The United States has several Chinatowns. The most authentic are in San Francisco and Philadelphia where true Chinese gates have existed for more than a century. Recently, the government of China invested over $1 million dollars for the reconstruction and decoration of the Chinese gate in Philadelphia. They brought a crew all the way from China who worked with traditional materials and Fine Paints of Europe to create a work of art.
Most interesting was the fact that the Chinese craftsman worked with “MING PRIMER” which is similar to Swedish Putty in consistency and purpose. Ming Primer is made by combining cooked tung oil, with pig’s blood, brick powder, quick lime, flour and straw fiber. This material is applied in multiple coats and then sanded to a glass-smooth finish. With the exception of the gold leaf, the entire visible surface of these gates is painted with Hollandlac Brilliant Enamel. Coatings for this project were donated by Washington Square Paint, our Philadelphia retailer, located less than 3 blocks from the gates.
Yes, that is Wine Red on the columns and it did require more than 15,000 man hours to restore this gate. Fine Paints is honored to be selected for this project.