Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints

Carter’s Grove
James City County, Virginia
November 2010
Natasha K. Loeblich
Architectural Paint Analyst
for
Halsey Minor
Carter’s Grove
James City County, Virginia
Table of Contents
Purpose 1
Historical Background 1
Sampling Procedures 3
Sampling Locations 3
Results of Cross-Section Analysis 8
Exterior 10
Doors 10
Cornice 17
Windows 22
Mortar 30
Interior 33
First-Floor Entrance Hall 35
First-Floor Stair Hall 42
First-Floor Southeast Room 45
First-Floor Northeast Room 51
First-Floor Southwest Room 53
First-Floor Northwest Room 56
Second-Floor South Central Room 61
Second-Floor Stair Hall 66
Second-Floor Southeast Room 71
Second-Floor Northeast Room 73
Second-Floor Southwest Room 76
Second-Floor Northwest Room 79
Fragments 83

Results of Binding Media Analysis with Fluorochrome Stains 106
Results of Pigment Identification with Polarized Light Microscopy 117
Results of Colorimetry 121
Conclusion 125
Appendix
Sampling Memorandums 127
Cross-Section Preparation Procedures 136
Binding Media Analysis Procedures 136
Pigment Identification Procedures 136
Color Measurement Procedures 137
Contact Sheets of Cross-Section Photomicrographs 138
1
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of
Interior and Exterior Paints
Structure: Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia
Owner: Halsey Minor
Requested by: Edward A. Chappell, Director, Architectural and Archaeological Research Department
Conservator: Natasha K. Loeblich, Architectural Paint Analyst
Consultant: Susan L. Buck, Ph.D., Conservator and Paint Analyst
Date: November 2010
Purpose
The goal of this project is to use cross-section microscopy to identify the early finishes, if they are present, in interior
and exterior paint samples from Carter’s Grove. This report follows a 2004 report on exterior finishes by Peggy Ol-
ley and Susan Buck for which nine samples were taken on July 21, 2004.
1
In 2006, this author reported on a few
samples taken from interior and exterior window sash and paneling in the upstairs bedrooms.
2
For this 2010 report,
samples were taken from north and south elevation windows and door architraves, the cornice, and the mortar.
Inside, samples were taken from the front and rear entrance hall, the southeast room, the northeast room, and the
northwest room on the first floor. Four samples were also taken from a detached rosette that is believed to have
been attached to the frieze over the chimney piece in the first-floor southeast room. Samples were also collected
from the front and rear passage on the second floor and from the four second-floor chambers. Additionally, several
interior and exterior architectural fragments found above the stable were sampled to see how their finish histories
compared with samples from the house.
Historical Background
Construction of the main house at Carter’s Grove was begun around 1750 by Carter Burwell and was completed
by 1755. Burwell died in 1756 and the house passed to his son Nathaniel who did not come of age until 1771. At
this point the family returned to Carter’s Grove where they stayed until 1792 when they moved to a new residence
elsewhere in Virginia. The house remained in the Burwell family until 1838, after which it went through a series of
owners. Since the Burwell family was often absent and the property changed hands several times, the house may
rarely have been repainted in the first hundred years of its life.
In 1879 Carter’s Grove was purchased by Edwin G. Booth, a wealthy industrialist. In 1881, Booth celebrated
Washington’s victory at Yorktown by painting the interior of the house in a red, white, and blue scheme.
3
Black and
white photographs from this era in the Colonial Williamsburg archives show a multicolored paint scheme in several
of the major rooms, including the second floor, that probably represent this red, white, and blue treatment. One
photograph of the entrance hall (see page 2) shows that rosettes, presumably removed from the frieze over the
chimney piece in the southeast room, have been attached in the spandrels of the archway and on the center of
the keystone. The center rosette appears to have a slightly different shape so it may be a different ornament. A
photograph of the southeast room during the Booth family occupation (see page 2) shows that the woodwork has
been stripped and there are ghosts where the six rosettes would have been attached above the chimney piece. The
1 Unpublished report for the Architectural Research Department for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation entitled “Cross-Section Microscopy
Report: Carter’s Grove, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation” dated 10/2/2004.
2 Unpublished report for the Architectural Research Department at Colonial Williamsburg Foundation by Natasha Loeblich entitled “Carter’s
Grove: Cross-Section Microscopy Paint Analysis” dated February 13, 2006.
3 Information on the historical background of the house was taken from Mark R. Wenger’s The Story of a Virginia Plantation: Carter’s Grove
published by Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in 1994.
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 2
two wreath ornaments near the ends of the frieze remain in place. A rosette matching the profile of those used in
the southeast room was recovered from a desk drawer at Carter’s Grove in the twentieth century. Currently there
are six rosettes in place in the southeast room, and the curatorial file for the detached rosette notes that the orna-
ments in place in the southeast room are reproductions of “inferior carving”. The rosettes in the southeast room
Photograph from the Booth
family era of the entrance hall
showing multi-colored scheme
with attached rosettes
Photograph from the Booth
family era of the south-
east room showing stripped
woodwork and
missing rosettes
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 3
Location
CG1 Second-floor, northeast bedroom, northwest window, lower sash, interior face, top edge at left side
CG2 Second-floor, northeast bedroom, west window, lower sash, exterior face, top left corner
CG3 Second-floor, northeast bedroom, northeast window, upper sash, exterior face, top of frame, 12” from left
CG4 Second-floor, southwest bedroom, paneling, horizontal board in upper panel, 3rd board from bottom, 2’ from left (west)
end
CG5 Second-floor, southwest bedroom, paneling, horizontal board in upper panel, 4th board from bottom, 3’6” from left (west)
end
CG6 Second-floor, southwest bedroom paneling, right (east) stile, left edge, 10” above floor
CG7 North elevation, cornice, side of modillion block over center window
CG8 North elevation, cornice, fascia behind modillion, just left of left edge of center window
were not examined on-site for this report, but some of them may be originals that have eroded details due to ag-
gressive stripping methods. Other photographs from the late nineteenth to early twentieth century in the Colonial
Williamsburg archives indicate the woodwork in many of the major rooms was stripped, including the second-floor
passage. This may have been done to remove the red, white, and blue color scheme which could have been dif-
ficult to paint over.
Whiffen maintains that paneling of the dining room, and upper and lower hallways, was stripped by T. Percival Bis-
land when he purchased the property in 1907 and before it was sold in 1911. Whiffen also reports that whatever
paint remained on the first floor rooms was scraped so the surfaces could be stained to a “natural finish” except in
the dining room which was painted “old ivory”.
In 1928, the house was purchased by Archibald and Molly McCrea who commissioned architect Duncan Lee to
restore it. The restoration included the addition of a new third floor which necessitated changes to the roof and
staircase, and the addition of dormers. During the McCrea’s residency some of the woodwork was repainted but
many of the rooms were either stripped again or left bare of paint and remain so today. Ms. McCrea died in 1960
and in 1969 the house was given to Colonial Williamsburg by the Sealantic Fund, a philanthropic organization. In
2007, Carter’s Grove was sold to Halsey Minor who is the current owner of the property.
Sampling Procedures
The 147 samples examined in this report were collected during multiple site visits, building on the finish informa-
tion gathered in each previous visit. Edward Chappell collected three samples from paneling in the second-floor
southwest bedroom on October 14, 2005 during repairs. Soon after, three samples were taken by this author from
window sash from the second-floor northeast bedroom that were removed to the paint shop for restoration. These
samples were examined in a report on Carter’s Grove generated in 2006. During a site visit on February 22, 2007
with Jeff Klee, 24 samples were taken from the exterior with the aid of Paul Frankie who operated a diesel-powered
lift. The exterior samples are numbered CG7-CG30 since six samples had previously been taken from the house for
the 2006 report. A second visit was made on April 5, 2007 with Chappell and Jeff Klee and 22 samples, numbers
CG31-CG52 were taken from protected areas were it was hoped interior finishes may have survived previous paint
removal. On August 8, 2007, Chappell returned and took six more samples (CG53-CG58) from the second-floor
interior. Four samples (CG59-CG62) were taken from a detached rosette (No. 1983-337) from the interior of the
house that is stored in the Colonial Williamsburg fragments collection. On a later visit Chappell took five samples
(CG63-CG67) from several second-floor rooms. On March 24, 2008, Chappell, Susan Buck, and the author took
further samples from the first and second floor rooms (CG68-CG124). The architectural fragments found above the
stable were sampled with the help of Chappell on July 29, 2008 (CG125-155). Numbers CG96-CG99 and CG152-
CG155 were not used. The samples were collected on site in labeled bags and each was given a unique number
corresponding to its recorded sample location. The locations were recorded in written form and photographed.
The photographs of the sample locations are given in the appendix. The exact sample locations are presented in
the table below.
Sampling Locations
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 4
CG9 North elevation, cornice, molding around modillion, left side, over left side of center window
CG10 North elevation, header of 2nd floor center window, inner flat just below new molding
CG11 North elevation, header of 2nd floor center window, left side, inner flat molding
CG12 North elevation, door header, lower bead on underside, right of center and new patch
CG13 North elevation, door header, just below top molding
CG14 North elevation, door header, underside, left side
CG15 North elevation, red wash on mortar of regular brickwork, right of door, just over water table
CG16 South elevation, cornice, molding between soffit and fascia, over space between 3rd and 4th window from west
CG17 South elevation, cornice, fascia behind modillions, over space between 3rd and 4th window from west
CG18 South elevation, cornice, soffit next to modillion, over space between 3rd and 4th window from west
CG19 South elevation, cornice, inside curve of modillion, over space between 3rd and 4th window from west
CG20 South elevation, cornice, side of modillion, over 4th window from west
CG21 South elevation, architrave of center window, outer edge of header, just below new molding
CG22 South elevation, architrave of 3rd window from west, underside of header, left side
CG23 South elevation, architrave of 3rd window from west, underside of header over right pane
CG24 South elevation, header of door architrave, shaded by molding
CG25 South elevation, header of door architrave, underside of lintel
CG26 South elevation, header of door architrave, back edge of right side at join with side
CG27 South elevation, red wash on mortar, rubbed and gauged brick over 3rd window from west
CG28 South elevation, red wash on mortar of regular brickwork, below 11th brick down from left side of center window
CG29 South elevation, red wash on mortar of rubbed and gauged brick frontispiece of door, underside of pediment, 4th brick up
from left end
CG30 South elevation, red wash on mortar of rubbed and gauged molded brick just under pediment of door
CG31 First-floor entrance hall, southeast pilaster (south of southeast door), pedestal cap, concave soffit below fret, south side,
2” out from the partition
CG32 First-floor entrance hall, face of wainscot behind and immediately north of pedestal of southeast pilaster, 6” below cap
CG33 First-floor entrance hall, bottom rail of upper paneling at juncture with top of chair rail on east wall, 1’ 2” south of the
longitudinal partition
CG34 First-floor entrance hall, southeast window shutter, back side, lower west (right) panel at intersection with stile, 5” above
the bottom rail. This may not have been painted originally
CG35 First-floor entrance hall, north stile of panel between southwest pilaster (south of southwest door) and south (front) wall,
adjoining and below upper middle torus (upper large torus) on base
CG36 First-floor entrance hall, southeast pilaster, south of southeast door, base, groove between upper and middle tori, south
side, 2” back from front corner
CG37 First-floor entrance hall, south stile of panel south of southeast pilaster, at southeast corner of room, groove between
ovolo and cyma, 1’ 2” above bottom rail
CG38 First-floor entrance hall, pilaster base east of arched opening, east side, groove between upper and middle tori, 1!” back
from front
CG39 First-floor entrance hall rear, door now leading to cellar stair, outer face, west (right) middle panel, bevel adjoining third
rail, 4” east of edge
CG40 First-floor entrance hall rear, west cornice, top fillet, adjoining fret soffit, 4” south (left) of return against west wall, below
stair to third floor, in stairwell
CG41 First-floor entrance hall rear, soffit 1’ 6” to the east of sample 10, upper north edge of the central fret
CG42 First-floor southeast room, concave soffit below chair rail fret, middle of north end immediately south of west door (to
entry hall)
CG43 First-floor southeast room, fascia behind fret on chair rail 6” north of east (hyphen) door, above bottom piece of fret
CG44 First-floor southeast room, east pilaster framing chimney piece, base, groove between flat face and lower (large) torus, 5”
east of the west edge
CG45 First-floor southeast room, same east pilaster, front fascia of pedestal cap, behind the fret 6” east of west edge
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 5
CG46 First-floor southeast room, carved backband of chimney piece surround, top piece, upper edge of cove behind leaf, 2”
east of west end
CG47 First-floor northeast room, upper panel immediately south of northwest (stair hall) door, lower north corner of raised field
at intersection with bevel
CG48 First-floor northeast room, northwest door leaf, room side, south (left) bottom panel, bevel at intersection with lower
south corner. This is an original door, with patches
CG49 First-floor northeast room, west paneling, bottom southernmost panel, top fillet of raised field 1’ 10” north of west end
CG50 First-floor northwest room, bolection chair rail, north wall, bottom face of bottom cyma, 1’ 2” west of west window in
north (rear) wall
CG51 First-floor northwest room, northwest window, north wall, in crevice at join of east architrave and paneling above chair rail
CG52 Second-floor south central room, left pilaster, recess under fretwork at chair rail, front left edge
CG53 Second-floor south central room, arched opening, river-side, right (east) pilaster, top torus on base, at intersection with
flat wooden back
CG54 Second-floor south central room, arched opening, river-side, right (east) pilaster, fillet behind right rear flute, 1” above
base
CG55 Second-floor stair hall, arched opening, left (west) pilaster in stair passage left (when back is to stair) east, top of plinth
base, edge of cavetto, left side, 1” out from wall
CG56 Second-floor stair hall, arched opening, left side, bottom of flute closest to wall
CG57 Second-floor stair hall, door to right rear northeast bedchamber, right (south) side of architrave, back side of backband, 2”
above baseboard
CG58 Second-floor stair hall, door to right rear northeast bedchamber, left (north) side of architrave, backband at intersection
with middle of architrave, 2” above floor
CG59 Detached rosette (1983-337) from frieze over chimney piece of southeast room, off center petal with evidence of dark red
paint
CG60 Detached rosette (1983-337) from frieze over chimney piece of southeast room, off inner edge of outer wide petal with
evidence of gilding and dirt
CG61 Detached rosette (1983-337) from frieze over chimney piece of southeast room, off edge of outer broken leaf with evi-
dence of gilding
CG62 Detached rosette (1983-337) from frieze over chimney piece of southeast room, off inner edge of outer broken leaf
CG63 Second-floor, southwest (left front) room, doorway to northwest (left rear) room, west architrave 4” above floor
CG64 Second-floor, southwest room, south wall, west window, east jamb, panel above window seat, lower south corner of
raised field
CG65 Second-floor, southeast (right front) room, south wall, east window, west jamb, lower southern corner of panel just above
seat
CG66 Second-floor, northwest (right rear) room, north wall, east window, west jamb, lower north corner of raised panel field
just above seat
CG67 Second-floor, northwest (left rear) room, north wall, left reveal, panel above seat, lower north edge of raised field
CG68 Second-floor northeast chamber, north wall, east window, window seat at rear left corner
CG69 Second-floor northeast chamber, north wall, east window frame on left side just above lower H hinge
CG70 Second-floor northeast chamber, north wall, east window, room-side of left shutter, starts with blue
CG71 Second-floor northeast chamber, east wall, window in former closet on left side of window frame, ~3” above lower H
hinge, compare to north wall window
CG72 Second-floor northeast chamber, east wall, window in former closet, room-side of left shutter, left edge of lower panel
CG73 Second-floor northeast chamber, east wall, window in former closet, left side of window seat near join with left panel
CG74 Second-floor northwest chamber, west wall, left side of door frame, ~5’ up
CG75 First-floor, southwest (left front) room, north wall, east pilaster, concave soffit of plinth cap, front piece, 4” from west end
CG76 First-floor, southwest (left front) room, north wall, west pilaster, concave soffit of plinth cap, east piece, !” out from rear
CG77 First-floor, southwest (left front) room, south wall, surbase fret, recessed vertical face 1’ 8” west of southeast window
CG78 First-floor, southwest (left front) room, north wall, southeast inner corner of fireplace projection, concave soffit of plinth
cap
CG79 First-floor, northwest (left rear) room, north wall, upper panel east of northwest window, west bevel against window stile
1’ 3” above surbase
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 6
CG80 First-floor, northwest (left rear) room, east wall, door to rear passage, west side of leaf, second north panel, counting
from bottom, upper north bevel where it meets the stile and rail ovolos
CG81 First-Floor stair hall, door to northwest room (same as sample 80), east face, third rail counting from bottom, lower edge
adjoining second north panel, !” from north end
CG82 First-Floor entrance hall, north wall (longitudinal partition), west pilaster, concave soffit of plinth cap, west piece, !” out
from rear
CG83 First-Floor entrance hall, east wall, main entablature soffit above door to southeast room, recessed field above fret, 2’ 2”
south of north pilaster cap, 1!” back from face of architrave
CG84 First-Floor entrance hall, east wall, main entablature soffit above door to southeast room, east (rear) projecting edge of
soffit adjoining top panel rail, 1’ 2” south of pilaster cap
CG85 First-Floor entrance hall, panel stile immediately south of pilaster north of door to southeast room, immediately below
carved south (side) half-rose, !” below entablature soffit
CG86 First-Floor entrance hall, east wall, pilaster north of door to southeast room, south side of cap, east edge of west egg
merging with leafs on Ionic volute, !” below top of egg
CG87 First-Floor entrance hall, east wall, concave soffit of plinth cap, at intersection with south wall
CG88 First-Floor entrance hall, east wall, pilaster south of door to southeast room, south side of cap, east edge of west egg
merging with leafs, !” below top of egg
CG89 First-Floor entrance hall, east wall, pilaster south of door to southeast room, west side of cap, upper ovolo, 1” back from
southwest corner
CG90 First-Floor entrance hall, west wall, panel stile immediately north of door to southwest room, where it meets the pilaster,
1’ 10” above plinth
CG91 First-Floor entrance hall, east wall, base, top of cyma where it meets a central bead, 6” north of pilaster plinth north of
door to southeast room
CG92 First-Floor entrance hall, east wall, pilaster south of door to southeast room, cap, west face, north half ovolo where it
meets its concave housing
CG93 First-Floor entrance hall, north wall (longitudinal partition), above arched opening, carved soffit of entablature, fifth large
rose, counting from east pilaster, west edge of rear petal
CG94 First-Floor entrance hall, north wall (longitudinal partition), above arched opening, carved soffit of entablature, north edge
of guilloche ribbon, around fourth large rose
CG95 First-Floor entrance hall, north wall (longitudinal partition), above arched opening, carved soffit of entablature, waterleaf
carving, edge of leaf, south of fourth small flower
CG96-
CG99
(Numbers not used)
CG100 Second-floor, northwest chamber, north wall, east window, left side of window frame about 1” above patch for H hinge
CG101 Second-floor, northwest chamber, north wall, east window, left shutter, left edge of lower panel, ~1’ up from bottom rail
CG102 Second-floor, northwest chamber, east wall, baseboard plinth, about 5’ from NE corner
CG103 Second-floor, southwest chamber, south wall, west window, right side of window frame about 2” above patch for H hinge
CG104 Second-floor, southwest chamber, south wall, west window, right shutter, right corner of lower panel ~1’ up from rail
CG105 Second-floor, southwest chamber, east wall, left side of door frame, ~5’ up
CG106 Second-floor, southwest chamber, north wall, northwest corner, short section of baseboard on plinth
CG107 Second-floor, southeast chamber, south wall, west window, right from ~ 3” above patch for lower H hinge
CG108 Second-floor, southeast chamber, south wall, west window, west shutter, lower panel ~ 10” above bottom rail
CG109 Second-floor, southeast chamber, west wall, north side of door frame ~ 5’ up
CG110 Second-floor, southeast chamber, north wall, baseboard cap, just ~ 1’ left of chimney breast
CG111 Second-floor, southeast chamber, north wall, baseboard plinth, just below CG110
CG112 Second-floor, south central room, south wall, east window, right side of window frame ~ 2” above patch for bottom H
hinge
CG113 Second-floor, south central room, south wall, east window, right shutter, lower panel, about 1’ up from bottom rail
CG114 Second-floor, south central room, south wall, east window, right shutter pocket ~ 1’ up
CG115 Second-floor, south central room, north wall, background carved lattice decoration for soffit of central arch, rear west
pilaster
CG116 Second-floor, south central room, north wall, east pilaster, underside of left volute for capital, plaster
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 7
CG117 Second-floor, south central room, north wall, east pilaster, bead molding, left side of capital
CG118 Second-floor, south central room, north wall, raised lattice decoration for soffit of central arch, rear west pilaster
CG119 Second-floor, south central room, north wall, capital of east pilaster, rear leaf on left side
CG120 Second-floor, stair hall, south wall, east pilaster, carved capital at right volute
CG121 Second-floor, stair hall, south wall, latticework soffit, near east pilaster, background
CG122 Second-floor, stair hall, south wall, latticework soffit near east pilaster, raised design
CG123 Second-floor, stair hall, south wall, west of arch, cap of baseboard ~ 6” right of base for pilaster
CG124 Second-floor, stair hall, east wall, baseboard plinth just right of door to northeast chamber
CG125 Six-light sash, exterior face, upper sash, numbered XIV on right edge, when facing exterior, above the paint line, "”
above top, 9” right of left edge
CG126 Six-light sash, exterior face, thick paint buildup !” below previous sample
CG127 Six-light sash, exterior face, thick paint buildup, !” below top and 1!” left of right edge
CG128 Six-light sash, exterior face, left side of left muntin, once covered by putty, 8” below top
CG129 Six-light sash, exterior face, right side of middle right muntin, 10” below top, once covered by putty
CG130 Six-light sash, interior, sample taken from top rail "” below top, 1’ 2” left of right side
CG131 Six-light sash, interior, top of second vertical muntin, counting from left, at torus and fillet, meeting those of top rai
CG132 Eight-panel interior door with ovolos and raised panels on both sides and rodent hole in bottom, narrower face, left third
panel, counting from bottom, left bevel 1” below top bevel.
CG133 Eight-panel interior door, narrow face, bottom of fourth rail, counting from bottom, outer edge of top ovolo !” right of
left ovolo
CG134 Eight-panel interior door, hinged edge, 1’ 10” above bottom
CG135 Eight-panel interior door, wide face, bottom rail, 2!” above bottom 4” left of right outer stile
CG136 Eight-panel interior door, wide face, bottom right panel, bottom bevel at fillet of raised panel, 4” left of right edge
CG137 Eight-panel interior door wide face, fourth rail, at intersection between fillet and ovolo 3” from intersection with right
ovolo
CG138 Second, narrower, eight-panel interior door, narrow face, third left panel, left bevel at ovolo, 6” above bottom
CG139 Second, narrower, eight-panel interior door, opposite, wider face, 3’ wide bottom right panel, right end of fillet at bottom
edge of raised field
CG140 Third eight-panel interior door, narrow face, top right panel, fillet at top edge of raised field, 4” left of right end
CG141 Third eight-panel interior door, narrow face, fourth rail, top ovolo at intersection with bevel, 2” left of right edge
CG142 Third eight-panel interior door, wide face, 3’ 4!”, top left panel, top fillet of raised field, "” right of left end
CG143 Four-panel interior shutter from superior first-floor room, “VII” chiseled on left edge, finished face, second rail, bottom
fillet, 3” left of right side
CG144 Second four-panel shutter from superior room, “VII” chiseled on right edge, finished face, third panel, left bevel at edge
of stile, 4” below top
CG145 Raised panel marked “SE room 2nd floor” in c.1930 blue chalk on back, bevel at sticking groove 1’ up from one short end
CG146 Second raised panel, with “10” in graphite, long fillet at corner of raised field
CG147 Third raised panel, marked “NE room 2nd floor and “#15” in blue, long fillet at corner of raised field
CG148 Fourth raised panel, “V” chiseled on rear, bevel on short end and adjoining fillet of raised field
CG149 Fifth raised panel, “11” in graphite on rear, long fillet 1” from end
CG150 Bolection surbase, 4!” high, 5’ 1” long, torus at intersection of fillet for larger cyma, 2’ 6!” from one end
CG151 Bolection surbase, 4!” high, 5’ 1” long, torus at intersection of fillet for larger cyma, 4’ from one end
CG152 Bolection surbase, 4!” high, 5’ 1” long, applied torus, 3’ from end (Sample not examined)
CG153 Sixth raised panel, with no markings, sample from fillet 10” from one end (Sample not examined)
CG154 Second bolection surbase, 4!” high, 6’ 11#” long, edge of bolection adjoining fillet of large cyma 1’ 7” from one end
(Sample not examined)
CG155 Second bolection surbase, from face of large cyma 1’ 5” from same end (Sample not examined)

Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 8
Results of Cross-section Analysis
Cross-sections from the 147 samples collected from Carter’s Grove are discussed in detail in the following section of
this report, beginning with the exterior samples and ending with the interior samples which are grouped by room.
The exterior samples that yielded the best finish histories were taken from protected areas of the door architraves
on the north and south elevation. There is no evidence that the exterior was stripped as the interior spaces were,
but it does seem that some layers in some locations were lost due to exposure. The most complete exterior
samples begin with a worn red paint that is the first generation of finish, perhaps applied while construction was
on-going in 1750-55. Generation 2 is a white paint that might have been applied when the family returned to the
house in 1771. Generations three and four are more white paints. The most complete window sample begins with
a white paint that seems to align with generation 3 on the door architrave. Generations 5, 6, and 7 are missing
from some samples, but others have evidence of gray, light brown, and dark brown paint applied in this period.
These generations of finish could represent the period where the house was not occupied and changed hands sev-
eral times. Generation 7 appears to be the earliest layer to have zinc white pigment, which dates it to after 1845
1
.
This suggests that before date this the house was repainted around every fifteen years. After generation 7 all the
elements on the exterior are painted with about fifteen generations of white and off-white paints.
Some samples from the cornice have an extended finish history that indicate that original elements were retained
during the McCrea restoration. The most complete samples from the cornice on the north and south elevation begin
with a white paint that seems to align with the second generation on the door architraves. It is possible then that
the red paint was confined to the doorways.
Samples from the brickwork suggest that the whole of the exterior masonry walls may have been painted with a
red limewash. Evidence was found of a red coating on both the regular brickwork and the rubbed and gauged
brickwork on both the north and south elevations.
The samples from the interior of Carter’s Grove are difficult to interpret because in many cases the cross-sections
are so fragmentary. Paint removal campaigns on the first and second floor have left little evidence of the original
paints. For this reason, samples were taken from protected areas that would have been difficult to strip or scrape
clean, such as areas under moldings and in the crevices of deep carvings. However, there is always the chance that
these hidden areas were missed during some repainting campaigns and thus do not have a full finish history. This
is especially true when samples are taken from the edge of panels where wood shrinkage has exposed a surface
that may not have received the earliest finish layers. For these reasons, it is much harder to construct a finish his-
tory for the interior.
Luckily, it is difficult to fully obliterate a paint finish from every surface and many samples contain some paint evi-
dence, even if it only survived embedded in the wood cells. Most samples from the first and second-floor central
and eastern rooms began with what seems to be a traditional eighteenth-century paint composed of lead white pig-
ment in an oil binder. This paint is fairly coarse with some large pigment clumps that suggest it was hand-ground,
unlike a modern machine-made paint. In many samples, this layer seems to have low concentration of yellow and
black pigments, which would have changed the color from white to something closer to a putty or stone color.
Other samples do not seem to have the colored pigments and it is hard to tell if this is because the paint in some
areas was not colored, or because colored pigments were just not present in the small sample area. With so little
paint evidence remaining, it may be impossible to be sure if the color of the earliest paint was the same in all the
spaces.
In contrast, the western rooms on both floors seem to have been painted gray in generation 1 instead of off-white
like the other rooms, which is unexpected. This suggests a functional difference between the west and east side of
the house. However, Chappell indicated that more elaborate woodwork makes the south (front) spaces of higher
status than the north (rear) spaces downstairs. Thus it is a surprising discovery that the west rooms appear to have
been painted differently than the central and east ones.
1 Eastaugh, Nicholas, et al. Pigment Compendium: a Dictionary of Historical Pigments. Oxford: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann, 2004. pp.
406.
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 9
The first-generation paint of the rooms is sometimes found trapped in the wood cells of samples, whereas the next
few generations of early paint were more easily removed and even more elusive. The evidence that can be gleaned
from the samples taken in the house suggests that in generation 2, the central and western rooms upstairs and
downstairs were painted white. However, the eastern rooms on both floors seem to have been painted gray-green
in generation 2. The generation 3 colors are identical to generation 2 except that the second-floor northeast room
is painted blue, suggesting that this may have been a special room. After this, most rooms go back to white or off-
white. In generation 4 and 5 a few samples have different colored paints and it seems like certain element such as
baseboards, chair rails, and/or capitals may have picked out in different colors.
Cross-sections from select samples are examined more fully in the rest of this section beginning with the exterior
elements and followed by a discussion of the evidence in the interior rooms.
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 10
CG12
CG14
CG13
South Elevation Door Header
CG25
CG24
CG26
Exterior: Door Architraves
The most complete samples from the exterior were taken from the underside of the header of the door architraves
on the north and south elevations. The sample locations are shown in the images below. These six samples (CG12
- CG14 and CG24 - CG26) have evidence of at least 22 generations of finish, which is more than found on any other
element.
North Elevation Door Header
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 11
1
1
1
Resinous
sealant
1
Sample CG14, north elevation, door header, underside, left side
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
2
Grime
2
Grime
Many of the samples from the door headers begin with a resinous sealant trapped in the wood cells. The autofluo-
rescence of this sealant suggests that it might be at least partly composed of shellac, which has a characteristic
orange fluorescence. The first finish is a worn red paint with little autofluorescence and with some grime trapped
above it. The presence of the grime and the weathered nature of the red paint suggests that it was a presenta-
tion surface that was allowed to age and collect grime before the next generation of finish was applied. Perhaps
this finish was applied during construction in 1750-55 and not repainted over until Nathaniel Burwell achieved his
majority and returned to Carter’s Grove with his family in 1771.
Sample CG12, north elevation, door header, lower bead on underside, right of center and new patch
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
Wood
Wood
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 12
The cross-section on this page is also from the header on the north door architrave. Above the first-generation,
worn red paint are three generations of white paints. Generation 5 is a light gray paint with a darker fluorescence
than the paints around it. Olley and Buck also found evidence of this gray layer in their samples from the door
architrave on the north elevation, but their samples were from lower on the architrave and are missing other early
layers. A similar light gray paint was found in cross-sections from the cornice on the south elevation. The cross-
section on the next page has a grime accumulation between the gray paint and the white paint of generation 6
indicating the two finishes were not applied at the same time.
Generation 7 is a slightly translucent, off-white paint that has a bluish fluorescence in ultraviolet light. This layer
could be mistaken for a flatted varnish except that there is grime trapped between it and the generation below. it
may be that this layer has varnish mixed in or a high binder ration. In reflected ultraviolet light this layer has small,
brightly-fluorescent yellow-green spots visible at high magnification suggesting that it contains the pigment zinc
white which would date the layer to after 1845. Generations 8 and above are white or off-white paints with varying
appearances in ultraviolet light.
Sample CG14, north elevation, door header, underside, left side
Visible light, 100x Ultraviolet light, 100x
9
12
10
8
7
5
4
1
2
11
3
6
13
14
9
12
10
8
7
5
4
1
2
11
3
6
13
14
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 13
The cross-section below has more evidence of the upper paint layers and shows a grime boundary between the
gray paint of generation 5 and the white paint of generation 6.
Sample CG14, north elevation, door header, underside, left side
Visible light, 100x Ultraviolet light, 100x
9
12
10
8
7
5
4
1 2
11
3
6
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
9
12
10
8
7
5
4
1 2
11
3
6
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 14
The samples from the door architrave on the south elevation have a slightly different early stratigraphy although
generation 1 and 2 are identical. The cross-sections below show that, as found on the northern door architrave,
the first generation of finish on the southern door architrave is a worn red paint with some grime above it. Rem-
nants of the second-generation white paint are also present with bits of black mold embedded in the paint layer.
However, the later generations on the south elevation door architrave are different from those found on the north
door architrave.
Sample CG26, south elevation, header of door architrave, back edge of right side at join with side
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
1
2
1
2
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 15
10
11
14
9
7b
7a
12
13
1
2
15
18
19
20
21
The cross-section below from the south elevation door architrave is missing generations 3 through 6. Generation
7 consists of a thick white paint with large colored pigment particles and a light brown paint above it. Both these
paints have a grainy, rough appearance. The two paints (identified as 7a and 7b) have blended slightly and were
probably applied at the same time. The white paint has a greenish fluorescence and some small particles with
yellow-green fluorescence that appear to be zinc white. This suggests that this paint aligns with generation 7 on
the door architraves, which was also the first layer that may contain zinc white on that sample. The light brown
finish coat has a muted brownish fluorescence. Neither of these layers were found on the door architrave on the
north elevation. Either these colored layers wore away on that side or at certain periods the two door architraves
were painted differently. This portion of the finish history could represent the time the house was owned but not
occupied by the Burwell family and eventually was sold.
Above generation 7 the finish histories of the door architrave on the north and south elevation are identical, with
the exception of the white paint in generation 13 which has a different autofluorescence color.
Sample CG25, south elevation, header of door architrave, underside of lintel
Visible light, 100x Ultraviolet light, 100x
16
22
8
10
11
14
9
7b
7a
12
13
1
2
15
18
19
20
21
16
22
8
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 16
10
11
13
9
7b
7a
12
18
19
20
21
8
22
10
11
13
9
7b
7a
12
18
19
20
21
8
22
1
A second sample from the door architrave on the south elevation also begins with remnants of the worn red paint
in generation 1 embedded in the bottom of the first layer. As with the sample CG25 on the previous page, genera-
tions 2 through 6 are missing. In this sample, generation 7 consists of a light brown primer and dark brown finish
coat. Again, these two paints have a grainy, rough appearance. The two paints have merged slightly suggesting
that they were applied at the same time. The light brown primer seems to be the same paint used as a finish coat
in the same generation in the cross-section on the previous page. The dark brown paint in this cross-section was
not found in any other exterior samples.
The cross-sections on this page and the previous page suggest that the south door architrave might have had a
multi-colored decorative scheme in generation 7 that used brown and light brown paints. In this same generation,
the north door architrave was painted white as is the cornice.
Above generation 7 is a series of white and off-white paints with varying autofluorescence colors that were found
on several elements, although some of the layers are disrupted in this sample.
Sample CG26, south elevation, header of door architrave, back edge of right side at join with side
Visible light, 100x Ultraviolet light, 100x
1
15
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 17
Cornice
Eight samples were taken from the cornice, three from the north elevation (CG7 - CG9) and five from the south
elevation (CG16 - CG20). During examination of the cornice on-site with Jeff Klee, its less weathered appearance
suggested that much of the cornice may have been replaced, probably during the McCrea restoration. However,
the most complete samples from both the north and south cornice begin with a white paint that appears to align
with the white paint applied in generation 2 to the door architraves. There is no evidence of the red paint found in
generation 1 on the door architraves, but the wood substrate is very disrupted on the cornice.
North Elevation Cornice
South Elevation Cornice
CG9
CG17
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 18
As shown in the cross-section below, there is grime trapped on the wood surface of the cornice underneath the first
white paint generation. This suggests that the red paint of generation 1 may have been present, but wore away
completely leaving the wood surface exposed.
Sample CG9 from the north elevation, cornice, molding around modillion, left side, over left side of
center window
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
1
Grime
1
Grime
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 19
2
4
3
12
13
9
7
11
15
19
22
10
14
2
4
3
12
13
9
7
11
15
19
22
10
14
6 6
Samples from both the north and south cornice have evidence of early white paints in generations 2 through 4 that
correspond to the paints applied to the door architraves. The cross-section below from the north cornice shows the
first three white paint generations. In place of generation 5, which was a gray paint on the door architrave, there
is a thick layer of grime above the generation 4 paint in this cross-section.
On the north and south cornice generation 7 is a slightly translucent white paint with small brightly-fluorescent
spots that suggests it contains the pigment zinc white. On the southern door architrave this generation also con-
tained zinc white but had evidence of gray and brown paints. Above generation 7 the finish history of the cornice
is virtually identical to that of the door architraves, although a few layers are missing, likely due to weathering.

Sample CG8 from the north elevation, cornice, fascia behind modillion, just left of left edge of center
window, Visible light, 100x Ultraviolet light, 100x
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 20
One sample from the south cornice has evidence of the light gray paint in generation 5 that was also found on some
samples from the northern door architrave. This cross-section has a clump of thick brown material that does not
appear to be a paint, but may be an accumulation of grime from an unknown source. This brown material was also
found in one other sample from south cornice, as shown in sample CG16 on the next page.
Sample CG18 from the south elevation, cornice, soffit next to modillion, over space between 3rd and
4th window from west
Visible light, 100x Ultraviolet light, 100x
2
4
3
12
13
9
7
11
15
19
22
10
14
6
5
8
2
4
3
12
13
9
7
11
15
19
22
10
14
6
5
8
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 21
A cross-section from a sample from the south cornice is shown below that has an identical stratigraphy to other cor-
nice samples. However, it also has a bit of the thick brown material found in two samples from the south cornice.
The material is dark in ultraviolet light and looks more like mortar than paint. Perhaps mortar from the brick work
found its way onto the cornice or the material could be something used as a wood filler.
Sample CG16 from the south elevation, cornice, molding between soffit and fascia, over space be-
tween 3rd and 4th window from west
Visible light, 100x Ultraviolet light, 100x
4
11
9
7
3
10
8
12
13
14
15
19
20
2
Brown
material
4
11
9
7
3
10
8
12
13
14
15
19
20
2
Brown
material
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 22
11 11
Windows
Five samples were taken from window architraves, including two from windows on the north elevation (CG10 and
CG11) and three from windows on the south elevation (CG21 - CG23).
North Elevation Windows
CG10
CG11
South Elevation Windows
CG21
CG22
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 23
Two samples from the windows containing wood substrate have clumps of red particles that could be the remnants
of the first generation red paint found on the door architraves. The wood substrate is also weathered and has some
grime indicating that early finishes were allowed to wear away and the wood was exposed before the next finish
was applied. In this cross-section the next finish is the white paint of generation 8.
Sample CG21, south elevation, architrave of center window, outer edge of header, just below new
molding, Visible light, 100x Ultraviolet light, 100x
Red pigments
Red pigments
8 8
9
12
8
10
11
13
14
15
19
22
16
9
12
8
10
11
13
14
15
19
22
16
One of the most complete cross-sections from a window architrave is shown below. It begins with a white paint
that corresponds to generation 8 on the cornice and door architraves. The cross-section is typical of most window
samples in that it shows evidence of grime trapped under the first paint layer and in the wood substrate, which
suggests that the wood surface was left exposed for some time. This indicates that the early paint layers on the
windows were probably lost due to exposure.
Sample CG23, south elevation, architrave of 3rd window from west, underside of header over right
pane, Visible light, 100x Ultraviolet light, 100x
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 24
A cross-section from a window on the north elevation is included below for comparison. It has an identical stratig-
raphy to that from the windows on the south elevation and begins with generation 8. There is grime trapped under
the first paint layer which suggests that earlier finishes have been lost.
Sample CG11, north elevation, header of 2nd floor center window, left side, inner flat molding
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
12
8
10
11
13
14
15
9
12
8
10
11
13
14
15
9
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 25
10
8
9
Three window sash were sampled while they were in the Colonial Williamsburg Paint Shop for repairs (CG1 - CG3).
This offered the chance to sample from the edges of the sash adjacent to the jambs where there appeared to be
thick accumulations of paint.
The cross-section below is from a window sash on the north elevation that had the best paint evidence of all the
sash sampled. The cross-section begins with three thick white paints that probably correspond to generations 8, 9,
and 10 as found on the window architraves. There are impressions of wood cells in the underside of generation 8
and some trapped grime as well.
Sample CG2, westernmost window of northeast bedroom, north elevation, lower sash, exterior face,
top left corner, Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
10
8
9
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 26
Five samples (CG125 - CG131) were taken from the exterior face of a six-light window sash found with other frag-
ments above the stable.
Six-Light Sash
CG130
CG131
CG127
CG125
CG126
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 27
Sample CG125, removed six-light sash, exterior face, upper sash, numbered XIV on right edge, when
facing exterior, above the paint line, !” above top, 9” right of left edge
Visible light, 100x Ultraviolet light, 100x
The earliest layer found in any of the samples from the removed window sash was a off-white paint. This layer
may correspond with the earliest off-white paint found on other window samples. Above the off-white paint is a
gray-green paint layer with large pigment clumps.
Sample CG127, removed six-light sash, exterior face, thick paint buildup, "” below top and 1"” left
of right edge, Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 28
Above the gray-green paint on the exterior face of the sash is a coarse red-brown paint. Next a few layers of white
or off-white paints were applied that are visible in the cross-section on the previous page. These layers are of a
more uniform consistency and have an autofluorescence that suggests they are not eighteenth-century paints.
This sash is the only exterior sample to contain a gray-green paint and the later red-brown paint, however, the
interior face of this sash has the same colorful paint layers. Some of the samples from this window were taken
from the top edge of the sash where interior paints could have bled over onto the exterior, but the sample below
was taken from where the putty had flaked off a muntin. Therefore, it is not clear how these paints relate to the
exterior paints found in other samples.
Sample CG128, removed six-light sash, exterior face, left side of left muntin, once covered by putty,
8” below top, Visible light, 400x Ultraviolet light, 400x
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 29
Door
architraves
Window
architraves
Cornice
Visible light color UV light color Visible light color UV light color Visible light color UV light color
22 off-white dark off-white blue off-white blue
21 off-white,
off-white
dark,
blue
- - - -
20 off-white dark off-white dark off-white dark
19 tan blue tan blue tan blue
18 off-white blue-
purple
off-white green-
purple
- -
15-17 off-white blue - - off-white blue
14 white dark off-white dark off-white dark
13 off-white yellow
or blue
off-white blue off-white blue
11-12 white blue-
purple
white blue-
purple
white blue-
purple
8-10 off-white yellow off-white yellow off-white yellow
7 off-white on the
north door, light
gray and light
brown or dark
brown on south
door
fluorescence
suggests zinc white
- - off-white fluorescence
suggests zinc white
6 white blue-
white
- - white blue-
white
5 coarse gray blue-
brown
- - coarse gray blue-
brown
2-4 white yellow - - white yellow
1 red red red red ? ?
wood wood wood wood wood wood
The following table summarizes the finish history of the exterior trim elements at Carter’s Grove. Remnants of the
first-generation red paint were only found in the door and window architraves, but there is grime below the first
white paint on the cornice. This suggests that the red paint may have been originally present here and wore away.
The windows have lost all evidence of the paints applied before generation 8, but the cornice and door architraves
were painted with white paints in generations 2 through 4. In generation 5 the door architraves and cornice were
painted with a coarse gray paint. In generation 6, these elements were painted with a thin, white paint with a
blue-white fluorescence. Generation 7 is unusual because many different colors were used, but all the paints have
a grainy, rough texture and an appearance in ultraviolet light that suggests zinc white is present. Thus this gen-
eration must post-date 1845. In generation 7, the north door architrave and cornice were painted off-white. The
south door architrave shows evidence of a light brown paint applied over a gray paint in one sample and a dark
brown paint applied over a light brown paint in another sample which may represent a decorative scheme.
Samples taken from the exterior face of window sash found in the stable attic show a white paint followed by a
gray-green paint, a red-brown paint, and a few white or off-white paints. The colored layers do not seem to cor-
respond to other exterior samples, but do correspond with interior paints. It is possible that interior paints bled over
onto some of the exterior paint surface, but otherwise these colorful exterior paints cannot be explained.
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 30
Mortar
Five samples (CG15 and CG27 - CG30) were taken from the mortar of both regular and rubbed and gauged brick-
work on both the north and south elevations which yielded evidence of some pigmented coatings. All the mortar
samples had evidence of a red coating that seems to have been applied to both the rubbed and gauged brickwork
and the regular brickwork.
North Elevation Mortar
South Elevation Mortar
CG15
CG27
CG28
CG29
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 31
Mortar
Red limewash
Sample CG15 was taken from the regular brickwork just over the water table. The cross-section of sample CG15
begins with the mortar which has some sort of yellow inclusion that is dark in ultraviolet light. At the top right of
the cross-section is a thin, red-pigmented coating that is most likely be a limewash. This coating lies over a thin
layer of grime and the mortar just below the red coating has a pinkish fluorescence that suggests that there might
be biological growth in this area. This indicates that the red coating was probably added after the mortar was
exposed for some time. Just above the red coating is a thin white layer with dark autofluorescence that might be
a modern white paint.
Sample CG15, north elevation, red wash on mortar, right of door, just over water table
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
Mortar
Red limewash
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 32
Sample CG27 was taken from the mortar of the rubbed and gauged brick over a window. It has evidence of a red
coating that is most likely a limewash. This red coating was found in all the brick samples from both regular and
rubbed and gauged brickwork. Sample CG27 is unusual because it also has evidence of a pink material that also
has the appearance of a limewash. This may be the remains of a second application of color to the exterior.
Sample CG27, South elevation, red wash on mortar, brick over 3rd window from west
Visible light, 40x Ultraviolet light, 40x
Mortar
Pink limewash
Red limewash
Mortar
Pink limewash
Red limewash
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 33
Interior
In addition to exterior sampling, finish samples were taken from the interior spaces on the first and second floors.
The plan of Carter’s Grove is shown on the next page for reference.
1
Despite the almost complete removal of all
finishes from the woodwork in most of the rooms, in at least two different campaigns, some finishes do survive in
crevices. Protected areas below moldings or in the interstices of carvings were sampled in the hope that the most
finish information might be gathered from these protected locations. Additionally, a detached rosette (1983-337)
from the Colonial Williamsburg collection is believed to have come from the frieze over the chimney piece in the
southeast room and offers a good early finish history. Nearly every sample from the interior begins with remnants
of an off-white paint that appears to be the first generation finish. Some samples indicate that this paint was col-
ored with yellow and black pigments, but other samples do not have this coloration. The concentration of colored
pigments is quite low, so it is possible that the colored pigments just do not appear in every sample. The frag-
mentary paint evidence makes it difficult to be sure if all the rooms were painted with the same color or not, but
the evidence does suggest that on both floors the central and eastern rooms were painted off-white or stone color.
There is also strong evidence that in generation 1 the western rooms on both floors were painted gray.
In generation 2, the central rooms were repainted off-white along with the western rooms, but at the same time
the eastern rooms on both floors were painted gray-green. This is a notable change from the generation 1 finishes
in which the western rooms were picked out in different colors.
The generation 3 finishes were identical in color to generation 2, with the exception of a blue paint applied to the
second-floor northeast room. This suggests that this room served some special function or was painted to suit the
taste of a particular occupant. In generation 4, some samples have different colors that may indicate that some
moldings or capitals were picked out in darker colors. After generation 4, the color scheme of the house becomes
more complex. Evidence from all the cross-sections was used to build a table containing compiled stratigraphies
of the interior finishes (see page 126). In the following section of this report, the paint evidence from the interior
samples is examined in more detail.

1 Plans are from the Historic American Buildings Survey collection and were drawn in 1976. Additions to the east and west have been omit-
ted from the plans.
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 34
Northwest Room
Rear
Entrance
Hall
Northeast Room
Southeast Room Southwest Room
Front
Entrance
Hall
South (river front) elevation
Northwest Room
Stair Hall
Northeast Room
Southeast Room Southwest Room
Front
Passage
South (river front) elevation
Carter’s Grove first (top) and second-floor (bottom) plans
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 35
First-Floor Entrance Hall
Twenty-two samples, including samples CG31-CG38 and CG82-CG95, were taken from the front (south) entrance
hall at Carter’s Grove. The samples were taken from protected areas in which it was hoped that remains of early
paints might have survived despite the multiple paint removal efforts. The following images show the sample loca-
tions.
CG31
CG32
CG33
CG34
CG35
CG36
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 36
CG37
CG38
CG85
CG86
CG95
CG94
CG93
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 37
Most of the samples from the front (south) entrance hall at Carter’s Grove have some evidence of a lead white-
based paint trapped in the wood cells. The generation 1 paint has a muted yellow fluorescence that suggests it
might have an aged oil binder. The coarseness of the pigment particles suggests that the paint was hand-ground,
which would be consistent with eighteenth-century production methods. This paint is likely to be the original first-
generation finish since it is embedded in the wood cells and there is no evidence of grime or other finishes below
it. Most of the samples from the entrance hall and the stair hall begin with fragments of a lead-white based paint
that appears similar to this finish, supporting the theory that this paint was the first finish applied to the woodwork
in the entrance hall.
A few samples, such as the one below, have some colored pigment particles in the earliest finish layers, including
yellow, brown, and black particles. This combination of colors suggests that the first-generation paint may have
been a beige or putty color meant to replicate stone. Other samples of this paint do not seem to have the colored
pigments, but since the concentration of colored pigment is low it is possible they were just not present in the area
sampled. This would be consistent with an eighteenth-century paint that was mixed by hand and not a completely
uniform color. It is also possible that some areas of this room were painted white and others off-white so as to pick
out certain details. Since the evidence in this room is so fragmentary, there is no way to be certain of the color of
the whole room.
The generation 2 finish appears to be an identical paint that is only separated by a very thin grime layer from the
first paint. Thus the room seems to have been repainted fairly quickly.
Sample CG82, entrance hall, north wall (longitudinal partition), west pilaster, concave soffit of plinth
cap, west piece, "” out from rear
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
3
1
Wood
2
1
Wood
2
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 38
The cross-section below shows the wood substrate and fragments of the generation 1 lead-white based paint.
There are pockets of an orange-fluorescent resinous sealant trapped in the wood cells that suggest that the wood-
work was sealed before paint was applied. The autofluorescence color of the resin in ultraviolet light is character-
istic of shellac.
The generation 1 paint is fragmentary in this sample and, unlike the previous sample, does not show evidence of
colored pigments, but since the concentration is low it is possible that the colored pigments are not visible in all
samples.
Sample CG93, entrance hall, north wall (longitudinal partition), above arched opening, carved soffit
of entablature, fifth large rose, counting from east pilaster, west edge of rear petal
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
Resinous
sealant
1 1
Wood Wood
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 39
1
2
3
4
6
7
8
10
9
13
14
1
2
3
4
6
7
8
10
9
13
14
5
Most of the samples from the entrance hall are so disrupted that it is impossible to get a sense of the finish history
of the room. However, two samples from the north face of the wall above the arched opening between the front
hall and the stair hall have fourteen generations of finish. These two samples may represent the complete finish
history for the front entrance hall, and possibly the stair hall as well.

Generation 3 is a darker yellow paint that may be more oil-rich or have a resinous component since this layer is
slightly more translucent and darker in reflected ultraviolet light. Generations 4 and 5 are lead white-based paints
with a few colored pigment particles that seem to have been the same color as the generation 1 and 2 paints.
Generation 6 is a lead white-based paint with no colored pigmentation. Generations 7, 8, and 9 have a bluish au-
tofluorescence with spots of a brightly yellow-green florescent pigment. This appearance is characteristic of a paint
pigmented with zinc white, and dates the layer to after 1845. Generations 10, 11, 12, and 13 may all represent
decorative treatments, such as faux graining schemes, because they have multiple finishes and clear varnishes.
These generations are examined more fully in the following pages. Generation 14 is a dark brown paint. On-site
examination be eye suggested that this brown paint may have been applied to areas that were too difficult to strip
to unify them with the stripped wood surfaces.
Sample CG94, entrance hall, north wall (longitudinal partition), above arched opening, carved soffit
of entablature, north edge of guilloche ribbon, around fourth large rose
Visible light, 100x Ultraviolet light, 100x
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 40
The cross-section below has evidence of the finishes applied in generations 10, 11, and 12 that were missing from
the cross-sections on the previous pages. Generation 10 consists of a thin dark brown paint or glaze that is cov-
ered by a clear varnish that has a fluorescence characteristic of a natural plant resin. The dark brown paint is not
continuous in most samples, which suggests that it may mark out a pattern, most likely a faux graining design. The
brown paint flows into a crack in the white paint of generation 9 in the middle of the sample, so these two paints
were not applied at the same time.
Generations 11 and 12 are both thick and somewhat translucent layers. Generation 11 is unpigmented and seems
almost fibrous. It has the appearance of wallpaper, but that would not have been used over the raised molding
where this sample was collected. No other samples were found with this layer and there is too little here to charac-
terize the material. Generation 12 seems to be a pigmented varnish that may represent a coating applied to refresh
the decorative treatment applied in generation 10.
Sample CG94, entrance hall, north wall (longitudinal partition), above arched opening, carved soffit
of entablature, north edge of guilloche ribbon, around fourth large rose
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
10
9
12
13
11
14
5
6
4
3
8
10
9
12
13
11
14
5
6
4
3
8
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 41
The finishes applied in generation 13 may also represent a faux graining treatment. In this generation, a yellow
paint was applied first and then a translucent brown glaze was applied over this, as seen in the two cross-sections
below. The glaze is translucent and discontinuous and probably picks out a wood grain pattern.
Generation 14 is a dark brown paint that was found in several other samples from the entrance hall.
Sample CG94, entrance hall, north wall (longitudinal partition), above arched opening, carved soffit
of entablature, north edge of guilloche ribbon, around fourth large rose
Visible light, 100x Ultraviolet light, 100x
Sample CG95, entrance hall, north wall (longitudinal partition), above arched opening, carved soffit
of entablature, waterleaf carving, edge of leaf, south of fourth small flower
Visible light, 100x Ultraviolet light, 100x
10
9
13
11
14
5
6
4
8
11
10
9
13
14
5
6
4
8
11
9
13
5
6
9
13
5
6
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 42
First-Floor Stair Hall
Four samples were taken from the first-floor stair hall in protected areas, including CG39-CG41 and CG81.
CG39
CG40
CG41
CG81
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 43
1
2
It would seem likely that the paneling in the first-floor stair hall was painted to match the paneling in the front
entrance hall, and one cross-section from the stair hall begins with three similar off-white paint layers. In this cross-
section from sample CG40, the off-white paint of generation 1 seems to have been applied in two coats as there
is a slight paint boundary in this generation. This generation has a few black pigment particles that would have
darkened the color somewhat. Generation 2 is a darker paint with some yellow pigments. Generation 3 is another
off-white paint. In other cross-sections it was applied much more thickly than found in this sample. All these layers
have a pinkish autofluorescence in reflected ultraviolet light that is typical of an aged oil paint. Above generation 3
are the remains of coatings that are too fragmentary to identify. There may be some yellow paint that corresponds
to the yellow paint found in generation 13 in other samples from the entrance hall.
Sample CG40, entrance hall rear, west cornice, top fillet, adjoining fret soffit, 4” south (left) of return
against west wall, below stair to third floor, in stairwell,
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
1
2
3 3
Wood Wood
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 44
13
10
8
1
A sample from the door to the cellar in the rear stair hall suggests that the doors may have been painted to match
the paneling in some periods. As found on the paneling, the cross-sections from sample CG39 suggest that the
wood substrate of the door was first treated with a resinous sealant, probably shellac. The first generation of paint
is off-white and has an orange fluorescence, although this may be due to blending with the resinous sealant below.
There is also a bit of the darker paint of generation 2. Above this is a coarse, dark red paint that is not found in any
of the paneling samples, but was found in some samples from baseboards and chair rails upstairs. This might have
been applied in generation 3 or 4. Above this are paints that are also found in the front entrance hall. Genera-
tions 7 and 8 are white paints that appear to contain zinc white pigment. Generation 10 is fragmentary but seems
to include the a brown glaze and varnish. This may be the remains of a faux graining system or other decorative
paint system. Above this is a modern yellow paint that corresponds to the yellow paint from generation 13 on the
front entrance hall paneling.
Sample CG39, entrance hall rear, door now leading to cellar stair, outer face, west (right) middle
panel, bevel adjoining third rail, 4” east of edge,
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
Visible light, 100x Ultraviolet light, 100x
8
13
10
13
10
8
Red paint
1
8
13
10
Resinous
sealant
2 2
Red paint
7
7
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 45
First-Floor Southeast Room
Five samples were collected from protected areas in the southeast room (CG42-CG46) and an additional 4 samples
(GC59-62) were taken from a detached rosette that is believed to have come from this room.
CG42
CG43
CG44
CG45
CG46
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 46
2
1
3
4
14
Only one sample from the southeast room walls yielded any evidence of early paints. The first generation is a lead
white-based paint that may be the same as the first generation found on the most complete samples from the en-
trance hall. In the cross-sections, the paint has a few brown pigments, but no other colored pigments were seen.
Since the colored pigment is in such low concentration in this layer, it is hard to be sure of its color.
There is a boundary between the generation 1 paint and the next layer, which suggest that these two paints were
not applied at the same time, and other samples with these same paints also suggest they were applied at separate
times. Generation 2 is a coarsely-ground gray-green paint with large yellow pigment particles This layer has a more
muted fluorescence than the other paint layers, which suggests it may contain less lead white since that pigment
is autofluorescent, or that it has a higher proportion of oil binder which quenches autofluorescence. Generations 3
and 4 are also gray-green paints. A similar finish history was also found in samples from the first and second-floor
northeast room, which suggests that early on the rooms on the eastern side of the house were painted alike.
Sample CG42, southeast room, concave soffit below chair rail fret, middle of north end immediately
south of west door (to entry hall)
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
2
1
3
4
14
Other samples from the southeast room did not show evidence of early paints or were too fragmentary or disrupted
to be of use. All the cross-section photomicrographs not discussed in this report are shown in the appendix for
future reference.
While most of the samples collected from this room did not yield useful information, there is a detached archi-
tectural fragment in the Colonial Williamsburg collection (accession number 1983-337) that appears to retain a
complete finish history. The fragment is a partial rosette that was found in a desk drawer at Carter’s Grove and
transferred to the collection in 1983. The rosette matches the other ornaments in the metopes of the frieze above
the chimney piece in the southeast room, as shown in the 1976 HABS drawing on the next page. The curatorial file
suggests the current rosettes are late 19th or early 20th century replacements, but this has not been verified with
on-site examination. Descriptions of the removed rosette in the files state that it is made of yellow pine and that it
“appears to be covered with traces of 18th-century gesso, bole, and gilt.”
1
There is a large area of paint removal
on one of the petals which may have been done as part of an attempt to understand the coatings.
1 Unpublished letter in accession file addressed to Margie from Liza and dated 11-14-83.
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 47
CG59
CG62
CG61
CG60
Rosette (1983-337) sample locations
Chappell believes that this rosette was removed from the
southeast room at some point and used for a period in
the entrance hall. Evidence for this is found in a early
photograph of the hall with a rosettes of identical profile
attached in the corners of the archway and on the key-
stone (see page 2). The rosette has a bright red layer in
generation 5 that could possibly be the color pictured in
this image.
Historic American Buildings
Survey No. VA-351, sheet 20
Rosette
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 48
The rosette was first painted with a white paint that has a pinkish fluorescence in reflected ultraviolet light. This
appears to be the same first-generation paint found throughout the house. In this cross-section there are small
spots of a blue paint just above the off-white paint. Evidence of this blue paint was found in one other cross-sec-
tion from the rosette, but not in other samples from this house in this generation. It may represent a detail picked
out on the rosette.
Generations 2, 3, and 4 are gray-green paints that are also found in cross-sections from the first-floor southeast
and northeast room and the second-floor northeast room. These paints have large pigment clumps that suggest
the paint was hand-ground and therefore is of an early date. Above this the paints used on the rosette do not
correspond to paints found elsewhere in the house. Generation 5 is a bright pink paint that is missing from this
cross-section. Generation 6 is a yellow paint with muted autofluorescence and small red pigments. Generation 7 is
a gilding layer with a bright orange base coat. The gilding does not appear to be pure gold leaf. It is thicker than
typical gold leaf and is associated with some dark green material that is probably a copper corrosion product so this
may be an alloy with a high copper content. The leaf is attached with a translucent size that has no fluorescence,
which may indicate it is an oil size. Above the leaf is a translucent yellow layer that also has a muted autofluores-
cence. This is most likely a toning layer for the gilding. In the cross-section below, this yellow toning layer has
flowed underneath the orange base coat of the gilding making it appear to be part of an earlier generation of finish.
Generation 8 is a off-white paint with a thin varnish layer above it. The varnish has a bright blue fluorescence is
ultraviolet light. Generation 9 is a green paint with red pigment particles that appears similar in composition to the
yellow paint in generation 6.
Sample CG61, detached rosette (1983-337), from frieze over chimney piece of southeast room, off
edge of outer broken leaf with evidence of gilding
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
1
3
4
6
7
8
2
9
Pocket of blue paint
1
3
4
6
7
8
2
9
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 49
Another cross-section from the rosette has more evidence of a blue paint trapped in a pocket in the gray-green
paint of generation 2. This may be evidence that the paint was not well mixed and that perhaps the generation 2
gray-green paint was first mixed as a blue paint to which yellow pigments were added. Or this blue paint could be
a finish that was lost elsewhere and only preserved in two cross-sections from the rosette.
This cross-section also shows the bright pink paint of generation 5 that was not visible in the previous cross-section.
This paint has a bright fluorescence in ultraviolet light that suggests it is mixed with lead white or that perhaps
there is a dye component in the paint. The red pigment is quite bright in both visible and reflected ultraviolet light.
Generation 7, which contains a gilding system, and generation 9, a red-pigmented green paint, are missing from
this cross-section. Above the yellow paint of generation 10 is a second gilding layer. Generation 11 consists of a
yellow-pigmented base coat followed by a layer of gold leaf. As compared to the metal leaf in the previous cross-
section, this leaf is thin and not associated with corrosion products and does appear to be gold. However, the
elemental composition of the gilding systems in generation 7 and eleven would need to be confirmed with analytical
techniques such as SEM-EDS or XRF to be certain of the metals present. Generation 12 is a multi-colored scheme
with both a dark green, a red, and a tan paint.
Sample CG62, detached rosette (1983-337) from frieze over chimney piece of southeast room, off
inner edge of outer broken leaf
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
3
4
6
8
2
10
5
11
12
3
4
6
8
2
10
5
11
12
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 50
The cross-section below has both the dark red, dark green, and tan paints of generation 12 that were applied to
the rosette in a decorative scheme. Examination of the rosette indicates that the green paint was used to outline
some of the elements and was also applied to simulate veins down the middle of the petals and leaves. The red
paint appears to have been applied only to the center petals. The tan paint was thinly applied as a wash over most
of the surface covering the green, but not the red paint. As shown in the cross-section below, all of these paints
mixed indicating that they were applied at the same time.
Sample CG62, detached rosette (1983-337) from frieze over chimney piece of southeast room, off
inner edge of outer broken leaf
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
6
8
10
5
11
12
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
6
8
10
5
11
12
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 51
First-Floor Northeast Room
Three samples were collected from protected areas of the northeast room that include CG47-CG49.
CG47
CG48
CG49
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 52
The most complete samples the northeast room are very similar to those from the southeast room. Both begin with
a white or off-white paint in generation 1. There are also some pockets of orange fluorescence in the wood cells
that suggest a resinous sealant, probably shellac, was applied before painting. Like the samples from the southeast
room, generation 2 is a gray-green paint. Generation 3 is a second gray-green paint that was applied very thickly
in this area. In this cross-section, generation 3 has large clumps of yellow pigment. Generation 4 is more finely-
ground, gray-green paint and generation 5 is an off-white paint found in other samples. Generation 6 and above
are off-white and white paints. Generation 5 has a sparkly appearance in ultraviolet light that suggests it contains
the pigment zinc white and thus dates to after 1845.
Sample CG47, northeast room, upper panel immediately south of northwest (stair hall) door, lower
north corner of raised field at intersection with bevel
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
2
1
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
2
1
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
Wood Wood
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 53
First-Floor Southwest Room
Four samples were collected from crevices around the southwest room that seemed to have retained some paint
after the stripping (CG75-CG78). One sample did not yield useful information and is pictured in the appendix. The
other three samples, however, were taken from the chimney piece and seemed to have evidence of what could be
early paints.
CG78
CG75
CG76
CG77
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 54
In the samples from the first-floor southwest room, the first generation finish was a coarsely-ground gray paint that
appears to be colored with lead white and a charcoal black pigment. This paint was applied over an orange-fluo-
rescent resinous sealant that is visible in the wood cells. The large pigment particles present in this layer suggest a
coarse hand-ground paint that would be consistent with an eighteenth-century coating. Conceivably, this gray color
was meant to blend with the marble surround of the fireplace, but a similar gray color was found in samples from
the first-floor northwest rooms as well, and a few paint fragments from the second-floor southwest room suggest
it may have had a similar gray paint.
In the sample pictured below, there are three later generations of paint above the first gray that seem to be colored
only with lead white.
Sample CG75, southwest (left front) room, north wall, east pilaster, concave soffit of plinth cap, front
piece, 4” from west end
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
1
3
4
2
Resinous
sealant
Wood
1
3
4
2
Wood
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 55
Another one of the samples with the early gray paint has what appears to be four lead white-based paint layers
above the gray paint. Generation 6 seems to be a lead white paint as well, but is more off-white in color. This was
followed by a thick, disrupted off-white paint layer in generation 7 that has an autofluorescence characteristic of
zinc white.
Sample CG78, southwest (left front) room, north wall, southeast inner corner of fireplace projection,
concave soffit of plinth cap
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
1
3
4
2
6
7
8
5
1
3
4
2
6
7
8
5
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 56
First-Floor Northwest Room
Of the four samples taken from the northwest room (CG50-51 and CG79-80), all seemed to have fragmentary evi-
dence of early paints.
CG50
CG50
CG51
CG79
CG80
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 57
The most complete sample from the northwest room begins with a lead white-based paint that was applied over an
orange-fluorescent resinous sealant. This paint is colored with charcoal black pigment that would have produced a
gray color. This paint appears identical to that found as the first generation in the first-floor southwest room, and
possibly the second floor southwest room, suggesting that these spaces were initially painted in the same man-
ner.
The second-generation paint found in samples from this room is not visible in this cross-section, but is present in
the cross-section on the next page.
Sample CG51, northwest room, northwest window, north wall, in crevice at join of east architrave
and paneling above chair rail
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
1 1
Wood Wood
6 6
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 58
The second layer of paint is a white paint colored only with lead white. This paint flowed down a crack and under
portions of the earlier gray paint. However, this paint lies on top of the wood cells, while the gray paint has soaked
into the wood cells, as seen in the previous cross-section image.
Above both paints is a white paint with a few red pigment particles. This paint has a much less autofluorescence
in reflected ultraviolet light than the earlier paints and probably contains zinc white pigment, dating it to the mid-
nineteenth century or later. This paint also flowed down cracks in the gray paint.
Sample CG51, northwest room, northwest window, north wall, in crevice at join of east architrave
and paneling above chair rail
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
2 2
Wood Wood
1 1
6 6
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 59
One other sample from the northwest room has what could be an early paint. The sample below was collected from
the door to the rear passage. The earliest layer is a paint is mostly colored with lead white and a few pockets of a
bright red-orange pigment that may be red lead. This would have given the paint a pinkish color. A similar paint
was found on a removed eight-panel door stored above the stable. Above the pink paint is a white paint layer that
has the characteristic autofluorescence of a zinc white paint and seems similar to the paint found in generation 6
on other samples.
Sample CG80, northwest (left rear) room, east wall, door to rear passage, west side of leaf, second
north panel, counting from bottom, upper north bevel where it meets the stile and rail ovolos
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
Pink
paint
Pink
paint
6 6
Other samples from this room had evidence of another pink paint and a tan paint. Both of these paints have dark
autofluorescence colors that indicate that they are not eighteenth-century paints. Cross-sections with these paints
are included in the appendix for further study.
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 60
The following table summarize the finish evidence from first-floor samples.
First-floor finish history
Front
entrance hall
Stair hall Southeast
room
Detached
rosette
Northeast
room
Southwest
Room
Northwest
Room
14 brown brown
13 yellow yellow
12 pigmented
varnish
green, dark red,
and tan
11 varnish yellow with
metal flakes
white
10 brown glaze
and varnish
brown glaze
and varnish
yellow light pink
9 white red-pigmented
green
off-white
8 white white white with
varnish
white with
varnish
off-white
7 white white metal flakes and
toning layer
white off-white
6 white red-pigmented
yellow
white white white
5 off-white bright red off-white off-white
4 off-white red gray-green gray-green gray-green off-white
3 off-white off-white gray-green gray-green gray-green off-white
2 off-white off-white gray-green gray-green gray-green off-white off-white
1 off-white off-white off-white off-white off-white gray gray
wood with res-
inous sealant
wood with res-
inous sealant
wood with res-
inous sealant
wood with res-
inous sealant
wood with res-
inous sealant
wood with res-
inous sealant
wood with res-
inous sealant
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 61
Second-Floor South Central Room
Eleven samples, including CG52-CG54 and CG112-CG119, were taken from the south central room on the second
floor. It was hoped that this room had not been stripped like the downstairs spaces, but there was little evidence of
early paints under the current finishes. The earliest finish found in any of the samples appears to be a lead white-
based paint trapped in the wood cells. The fragmentary and disrupted nature of this paint suggests that this room
was stripped along with the downstairs rooms. Indeed, some images in the Colonial Williamsburg archives show
the second-floor stair hall stripped down to bare wood.
CG52
Location of samples CG112 - CG114 Location of samples CG115 - CG119
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 62
The cross-section photomicrograph below shows the wood substrate with pockets of an orange-fluorescent resinous
sealant trapped in the cells. Above this are bits of a white or off-white paint that may be all that remains of the
original finish. With this little material it is hard to determine the color. There are bits of dirt trapped in the upper
surface of this paint. The next finish is a white paint that seems to be a base coat for the green paint above it.
These two paints seem to correspond with generation 6 in other samples from this room.
Sample CG54, second-floor, south central room, arched opening, river-side, right (east) pilaster, fillet
behind right rear flute, 1” above base
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
6
1
Resin sealant Wood
6
1
Wood
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 63
Another sample has what seem to be 3 early paint layers. This sample was collected from the background of a
molding with latticework that may have escaped campaigns of paint removal. All the early layers have a dull pinkish
autofluorescence that is characteristic of an aged oil paint colored with lead white. The first generation finish has
fragments of wood cells embedded in it indicating that it is the original finish. The first layer seems to have a few
fine black pigments that would have changed the color somewhat. Generation 2 and 3 are more yellow in color
with a few yellow and brown pigment particles. These layers are similar to those found on some of the samples
from the first-floor south central room and it seems the two upper and lower spaces may have been painted alike.
Generation 4 consists of a white base coat and a light green finish coat. Generation 5 may be a decorative scheme.
It has a brown paint or glaze covered by a clear varnish that has a fluorescence like a natural plant resin. This
seems similar to the decorative treatment found in generation 10 in the first-floor entrance hall. Generation 6 is
composed of a white primer with a light green finish coat.
Sample CG115, second floor, south central room, north wall, background carved lattice decoration for
soffit of central arch, rear west pilaster
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
2
1
3
4
5
6
8
9
2
1
3
4
5
6
8
9
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 64
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
Above the generation 6 light green paint is a yellow paint in generation 7 with a clear varnish coat. Generations
8 through 15 are all light yellow-green paints that appear to be nearly the same color. Generations 8 through 11
have spots of bright yellow-green fluorescent pigment particles when viewed in ultraviolet light. This is charac-
teristic of layers containing zinc white which, if present, dates the layers to the mid-nineteenth century and after.
Generations 12 through 15 are not autofluorescent which suggests that they have modern, synthetic binders. It
is possible that all the paints in the cross-section below were applied after the first stripping campaign in the late
nineteenth century.
Sample CG116, second floor, south central room, second floor, north wall, east pilaster, underside of
left volute for capital, plaster
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 65
2
6
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
2
6
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
Resin sealant Wood Wood
4
5
One sample from the second-floor central room has a dark red paint not found in other samples. This sample was
taken from the soffit below the fretwork on the pedestal cap of the pilaster in the front passage adjacent to the chair
rail, so it may represent finishes that was only used on the chair rail. The cross-section begins with a resin sealant
trapped in the wood cells. Next is an off-white paint that seems to be colored with lead white and some yellow
pigments. This paint may be part of the generation 2 or 3 paint found in other samples from this room.
Above this is some dirty varnish that may have flowed down a crack from the layer of varnish applied in generation
5. Generation 4 in this sample consists of a white base coat and thin gray finish coat while in other samples from
this room the finish coat was green. The gray may also be a color only applied to the chair rail. Generation 5 is a
dark red paint with a varnish coat. The dark red paint and the varnish may have been applied at the same time.
Above the varnish layer are the white and light green paint that make up generation 7 in other samples.
Sample CG52, second-floor, south central room, left pilaster, recess under fretwork at chair rail, front
left edge
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
Wood
4
5
4
5
4
5
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 66
Second-Floor Stair Hall
Nine samples (CG55-CG58 and CG120-CG124) were collected from elements in the second-floor stair hall. Most
samples were taken from protected locations where it is hoped that early finishes survived paint removal efforts.
Location of samples CG120 - CG122 Location of sample CG124
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 67
As with samples from the first-floor stair hall, the earliest paint evidence in the second-floor stair hall seems to be
a paint composed of lead white in oil. The paint is shown in the image below embedded deep in the wood cells
where it would be hard to remove even with stripping or scraping. Because the remains of this paint are so small,
it is hard to be sure if there is any colored pigmentation.
Sample CG120, stair hall, second floor, south wall, east pilaster, carved capital at right volute
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
Wood
1
Wood
1
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 68
This sample was taken from the capital of a pilaster and has some unusual finishes. Above the generation 1 paint
seen in the cross-section on the previous page, is a white paint that seems identical to the white paint applied in
generation 4 in some samples from the south central room. Above the white paint is a layer of metal flakes that
were applied in a resinous coating to simulate gold. Since these two layers have merged, it seems likely that the
white paint is a base coat for the metal flake layer. Above the metal layer is a resinous red-pigmented layer that
may be a toning layer to change the color of the metal flakes. This is in turn covered with a layer of varnish. The
lack of autofluorescence in the varnish suggests that it contains oil. This finish was probably a special treatment
applied to the capitals, as it is not found in other samples. Some dirt collected on the surface of the varnish before
a later varnish coating was applied that may be the generation 5 finish. This second varnish also had time to col-
lect dirt before it was covered over. All these coatings were applied before the generation 6 light green paint was
applied. Generations 6 and beyond in the second-floor stair hall are identical to those found in the south central
room.
Sample CG120, stair hall, second floor, south wall, east pilaster, carved capital at right volute
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
6
8
9
10
Metal
Varnish
4
Red toning
layer
5
1
11
12
6
8
9
10
Metal
Varnish
4
Red toning
layer
5
1
11
12
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 69
Another sample from the second-floor stair hall has what seem to be two early layers of lead white-based paints.
Both layers are thin, so it is hard to be sure of their pigmentation, but the generation 2 paint does seem to have
some yellow pigment particles. This would make it similar in color to the early finishes found in samples from the
first-floor stair hall and south entrance room.
In generation 4, the latticework soffit was painted with a white base coat and a bright green finish layer. In gen-
eration 5 a thin brown paint or glaze was applied that was covered with what appears to be a natural plant resin
varnish based on its fluorescence. Identical finishes were found in the second-floor south central room and in
generation 10 in the first-floor entrance hall. A sample from the south central room showed that the brown glaze
was not applied at the same time as the bright green paint since the brown material flowed down an age crack into
the earlier layer.
Sample CG121, stair hall, second floor, south wall, latticework soffit, near east pilaster, background
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
2
9
10
4
1
11
12
6
8
2
9
10
4
1
11
12
6
8
5 5
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 70
The cross-section below from the baseboard on a pilaster has evidence of yet another new color. In this location,
in generation 4 the baseboard was painted yellow over a white base coat. In generation 5, the same thin brown
glaze or paint was applied as in the previous sample and covered with a varnish layer. There is also a thin red-brown
paint in this sample caught between the varnish of generation 5 and the base coat of generation 6. There is too
little of this paint to be sure which generation it is associated with. Nonetheless, the unusual colors found on the
pilaster capital and baseboard in the second-floor stair hall indicate that there was a period in which a complicated
multi-colored scheme was in place. After this the design turned more monochromatic with most or all elements in
the first and second-floor central rooms all being painted light green for several generations.
Sample CG123, stair hall, second floor, south wall, west of arch, cap of baseboard ~ 6” right of base
for pilaster
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
9
10
4
11
12
6
8
5
13
14
15
Red-brown paint
9
10
4
11
12
6
8
5
13
14
15
Red-brown paint
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 71
Second-floor Southeast Room
Six samples were collected from the second-floor southeast room including CG65 and CG107-CG111, but unfortu-
nately, none have good evidence of early paints.
Location of southeast room samples
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 72
The earliest layer found in any of the samples from the second-floor southeast room was an off-white paint with
some black and red pigments. This paint may have had a warm gray color. This paint has a muted autofluores-
cence that is not typical of an eighteenth-century paint. The cells of the wood substrate trapped pockets of an
orange-fluorescent resinous sealant, as well as pockets of a pinkish-fluorescent, lead white-based paint that is
characteristic of an eighteenth-century paint. It seems likely that this room was also stripped and that most of the
original paint was removed. If any early paint evidence survives, it is fragmentary and only in protected areas.
Above the remains of early paint, there are several generations of later paint. The paint in generation 6 has a
similar fluorescence to that found in generation 6 in samples from other rooms and the generations of paint in this
room were numbered following this theory.
Sample CG109, southeast chamber, second floor, west wall, north side of door frame ~ 5’ up
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
6
7
1
8
9
3
4
3
10
11
5
Wood
6
7
1
8
9
3
4
3
10
11
5
Wood
Resinous
sealant
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 73
Second-floor Northeast Room
Eight samples were collected from the northeast room and they include CG1, and CG68-CG74. Unlike the rooms
on the south, there are early finishes in several of the samples from this room that suggest that this space was not
stripped.
Location of samples CG68 - CG70 Location of samples CG71 - CG73
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 74
The earliest finish in the northeast room appears to be a lead white-based paint with some yellow-brown pigments.
Generation 2 is a gray-green paint that is similar to paints found in the first-floor eastern rooms. This paint was
only found in two samples from this room, CG69 and CG72 which were taken from a window frame and window
shutter respectively. Other samples from this room jumped to generation 3, a blue paint that seems to be colored
with Prussian blue and lead white pigment.
Sample CG69, second-floor, northeast chamber, north wall, east window frame on left side just above
lower H hinge
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
2
3
Wood
1
5
2
3
Wood
1
5
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 75
Generation 4 is another blue paint that was probably similar in color to the generation 3 paint. After this, the room
is painted with a series of white or off-white paints up to the present. Several of these layers have a few colored
pigments. The generation 5 paint has a bright fluorescence that is characteristic of a paint containing zinc white,
which would date it to after 1845. The later paints are visible in the lower set of cross-section image on this
page.
Sample CG71, northeast chamber, second floor, east wall, window in former closet on left side of
window frame, ~3” above lower H hinge, compare to north wall window
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
Sample CG74, northeast chamber, second floor, west wall, left side of door frame, ~5’ up
Visible light, 400x Ultraviolet light, 400x
5
3
1
4
6
7
8
9
5
3
1
4
6
7
8
9
11
3
10
4
12
6
7
9
13
11
3
10
4
12
6
7
9
13
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 76
Second-floor Southwest Room
Nine samples were collected from the second-floor southwest room, including CG4-CG6, CG63-CG64, and CG103-
CG106, but like the second-floor southeast room, none have good evidence of early paints. There is a lead white-
based paint tapped in the wood cells of the cross-sections from this room, along with a pockets of a resinous seal-
ant. This is probably the generation 1 paint, but the surface was obviously scraped or stripped since the paint layer
is very thin and the next layer begins abruptly. The first continuous paint layer seems to correspond with generation
6 in other samples from this floor.
Sample CG6, second-floor, southwest bedroom paneling, right (east) stile, left edge, 10” above floor
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
6
7
1
8
9
10
11
Wood
Resinous
sealant
12
13
6
7
1
8
9
10
11
Wood
Resinous
sealant
12
13
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 77
One sample from the southwest room has a few black pigments at the bottom of generation 2 that offers intriguing
evidence that this room may have been painted gray to match the first-floor western rooms. The evidence from
the first floor suggests that the western rooms were painted with a gray paint colored with large black pigment
particles. Samples from the upstairs suggest that the second floor eastern rooms may have been painted to match
the first-floor eastern rooms, so it seems likely that the second floor western rooms were painted gray to match
the first-floor western rooms. The black pigments at the bottom of this sample are very similar to those found in
the first-floor western rooms.
Sample CG105, second-floor, southwest chamber, east wall, left side of door frame, ~5’ up
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
2
Wood
Resinous
sealant
2
Wood
1 1
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 78
Another sample from the second-floor southwest room retains more of the paint layers found in this room. This
sample was taken from a door frame and the paint at the bottom of this particular cross-section has a pocket of red
pigment. This is similar to the red-pigmented paint found on doors in the first-floor northwest room and a removed
eight-panel door found over the stable.
The cross-section below also has some paints that were not found in other cross-sections from this room.
Sample CG105, second-floor, southwest chamber, east wall, left side of door frame, ~5’ up
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
6
7
8
4
3
5
2
6
7
8
4
3
5
2
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 79
Second-floor Northwest Room
Five samples were collected from the northwest room and they include CG66-67 and CG100-CG102. Although
some of the samples have incomplete stratigraphies, it does not seem that this room was stripped or scraped.
Location of samples from northwest room
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 80
The earliest paint layer found in the northwest room is a lead white-based paint that in this cross-section has one
black pigment particle. The wood substrate is missing from this sample, but there are impressions of wood fibers in
the underside of the sample confirming that this is the first paint layer applied to the wood. Generation 2 is a darker
paint with yellow and brown pigments and a pinkish autofluorescence. Generation 3 is a thinly applied white paint.
Generation 4 is a thicker gray paint colored with fine black pigment particles. After this, the room was painted with
several generations of white or off-white paint, like other rooms upstairs.
Sample CG100, second-floor, northwest chamber, north wall, east window, left side of window frame
about 1” above patch for H hinge
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
11
1
10
2
12
4
7
9
13
3
11
1
10
2
12
4
7
9
13
3
8
8
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 81
One sample from the northwest room has evidence of a red-brown paint with a varnish above it. The sample was
taken from a baseboard plinth and it seems likely that this is the same red-brown paint that was found in a few
other second-floor rooms on chair rails and baseboards. It is not a generation 1 paint, and instead seems to date
to generation 5. This indicates that there were periods in which a multi-colored scheme was in use in several of
the rooms.
Sample CG102, northwest chamber, second floor, east wall, baseboard plinth, about 5’ from NE cor-
ner, Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
10
7
8
9
13
5
10
7
8
9
13
5
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 82
South central
room
Stair hall Southeast room Northeast room Southwest
Room
Northwest
Room
15 light yellow-green
14 light yellow-green
13 light yellow-green off-white off-white off-white
12 light yellow-green light yellow-green off-white off-white off-white
11 light yellow-green light yellow-green off-white off-white off-white off-white
10 light yellow-green light yellow-green off-white off-white off-white off-white
9 light yellow-green light yellow-green off-white off-white off-white off-white
8 light yellow-green light yellow-green off-white off-white off-white off-white
7 yellow, varnish off-white off-white off-white off-white
6 white base coat,
green finish coat
white base coat,
green finish coat
white white off-white off-white
5 glaze and varnish
or red
glaze and varnish off-white off-white white off-white or red
4 white base coat,
green finish coat
white base coat
with green finish
coat, or yellow
finish coat or
metal flake, ton-
ing layer, varnish
off-white blue off-white light gray
3 off-white off-white blue white white
2 off-white gray-green off-white off-white
1 off-white off-white off-white off-white gray gray?
wood with resin-
ous sealant
wood with resin-
ous sealant
wood with resin-
ous sealant
wood with resin-
ous sealant
wood with resin-
ous sealant
wood with resin-
ous sealant
The finish history of the second-floor rooms is summarized in the table below.
Second-floor finish history
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 83
Fragments
Thirty-one samples were taken from architectural fragments found on the second floor of the stable. These are
pieces removed from the house at various points and it was hoped that the finish history of the fragments would
shed light on the finish history of the rest of the house. The fragments include window sash, shutters, doors, pan-
eling, and surbases.
A six-light window sash was sampled on both the interior and exterior face (samples CG125-CG131). The exterior
samples are discussed in the exterior portion of this report on pages 22 and 23. The image below shows the loca-
tion of the sample CG130 on the interior face.
CG130
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 84
The generation 1 paint appears to be a paint colored only with lead white. Generation 2 is a gray-green paint that
was also found in the first-floor southeast and northeast room and the second-floor northeast room. Therefore, this
sash might be from any of these locations. Above the gray-green paint is a varnish coat that has an orange fluores-
cence in reflected ultraviolet light. While this sample does not seem to have a boundary between generations 1 and
2, other samples with these sample paints did, suggesting that they were not applied at the same time. Generation
4 is a red-brown paint that is similar to the color found on chair rails and baseboards in several rooms.
Sample CG130, six-light sash, interior, sample taken from top rail !” below top, 1’ 2” left of right
side, Visible light, 400x Ultraviolet light, 400x
2
1
4
Wood
Resinous
sealant
2
1
4
Wood
Resinous
sealant
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 85
Generation 5 on the window sash is a coarse paint colored with orange-red and black pigments that may have been
a warm gray in color. After this several generations of white or off-white paints were applied to the window sash.
Sample CG130, six-light sash, interior, sample taken from top rail !” below top, 1’ 2” left of right
side, Visible light, 400x Ultraviolet light, 400x
2
1
4
5
7
9
10
2
1
4
5
7
9
10
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 86
Two samples were taken from an interior folding window shutter (samples CG143-CG144) as seen in the image be-
low. Most of the finish was gone from this element, but some material remained in the crevices of the moldings.
CG143
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 87
The generation 1 paint on the shutter is a lead white-based paint with some yellow and black pigments. Genera-
tion 2 is a blue paint that seems to be colored with Prussian blue and lead white. A similar paint was found in the
second-floor northeast room. Above this, the stratigraphy is disrupted and there are several layers of white or off
white paints that are more modern.
Sample CG143, four-panel interior shutter from superior first-floor room, “VII” chiseled on left edge,
finished face, second rail, bottom fillet, 3” left of right side,
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
2
1
6
7
8
9
1
10
Wood
Resinous
sealant
2
1
6
7
8
9
1
10
Wood
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 88
Three doors found over the stable were sampled. These can be compared to samples CG39, CG48, and CG80-
81 which were taken from doors in the house. The first was an eight-panel interior door (shown below) and six
samples from taken from the two faces (CG132-CG137).
CG133
CG132
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 89
The narrower face of this door began with a generation 1 paint that seems to be colored with lead white, along
with yellow and black pigments. Generation 2 is a gray-green paint that was also found in the first-floor southeast
and northeast room and the second-floor northeast room. Generation 4 is a thick red-brown paint with a brown
varnish above. The varnish has a muted bluish fluorescence in ultraviolet light. Generation 5 is a thick paint with
black and red pigments. This stratigraphy is identical to the six-panel sash found in the fragment pile, so the two
items may have been removed from the same room.
Sample CG133, eight-panel interior door, narrow face, bottom of fourth rail, counting from bottom,
outer edge of top ovolo "” right of left ovolo,
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
2
1
5
4
2
1
5
4
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 90
Another sample from the narrow face of the same door had a pink paint above the generation 4 red-brown paint.
This paint is colored with bright red pigment particles and is similar to a paint found on the door between the first-
floor northwest room and the passage. This could be a color used to pick out certain details on doors throughout
the house.
Sample CG132, eight-panel interior door with ovolos and raised panels on both sides and rodent hole
in bottom, narrower face, left third panel, counting from bottom, left bevel 1” below top bevel,
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
6
5
4
6
5
4
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 91
The wide face of this door was also sampled and seems to have a slightly different stratigraphy.
CG137
Generation 1 and 2 on the wide face are both off-white paints that seem to be colored with lead white, along with
yellow and black pigments. Similar paints were found in many of the central and eastern spaces upstairs and down-
stairs, so this face of the door may have opened up onto the rooms.
Generation 4 is a red-brown paint and generation 5 is a coarse paint with red and black pigments. Both of these
paints were also found on the other side of the door. Generation 6 and 7 are light yellow paints.
Sample CG137, eight-panel interior door wide face, fourth rail, at intersection between fillet and
ovolo 3” from intersection with right ovolo,
Visible light, 100x Ultraviolet light, 100x
7
6
1
5
4
2
7
6
1
5
4
2
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 92
16
Two samples (CG138-CG139) were taken from a second, narrower eight-panel interior door that is shown below.
CG138
CG139
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 93
Two samples (CG138-CG139) were taken from a second, narrower eight-panel interior door. The narrow face of
this door has generation 1 and 2 paints that seems to be colored only with lead white. Generation 4 is a red-brown
paint layer found on most door samples.
Sample CG138, second, narrower, eight-panel interior door, narrow face, third left panel, left bevel
at ovolo, 6” above bottom,
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
1
4
2
1
Wood
Resinous
sealant
1
4
2
1
Wood
Resinous
sealant
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 94
The wider face of this door begins with a generation 1 paint that has white and large black pigment particles. A
similar gray paint was found in the first-floor southwest and northwest rooms and may have been applied in the
second-floor southwest room. Generation 2 seems to be a lead white-based paint without colored pigments. The
later generations are also white or off-white paints.
Sample CG139, second, narrower, eight-panel interior door, opposite, wider face, 3’ wide bottom
right panel, right end of fillet at bottom edge of raised field,
Visible light, 400x Ultraviolet light, 400x
1
3
2
3
Wood
Resinous
sealant
4
1
2
3
Wood
4
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 95
The third door sampled was an eight-panel interior door shown below.
CG141
CG142
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 96
The narrow face of this door begins with two thick layers of what appears to be a traditional lead white in oil paint.
There also appears to be some yellow pigments in the layer and there is one large black particle that could be pig-
mentation or just embedded dirt. Above this are five generations of more modern white or off-white paints.
Sample CG141, third eight-panel interior door, narrow face, fourth rail, top ovolo at intersection with
bevel, 2” left of right edge,
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
1
2
6
Wood
Resinous
sealant
7
1
8
9
10
11
1
2
6
Wood
7
1
8
9
10
11
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 97
The wide face of the last eight-panel door begins with a off-white paint that seems to be colored with lead white.
The second generation is similar but seems to have some yellow pigments. The generation 2 paint seems darker
in color than the paint on the opposite face of the door, but that may just be that a different area was sampled as
early paints tend not to be as well blended. This sample is also disrupted so earlier layers may be missing. Above
the off-white paint are the same white or off-white modern layers seen on the other side of the door.
Sample CG142, third eight-panel interior door, wide face, 3’ 4"”, top left panel, top fillet of raised
field, !” right of left end,
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
2
Wood
Resinous
sealant
11
1
6
7
8
10
2
Wood
11
1
6
7
8
10
9 9
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 98
CG145
Five sections of paneling with raised panels were sampled from the fragment collection (samples CG145-CG149
and CG153).
CG146
CG148
CG149
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 99
The first two sections of paneling begin with four layers of paint that all appear to be early oil paints colored with
lead white. There seem to be a few brown and yellow pigments in these layers that would have changed the color
somewhat. Generation 5 is a gray paint with bluish fluorescence that probably dates to the nineteenth century.
Sample CG145, raised panel marked “SE room 2nd floor” in c.1930 blue chalk on back, bevel at stick-
ing groove 1’ up from one short end,
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
2
Wood Resinous
sealant
9
1
5
4
1
3
2
Wood
1
5
4
1
3
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 100
Another of the raised panels began with a lead white in oil paint in generation 1 and generation 2 and 3 in this
sample are gray-green paints. This seems to be the same paint that was found in the first-floor southeast and
northeast room and the second-floor northeast room. Generation 4 seems to be an another lead white in oil paint.
Generations 5 and 6 are gray paints. There is a dirt or varnish over a portion of the gray paint in generation 6.
A similar gray paint was found in generation 4 in the first-floor northeast and southeast room. Generation 7 is a
white paint, and generation 8 is a dark gray paint with some red pigments. Above this the paints are white and
off-white.
Sample CG146, second raised panel, with “10” in graphite, long fillet at corner of raised field,
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
2
1
5
4
3
6
7
8
10
11
2
1
5
4
3
6
7
8
10
11
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 101
The fourth raised panel has a more fragmented stratigraphy, but it seems to share a similar finish history with the
panel on the previous page (sample CG146). The only difference is that this panel is that the generation 10 white
paint has a light blue finish coat that was not found on any of the other panels. This suggests that this panel may
have been used in a different space.
Sample CG148, fourth raised panel, “V” chiseled on rear, bevel on short end and adjoining fillet of
raised field,
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
2
1
12
11
7
8
10
2
1
12
11
7
8
10
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 102
The fifth raised panel begins with two layers of what seems to be lead white in oil paint. Generation 3 and 4 are
blue paints probably colored with Prussian blue and lead white. After this is a series of white and off-white paints.
A similar stratigraphy was found in the second floor northeast room so this panel may be from that location.

Sample CG149, fifth raised panel, “11” in graphite on rear, long fillet 1” from end,
Visible light, 100x Ultraviolet light, 100x
Visible light, 100x Ultraviolet light, 100x
3
1
8
9
2
1
3
4
5
6
Wood
3
1
8
9
2
1
3
4
5
6
Wood
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 103
Two samples were collected from a bolection surbase found among the fragments.
CG150
CG151
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 104
The surbase begins with a paint that seems to be a traditional lead white in oil although its yellowish color suggests
that it may have added pigmentation. Generation 2 is a gray-green paint that was found in at least three rooms in
the house. This photomicrograph shows that there this a clear boundary between the generation 1 and generation
2 paint indicating that they were not applied at the same time. The stratigraphy is disrupted after this, but there is
evidence of the dark gray paint found in generation 8 in other samples and later white and off-white paints.

Sample CG150, bolection surbase, 4"” high, 5’ 1” long, torus at intersection of fillet for larger cyma,
2’ 6"” from one end,
Visible light, 100x Ultraviolet light, 100x
10
8
2
1
6
10
8
2
1
6
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 105
A second sample from the same surbase shows the later layers more clearly. The gray paint found in generations
5 and 6 in other samples is visible as is a light blue paint in generation 10 that was also found on one of the eight-
panel doors above the stable, but nowhere else in the house.

Sample CG151, bolection surbase, 4"” high, 5’ 1” long, torus at intersection of fillet for larger cyma,
4’ from one end,
Visible light, 200x Ultraviolet light, 200x
10
8
2
1
5
6
11
10
8
2
1
5
6
11
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 106
Results of Binding Media Analysis with Fluorochrome Stains
Several cross-section samples from exterior and interior surfaces were chosen for treatment with a biological fluoro-
chrome stain that marks zinc (Zn
2+
) if it is present in a paint layer. Since zinc white pigment was not commercially
available for use in oil paint until 1845, this provides a convenient dating marker for later paint layers.
In sample CG14 from the north elevation door header, there were positive reactions for zinc beginning in genera-
tion 7, as shown by a bright blue reaction color in the cross-sections below. Therefore, generation 7 and the layers
above it most likely postdate the mid-nineteenth century.
Sample CG14 from the north elevation door header
Ultraviolet light, 100x Stained with TSQ for zinc, 100x
9
12
10
8
7
5
4
1
2
11
3
6
13
14
9
12
10
8
7
5
4
1
2
11
3
6
13
14
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 107
In sample CG25 from the south elevation door header, there were weak positive reactions for zinc beginning in
generation 7, and strong positive reactions in generations 11 and above, as shown by a bright blue reaction color
in the cross-sections below.
Sample CG25 from the south elevation door header
Ultraviolet light, 100x Stained with TSQ for zinc, 100x
10
11
14
9
7b
7a
12
13
1
2
15
18
19
20
21
16
22
8
10
11
14
9
7b
7a
12
13
1
2
15
18
19
20
21
16
22
8
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 108
1
2
3
4
7
8
10
14
1
2
3
4
7
8
10
14
In sample CG94 from ornamental moldings in the first-floor entrance hall, there were positive reactions for zinc
beginning in generation 7, as shown by a bright blue reaction color in the cross-sections below. Therefore, genera-
tion 7 and the layers above it most likely postdate the mid-nineteenth century.
Sample CG94 from the first-floor stair hall
Ultraviolet light, 100x Stained with TSQ for zinc, 100x
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 109
In sample CG25 from the entrance hall rear door, there were positive reactions for zinc beginning in generation 7,
as shown by a bright blue reaction color in the cross-sections below.
Sample CG25 from the entrance hall rear door
Ultraviolet light, 100x Stained with TSQ for zinc, 100x
13
10
8
1
2
Red paint
7
13
10
8
1
2
Red paint
7
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 110
In sample CG47 from the first-floor northeast room, there were positive reactions for zinc (Zn
2+
) beginning in gen-
eration 5, as shown by a bright blue reaction color in the cross-sections below.
Sample CG47 from the entrance hall rear door
Ultraviolet light, 100x Stained with TSQ for zinc, 100x
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 111
In sample CG78 from the first-floor southwest room, there were positive reactions for zinc (Zn
2+
) beginning in gen-
eration 6, as shown by a bright blue reaction color in the cross-sections below.
Sample CG78 from the first-floor southwest room
Ultraviolet light, 100x Stained with TSQ for zinc, 100x
1
3
4
2
6
7
8
5
1
3
4
2
6
7
8
5
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 112
In sample CG51 from the first-floor northwest room, there were positive reactions for zinc (Zn
2+
) beginning in gen-
eration 6, as shown by a bright blue reaction color in the cross-sections below.
Sample CG51 from the first-floor northwest room
Ultraviolet light, 100x Stained with TSQ for zinc, 100x
1
Wood
6
1
Wood
6
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 113
In sample CG80 from the first-floor northwest room, there were positive reactions for zinc (Zn
2+
) beginning in gen-
eration 6, as shown by a bright blue reaction color in the cross-sections below. The unusual pink paint found in this
sample has some cracks that allowed material from generation 6 to flow down into the earlier layer. This material
gives some false positive reactions for zinc in the pink paint.
Sample CG80 from the first-floor northwest room
Ultraviolet light, 200x Stained with TSQ for zinc, 200x
Pink
paint
6
Pink
paint
6
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 114
In sample CG116 from the second-floor south central room, there were positive reactions for zinc (Zn
2+
) beginning
in generation 8, as shown by a bright blue reaction color in the cross-sections below.
Sample CG116 from the second-floor south central room
Ultraviolet light, 200x Stained with TSQ for zinc, 200x
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 115
In sample CG71 from the second-floor northeast room, there were positive reactions for zinc (Zn
2+
) beginning in
generation 5, as shown by a bright blue reaction color in the cross-sections below.
Sample CG71 from the second-floor northeast room
Ultraviolet light, 100x Stained with TSQ for zinc, 100x
5
3
4
6
7
8
9
5
3
4
6
7
8
9
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 116
In sample CG74 from the second-floor northwest room, there were weak positive reactions for zinc (Zn
2+
) beginning
in generation 6, as shown by a bright blue reaction color in the cross-sections below.
Sample CG74 from the second-floor northwest room
Ultraviolet light, 100x Stained with TSQ for zinc, 100x
11
3
10
4
12
6
7
9
13
2
11
3
10
4
12
6
7
9
13
2
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 117
Results of Pigment Identification with Polarized Light Microscopy
Dispersed pigments from the first-generation off-white and gray paints, the second-generation gray-green paint,
and the third-generation blue paint were examined with polarized light microscopy to determine the pigment com-
position.
The first generation off-white paint was collected from sample CG121 from the second-floor stair hall. This was
one of the the few samples to have a good amount of this early paint. The main pigment found in this paint was
lead white. A small amount of calcium carbonate or chalk was also detected. Chalk is a cheap and common paint
filler added to bulk up the paint. Also found in this paint were a few particles of a yellow-brown pigment. The low
concentration of this pigment made it hard to isolate for analysis. It appears to be a earth pigment and may be
yellow ochre or sienna. A few particles of black pigment were also detected. Again the concentration was small,
but this appears to be lamp black. All of the above pigments were in common usage in the eighteenth century and
relatively inexpensive. The pigment particles vary in size, which is consistent with an eighteenth-century hand-
ground paint.
Sample CG121, dispersed pigment sample
Plane polarized light, 1000x magnification Crossed polars, 1000x magnification
Lead white
Chalk
Lamp black
Yellow pigment
Lead white
Chalk
Lamp black
Yellow pigment
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 118
The first-generation gray paint was collected from sample CG51 from the first-floor northwest room. This paint was
simply colored with lead white, chalk, and lamp black as seen in the photomicrographs below. No other colored
pigments were detected.
Sample CG51, dispersed pigment sample
Plane polarized light, 1000x magnification Crossed polars, 1000x magnification
Lead white
Chalk
Lamp black
Lead white
Chalk
Lamp black
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 119
The second-generation gray-green paint was collected from sample CG61 from detached rosette which had a good
accumulation of this early paint. The gray-green paint was found to be colored with various pigments including
lead white, chalk, yellow ochre, lamp black, and red ochre. A few Prussian blue particles were also found in the
paint. However, the rosette does have a fragmentary blue paint layer in several of its cross-sections and it seems
likely that the blue pigments are a contamination from that paint. In support of this theory, no blue pigments were
seen embedded in the gray-green paint in any of the cross-sections. All of the pigments found in this paint were
inexpensive and readily available in the eighteenth century.
Sample CG61, dispersed pigment sample
Plane polarized light, 1000x magnification Crossed polars, 1000x magnification
Lead white
Chalk
Lamp black
Yellow ochre
Red ochre
Prussian blue
Lead white
Chalk
Lamp black
Yellow ochre
Red ochre
Prussian blue
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 120
The third-generation blue paint was collected from sample CG71 from the second-floor northeast room. The blue
paint was found to be colored with lead white, chalk, and Prussian blue. All of the pigments aside from the ultra-
marine were inexpensive and readily available in the eighteenth century.
Sample CG71, dispersed pigment sample
Plane polarized light, 1000x magnification Crossed polars, 1000x magnification
Lead white
Chalk
Prussian blue
Lead white
Chalk
Prussian blue
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 121
Results of Colorimetry
Color measurements were undertaken for this report from several different samples in order to find commercial
color swatch matches for the interior generation 1 off-white and gray paints, the generation 2 gray-green paint,
and the generation 3 blue paint.
It was hoped that by examining uncast portions of samples from the various rooms, that it might be possible to
determine if the central rooms and eastern rooms on both floors were painted with the same color in generation 1.
However, the evidence was too fragmentary to make a definite conclusion, and the color of the generation 1 paint
was quite variable. Nonetheless, most samples with fragments of the generation 1 paint showed that there were
some colored pigments visible. This suggests that the generation 1 paint in the central and eastern rooms on both
floors was a lead white with added colored pigments that would have produced an off-white color.
After many of the measurements were averaged, the sample closest to the average color was used for color match-
ing. This measurement was from sample CG121 from the second-floor stair hall and had an L* value of 74.18, an
a* value of -0.50, and a b* value of +15.56. In the Munsell color system, the paint had a hue of 3.5Y, a value of
7.3 and a chroma of 2.2. The best commercial paint swatch match to the sample was Market Square Tavern Shell
(CW703) from the Colonial Williamsburg Color Collection. The swatch was measured to have an L* value of 76.38,
an a* value of -2.67, and a b* value of +13.68. In the Munsell color system, the paint had a hue of 6.8Y, a value
of 7.5, and a chroma of 1.9. This commercial paint swatch is a good match by eye and is only different from the
paint in sample CG121 by a ƩE value of 3.62.
This color is inaccurate
due to color printing
shifts. See the paint
swatch in the final report
for any color matching.
Sample CG121, 40x magnification, visible light, up-
sidedown and uncast showing generation 1 off-white
paint and commercial color match
Best commercial paint match to
generation 1 off-white paint,
Colonial Williamsburg Color
Collection, CW703
CW703
color swatch
Generation 1
off-white paint
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 122
In generation 1, the western rooms on both the first and second floor seem to have been painted in a light gray
color that was different from the rest of the rooms in the house. A portion of the gray paint was isolated in sample
CG51 from the first-floor northwest room. The paint was found to have an L* value of 80.36, an a* value of -0.62,
and a b* value of +2.37. In the Munsell color system, the paint had a hue of 7.7Y, a value of 7.9 and a chroma of
0.3. The best commercial paint swatch match to the sample was Sherwin Williams Gray Screen (SW7071). The
swatch was measured to have an L* value of 81.06, an a* value of -1.04, and a b* value of -1.09. In the Munsell
color system, the paint had a hue of 7.4B, a value of 8.0, and a chroma of 0.3. This commercial paint swatch is a
good match by eye and is only different from the paint in sample CG121 by a ƩE value of 3.55.
This color is inaccurate
due to color printing
shifts. See the paint
swatch in the final report
for any color matching.
Sample CG51, 100x magnification, visible light,
upsidedown and uncast showing generation 1 gray
paint and commercial color match
Best commercial paint match to
generation 1 gray paint,
Sherwin Williams SW7071
SW7071
color swatch
Generation 1
gray paint
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 123
In generation 2, the eastern rooms on both the first and second floor seem to have been painted in a gray-green
color that was different from the rest of the rooms in the house. A portion of the gray-green paint was isolated in
sample CG61 from the detached rosette from the first-floor southeast room. The paint was found to have an L*
value of 50.16, an a* value of -1.85, and a b* value of +22.78. In the Munsell color system, the paint had a hue
of 5.2Y, a value of 4.8 and a chroma of 3.2. The best commercial paint swatch match to the sample was Benjamin
Moore Hancock Gray (HC97). The swatch was measured to have an L* value of 58.19, an a* value of --2.75, and
a b* value of +15.75. In the Munsell color system, the paint had a hue of 7.0Y, a value of 5.7, and a chroma of
2.2. This commercial paint swatch is a good match by eye but is different from the paint in sample CG121 by a ƩE
value of 10.71.
This color is inaccurate
due to color printing
shifts. See the paint
swatch in the final report
for any color matching.
Sample CG61, 40x magnification, visible light, up-
sidedown and uncast showing generation 2 gray-
green paint and commercial color match
Best commercial paint match to
generation 2 gray-green paint,
Benjamin Moore HC97
BM HC97
Generation
2 gray-green
paint
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 124
In generation 3, the second-floor northeast room was painted in a blue paint not found in other spaces. A portion
of the blue paint was isolated in sample CG71 from the window architrave. The paint was found to have an L*
value of 48.15, an a* value of -9.60, and a b* value of -5.34. In the Munsell color system, the paint had a hue of
0.1B, a value of 4.7 and a chroma of 2.3. The best commercial paint swatch match to the sample was Sherwin
Williams Riverway (SW6222). The swatch was measured to have an L* value of 47.29, an a* value of -6.71, and
a b* value of -5.42. In the Munsell color system, the paint had a hue of 2.6B, a value of 4.6, and a chroma of 1.9.
This commercial paint swatch is a good match by eye and is only different from the paint in sample CG121 by a ƩE
value of 3.02.
This color is inaccurate
due to color printing
shifts. See the paint
swatch in the final report
for any color matching.
Sample CG71, 40x magnification, visible light, up-
sidedown and uncast showing generation 3 blue
paint and commercial color match
Best commercial paint match to
generation 3 blue paint, Sher-
win Williams SW6222
SW6222
Generation 3
blue paint
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 125
Conclusion
A surprising amount of information was discovered over the course of several years sampling and paint analysis at
Carter’s Grove. Despite the age of the structure, the renovations, and aggressive paint removal efforts, there is
good evidence for early finishes in many rooms and on the exterior.
Exterior samples from the north and south elevation door architraves suggest that the other woodwork at Carter’s
Grove may have originally been painted with a red-brown paint similar to that found on early buildings through-
out Williamsburg. It appears that this paint was allowed to age and weather before it was repainted. Perhaps it
remained as the exterior finish between 1750-55 during construction until 1771 when the family returned to the
house. The alternative is that only the door frames were painted red-brown. After this the exterior woodwork was
almost always painted white or off-white throughout its finish history. The only exception to this is an intermediate
period in generations 5 through 7 in which gray, light brown, and dark brown paints were applied. This period may
represent Victorian color schemes.
One other interesting finding on the exterior is that the cornice of the house was not fully replaced when the roof
was raised to make more room on the third floor. The cornice has an extensive finish history that goes back to at
least generation 2.
Interior samples from Carter’s Grove also proved interesting. Despite at least two campaigns of quite thorough
paint removal, it was possible to find evidence of early paints in most rooms. Tables with the finish history of interior
spaces are given on the next page. To simplify this history, it appears that the first and second floor central rooms
were painted off-white for the first few generations. This paint seems to be lightly colored with yellow, brown, and
black pigments. Some samples do not have these pigments in the earliest layers, but this may just be due to the
low concentration of colored pigments. Perhaps this off-white color was meant to give the intricate carved wood-
work the appearance of stone which would have given the entrance hall a more classical appearance.
Although the evidence is fragmentary, it appears that the eastern and western rooms were painted in two different
color schemes in the first few generations. In generation 1, it seems that the eastern rooms on both floors were
painted with a similar off-white color to the central rooms. The western rooms on the first floor, however, were
painted with a coarse gray paint with large black pigments. There is a small amount of evidence that suggests the
western rooms on the second floor were also painted gray.
In generation 2, while the central rooms on both floors were painted off-white again, the eastern rooms on both
floors are painted gray-green and the western room were painted off-white.
In generation 3, most rooms were painted off-white. However, the first-floor eastern rooms seem to have been
painted gray-green again and the second-floor northeast room was painted blue. The second-floor northeast room
may have been a special space since this blue paint was not found anywhere else in the house in that period.
After this the finish history of the interior is not as coherent, and in generations 4 and 5 it seems that many ele-
ments were picked out in varied colors including yellow, green, gray, red, and gold-colored even with metal flake
pigments. These periods may represent complicated color schemes in which moldings were painted differently.
In generation 6, it appears that the current color scheme in most rooms was begun and continued for multiple gen-
erations. In most rooms, this seems to have been a white or off-white color. However, the second floor stair hall
and south central room seem to have been consistently painted yellow-light green. In the first floor central rooms,
there seem to have been some decorative treatments as well, that may represent graining schemes.
The removed woodwork elements found over the stable also proved to have useful early paint evidence. No new
paint colors were discovered from these samples, but it may be possible to narrow down the original location of
some of the removed fragments based on their finish history and that information is given in the analysis section.
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 126
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Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 127
Appendix
Sampling Memorandums
February 22, 2007
To: Files
Cc: Ed Chappell
Natasha Loeblich

From: Jeff Klee
Subject: Carter’s Grove
Today I visited Carter’s Grove with Natasha Loeblich for the purpose of taking paint samples of ex-
terior woodwork. Paul Frankie kindly helped us by operating a diesel-powered lift, permitting us to
work safely and quickly. Most of our work concentrated on the highest parts of the mansion house,
along the cornice and second-floor windows.
Our close examination of this material confirmed what we suspected from the ground—that the
cornice was completely replaced in the twentieth century, presumably when the McCreas raised
the roof. Much early material, however, survives in the window and door frames. When the window
sash were removed recently for repair and repainting, Natasha took samples of them, so we did
not sample any sash woodwork.
After ascending in the lift, it was quite clear that much, if not all, of the cornice is modern mate-
rial—there are few paint layers on either the north or the south sides; most sections that we could
see are held in place with wire nails; and the wood has not weathered nearly so much as the early
material in window frames and sills. Two long sections of frieze on the eastern end of the north
side appeared to be quite new and are presumably CWF-era repairs. However, on the modillion
blocks and their cymatiums, the paint is visibly thicker, leading us to wonder whether they might
be old material that was re-used by Duncan Lee for the McCreas. Natasha’s field examination of
the samples she recovered on both the north and south cornice suggested that the modillions, too,
are modern material.
Heavy weathering on obviously old woodwork made it difficult to take a good sample from window
architraves on either side of the house. It is clear that, although the architraves are early, their
backbands are modern and were apparently applied to install shutter hardware on all of the win-
dows on the north and south sides.
One sample that Natasha also might provide a good cross section, including the house’s early
paint history, was in a sheltered spot under the north door header, a few inches in from the bead.
Although about a quarter of the western part of this header had been repaired, most of it appeared
to be Georgian.
J.E.K.
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 128
April 5, 2007
To: Natasha Loeblich
From: Edward Chappell
Subject: Interior Paint, Carter’s Grove
Block 50
This is a list of the locations from which you took paint samples this morning. Our
objective is to begin understanding whether paint was used to enhance the relative status of prin-
cipal spaces of if they were all painted the same, at an early date. At this point, we are looking for
primary finish. We sampled only one or two doors and no bases, both of which were vigorously
stripped. All the spaces we sampled were stripped, except the northeast first-floor room and sec-
ond-floor hall. Most of the paneling was not disassembled, so there seem to be remnants of old
finish in crevices between elements.
I am referring to the river-side front as south.
Entrance Hall, Front
This was the best space in the house, with a full Ionic order.
1. Southeast pilaster (south of southeast door), pedestal cap, concave soffit below fret, south
side, 2” out from the partition.
2. Face of wainscot behind and immediately north of pedestal of southeast pilaster, 6” below
cap.
3. Bottom rail of upper paneling at juncture with top of chair rail on east wall, 1’ 2” south of
the longitudinal partition.
4. Southeast window shutter, back side, lower west (right) panel at intersection with stile, 5”
above the bottom rail. This may not have been painted originally.
5. North stile of panel between southwest pilaster (south of southwest door) and south (front)
wall, adjoining and below upper middle torus (upper large torus) on base.
6. Southeast pilaster, south of southeast door, base, groove between upper and middle tori,
south side, 2” back from front corner.
7. South stile of panel south of southeast pilaster, at southeast corner of room, groove be-
tween ovolo and cyma, 1’ 2” above bottom rail.
8. Pilaster base east of arched opening, east side, groove between upper and middle tori,
1!” back from front.
Appendix
Sampling Memorandums
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 129
Entrance Hall, Rear
This is somewhat lower in status, without pilasters, but it contains a full Ionic en-
tablature and the grand stair that truncates it.
9. Door now leading to cellar stair, outer face, west (right) middle panel, bevel adjoining third
rail, 4” east of edge.
10. West cornice, top fillet, adjoining fret soffit, 4” south (left) of return against west wall,
below stair to third floor, in stairwell. Here we see that McCrea stripping cut up to layers of brown
and possibly white finish.
11. Soffit 1’ 6” to the east of sample 10, upper north edge of the central fret. Here, too, we
see a dark finish not reached by the stripping.
Southeast (Right Front) Room, First Floor, now a Parlor
This is the second-best space, with Doric pilasters and entablatures confined to the
fireplace bay.
12. Concave soffit below chair rail fret, middle of north end immediately south of west door (to
entry hall).
13. Fascia behind fret on chair rail 6” north of east (hyphen) door, above bottom piece of fret.
Probably not useful.
14. East pilaster framing fireplace, base, groove between flat face and lower (large) torus, 5”
east of the west edge.
15. Same east pilaster, front fascia of pedestal cap, behind the fret 6” east of west edge. Bright
white material may be paste wax.
16. Carved backband of fireplace surround, top piece, upper edge of cove behind leaf, 2” east
of west end. We believe the backband is made of pine, not a hardwood.
Northeast (Right Rear) Room, now Dining Room
This room is lower status -- fully paneled but without an order -- the only still-
painted first-floor original room. We see no raised grain, but there also seems to be little paint
accumulation, so we are unsure if it has ever been stripped. We see a darker yellow ochre where
the present paint has fallen off a chair rail. We assume some or all the paneling at the east end of
the room dates from c.1930.
17. Upper panel immediately south of northwest (stair hall) door, lower north corner of raised
field at intersection with bevel.
18. Northwest door leaf, room side, south (left) bottom panel, bevel at intersection with lower
south corner. This is an original door, with patches.
19. West paneling, bottom southernmost panel, top fillet of raised field 1’ 10” north of west
end.
Northwest (Left Rear) First-Floor Room, now Library
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 130
This room is comparable to the northeast room in finish and status. It is now
stripped, but we see tiny bits of old finish that may help identify paint in the rear rooms.
20. Bolection chair rail, north wall, bottom face of bottom cyma, 1’ 2” west of west window in
north (rear) wall.
Second-Floor Stair Passage
This high-status upper space remains painted.
21. Left pilaster, recess under fretwork at chair rail level, front left edge
E.A.C.
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 131
August 9, 2007
To: Ed Chappell
From: Natasha Loeblich
Subject: Interior Paint, Carter’s Grove
Block 50
Here is an updated list of the interior samples we took at Carter’s Grove in response to your sam-
pling memo of April 5, 2007. I renumbered the samples beginning with 31 since we previously took
30 samples from the inside.
Entrance Hall, Front
CG31. Southeast pilaster (south of southeast door), pedestal cap, concave soffit below fret, south
side, 2” out from the partition.
CG32. Face of wainscot behind and immediately north of pedestal of southeast pilaster, 6” below
cap.
CG33. Bottom rail of upper paneling at juncture with top of chair rail on east wall, 1’ 2” south of
the longitudinal partition.
CG34. Southeast window shutter, back side, lower west (right) panel at intersection with stile, 5”
above the bottom rail. This may not have been painted originally.
CG35. North stile of panel between southwest pilaster (south of southwest door) and south (front)
wall, adjoining and below upper middle torus (upper large torus) on base.
CG36. Southeast pilaster, south of southeast door, base, groove between upper and middle tori,
south side, 2” back from front corner.
CG37. South stile of panel south of southeast pilaster, at southeast corner of room, groove be-
tween ovolo and cyma, 1’ 2” above bottom rail.
CG38. Pilaster base east of arched opening, east side, groove between upper and middle tori,
1!” back from front.
Entrance Hall, Rear
CG39. Door now leading to cellar stair, outer face, west (right) middle panel, bevel adjoining third
rail, 4” east of edge.
CG40. West cornice, top fillet, adjoining fret soffit, 4” south (left) of return against west wall,
below stair to third floor, in stairwell. Here we see that McCrea stripping cut up to layers of brown
and possibly white finish.
CG41. Soffit 1’ 6” to the east of sample 10, upper north edge of the central fret. Here, too, we
see a dark finish not reached by the stripping.
Southeast (Right Front) Room, First Floor, now a Parlor
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 132
CG42. Concave soffit below chair rail fret, middle of north end immediately south of west door (to
entry hall).
CG43. Fascia behind fret on chair rail 6” north of east (hyphen) door, above bottom piece of fret.
Probably not useful.
CG44. East pilaster framing fireplace, base, groove between flat face and lower (large) torus, 5”
east of the west edge.
CG45. Same east pilaster, front fascia of pedestal cap, behind the fret 6” east of west edge. Bright
white material may be paste wax.
CG46. Carved backband of fireplace surround, top piece, upper edge of cove behind leaf, 2” east
of west end. We believe the backband is made of pine, not a hardwood.
Northeast (Right Rear) Room, now Dining Room
CG47. Upper panel immediately south of northwest (stair hall) door, lower north corner of raised
field at intersection with bevel.
CG48. Northwest door leaf, room side, south (left) bottom panel, bevel at intersection with lower
south corner. This is an original door, with patches.
CG49. West paneling, bottom southernmost panel, top fillet of raised field 1’ 10” north of west
end.
Northwest (Left Rear) First-Floor Room, now Library
CG50. Bolection chair rail, north wall, bottom face of bottom cyma, 1’ 2” west of west window in
north (rear) wall.
CG51. Northwest window, north wall, in crevice at join of east architrave and paneling above chair
rail
Second-Floor Front Passage
CG52. Left pilaster, recess under fretwork at chair rail level, front left edge
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 133
October 5, 2007
To: Natasha Loeblich
From: Ed Chappell
Subject: Paint Samples at Carter’s Grove, Second-Floor
Here are the sample locations from Carter’s Grove, second floor.
A. (CG53) Passage/central hall arched opening, river-side, right (east) pilaster, top torus on
base, at intersection with flat wooden back.
B. (CG54) Same pilaster, fillet behind right rear flute, 1” above base.

C. (CG55) Corresponding pilaster in stair passage left (when back is to stair) east, top of
plinth base, edge of cavetto, left side, 1” out from wall.
D. (CG56) Same pilaster in stair passage, left side, bottom of flute closest to wall.
E. (CG57) Stair passage, door to right rear northeast bedchamber, right (south) side of
architrave, back side of backband, 2” above baseboard.
F. (CG58) Same door, left (north) side of architrave, backband at intersection with middle
of architrave, 2”above floor.
E.A.C.
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 134
From: Loeblich, Natasha
To: Chappell, Edward
Subject: Carter’s Grove Rosette
Date: September 10, 2007
I looked at the Carter’s Grove rosette samples this morning. After viewing the cross-sections
there is not too much new information. The stratigraphy still begins out off-white. Genera-
tions 2,3,4 are dull gray-green paints, generation 5 is a bright pink paint, generation 6 is a light
orange paint, generation 7 is a gilding system with an orange base coat and probably a cop-
per-based metal leaf (not gold), generation 8 is a off-white paint with a thin varnish, generation
9 is a green paint, generation 10 is a yellow paint, generation 11 is a gilding system with gold
leaf, generation 12 seems to be a multi-colored scheme with red and green paint, and the last
generation is the current worn tan paint.
So basically, there are two gilding systems but even the earliest is found in generation 7. It
seems that in generation 1 - 4 the rosette is painted to match the rest of the woodwork and not
picked out in a contrasting color.
A question, are we sure that the current rosettes in the southeast room are replacements? Is
it possible that the entrance hall originally had rosettes that were removed (and that this is one
of those)? That would be fabulous because then we would have a finish history for the hall and
we would know that the southeast room, northeast room, and hall were all painted alike at least
until generation 5. Are there any early drawings of the entrance hall I could check?
Natasha
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 135
November 16, 2007
To: Natasha Loeblich
From: Edward Chappell
Subject: Interior Paint Samples, Second Floor – Carter’s Grove
Block 50, Building 3
Attached are five paint samples from second-floor woodwork I took at Carter’s
Grove on November 7th.
1. (CG63) Southwest (left front) room, doorway to northwest (left rear) room, west archi-
trave 4” above floor.
2. (CG64) Southwest room, south wall, west window, east jamb, panel above window seat,
lower south corner of raised field. This is less weathered than the shutter above it.
3. (CG65) Southeast (right front) room, south wall, east window, west jamb, lower south-
ern corner of panel just above seat.
4. (CG66) Northwest (right rear) room, north wall, east window, west jamb, lower north
corner of raised panel field just above seat.
5. (CG67) Northwest (left rear) room, north wall, left reveal, panel above seat, lower north
edge of raised field.
E.A.C.
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 136
Cross-section Preparation Procedures
The samples were initially examined with a stereomicroscope under low power magnification (5 to 50 times mag-
nification) and divided as needed. When possible, a portion of each sample was kept in reserve for future analysis
and a portion cast in a labeled cube of a commercial two-part polyester resin manufactured by Excel Technologies,
INC. (Enfield, CT). The resin was cured under an incandescent lamp for several hours. The resin cubes were then
ground on a motorized grinding wheel with 400 grit sandpaper to reveal the cross-sections. Final finishing was
achieved using a Buehler Metaserv 2000 grinder polisher equipped with abrasive cloths from Micro Mesh, INC. with
grits of 1500 to 12,000.
Cross-section microscopy analysis was performed using a Nikon Eclipse 80i microscope equipped with an EXFO X-
Cite 120 Fluorescence Illumination System fiberoptic halogen light source. The cross-sections were examined at
magnifications of 40x, 100x, 200x, and 400x using reflected visible light and a UV-2A fluorescence filter cube with
a 330-380nm excitation. The cross-sections were photographed digitally using an integral Spot Flex digital camera
with Spot Advanced (v. 4.6) software. The light levels of the images were adjusted in Abode Photoshop (v. 6.0).
The color on the digital images is indicative of the actual color of the paints, but cannot be used for color matching
as the printing process can cause color shifts.
Under ultraviolet light many materials have characteristic autofluorescence colors that can suggest their composi-
tion. For example, most natural resin varnishes have a bright autofluorescence while an oil varnish will be dark
in ultraviolet light. Visible light microscopy can also yield valuable information. The presence of soiling layers or
weathering can indicate that the finish layer existed as a presentation surface for a period of time. Since many
interior finishes, such as faux graining, make use of a build-up of layers, it is important to determine which layers
were meant to be final presentation surfaces.
Binding Media Analysis Procedures
To better understand the composition of the paint binders, selected cross-sections were stained with a biological
fluorochrome stain to indicate the presence of Zn
2+
in the paint. The stain used was TSQ (0.2% w/v N-(6-methyl-
8-quinolyl)-p-toluenesulfonamide in ethanol) which marks zinc (Zn
2+
) blue-white.
Pigment Identification Procedures
Samples with good accumulations of early paints identified through cross-section microscopy were scraped with a
scalpel under magnification to reveal the target paint layer. A small amount of this layer was then scraped onto a
glass microscope slide, dispersing the pigments. The dispersed pigments were permanently embedded under a
cover slip in Cargille Meltmount (Cargille Labs., Cedar Grove, NJ). The Meltmount used has a refractive index of
1.662. The prepared slides were then examined under the microscope with transmitted visible light using a polar-
izing filter at a magnification of 1000x with an oil immersion objective. The morphological and optical properties of
the pigment particles was observed and compared to reference pigment samples.
Cross-Section Microscopy Analysis of Interior and Exterior Paints - Carter’s Grove, James City County, Virginia 137
Color Measurement Procedures
Color measurements were made using uncast samples that were selected under magnification. Effort was made to
find a clean, unweathered areas for measurement whenever possible. All color measurements were made using a
Minolta Chromameter CR-241 with a measurement area of 0.3mm for uncast samples and a measurement area of
1.8mm for paint swatches. This microscope has an internal, 360° pulsed xenon arc lamp and can measure color
with five color systems. The color systems used in this report are the CIE (Commission International de l’Eclairage)
L*a*b* and the Munsell color system. Both systems use three values called tristimulus values to measure each
color which include hue (or color), the chroma (or saturation), and lightness to darkness. In the CIE L*a*b* color
system L* represents lightness from 1 to 100 with 100 being the lightest, a* represents red to green with positive
numbers being more red and negative numbers more green, and b* represents yellow to blue with positive numbers
being more yellow and negative numbers more blue. This system was adjusted from the CIE Yxy system developed
in 1931 to better represent the human eye’s sensitivity to color. In the Munsell system, color measurements are
given in the form of hue value/chroma with value representing lightness to darkness. Color measurement values
are compared to each other using the LE formula which calculates the difference between to color measurements.
1

The LE formula equals the square root of the sum of the differences in the L* value squared, the differences in the
a* value squared, and the differences in the b* value squared. Generally, a LE value of less than two represents
colors that are difficult for the human eye to differentiate.
Commercial color matches were found using swatches from Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams. The swatches
were compared to the uncast sample under magnification. The best visual matches were then measured to gener-
ate a LE value.
1 The formula for finding LE is as follows: LE = V[(L
*1
-L
*2
)
2
+(a
*1
-a
*2
)
2
+(b
*1
-b
*2
)
2
]

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