had many tiny areas of one color intermingled with other close proximity colors. It was really awkward trying to paint them by laying on your side or back or squatting down trying to reach all surfaces. The painters however got smart and used a hydraulic bottle jack on the axle so the wheel could turn and make access so much easier. It saved them a lot of time!

To protect the paint job they applied a clear oil finish as the top coat. This made the paint appear a little darker for a very classy look. Finally the black metal was also repainted to make it visually pop.

The entire project took almost 100 hours to complete! It looks amazing, but don’t take our word for it, come visit the Village and see for yourself the awesome job they did!