Falu Rödfärg evokes thoughts and memories in most people. It is not so strange because the history of the color goes back a long way, all the way to the 16th century. Since 1764, the paint has been manufactured here, in principle in the same way and with the same recipe as now. Therefore, it has also become Sweden’s most proven house paint. Today, it is as natural a choice for architect-designed villas and public buildings as it is for summer cottages and boathouses.
See how this unique pigment is produced (Swedish).
Falu Rödfärg Original contains a unique pigment from Falu Gruva’s mineralization. It is a natural product with over 20 different minerals that all contribute to the color’s unique properties, impossible to copy. From copper-poor ore, which has weathered for centuries, so-called red clay is formed. It is a rare composition of, among other things, silicic acid, iron ocher, copper and zinc.
The silicic acid is the dominant mineral in the raw material and it is what gives the paint its beautiful matte finish and makes the rays of light reflect in a way that a synthetic paint never can. In warm evening light, Falu Rödfärg’s color becomes intense and brilliant. Falu Rödfärg Original has a luster like no other house paint.
The pigment is also very light stable, you can find a house that hasn’t been painted in 100 years and the few pigments that remain are still as red and beautiful.
Pigment production is divided into a sludge season and a firing season. During slurrying, the raw material is mixed with water and the weathered, fine material that results is washed away from the stones from use. The fine-grained material is pumped into sedimentation basins where it is allowed to sink to the bottom of the basins for a few months.
The clear water is then pumped away and what remains is the sludge, which contains large amounts of iron ore. To convert the iron oxide in the sludge, drying and roasting are required. In the drying oven, all water disappears from the sludge at about 150 degrees Celsius and it changes color and starts to turn from yellow to red. As the temperature rises, the color of what remains of the sludge changes. At 500 degrees, the ocher changes to iron oxide and turns bright red. At 700 degrees, the color changes to a darker shade. When the temperature is above 950 degrees, it takes on a black hue.
When that process is complete, the material is fed from the drying oven to the firing oven where the final color of the pigment is determined. Here, samples are taken every hour to ensure that the pigment is the right shade. After about 4 hours in the oven, the unground pigment is transported to silos from where it is finally fed on for grinding and storage.