Cold paint is as the name implies the paint was placed on the
piece of pottery as a cold paint after the piece was glazed and fired, usually
in a cottage industry and not from the place where the piece was made, Cold
paint on an antique or vintage piece of pottery usually has scratches and lost
of color to it and in some cases will be embedded with dirt and grease from
being placed in a kitchen.
Cleaning any piece that has cold paint on it is subject to debate. most
people prefer to leave the piece as found which now I agree with most of the
time due to some bad experiences using a dishwasher. My wife likes to clean
everything I bring in and unless I am there to stop her the piece will end up in
the dishwasher. This works for a lot pottery but not cold paint as shown by the
two photographs I have included in this section.
If you have a piece of pottery with cold paint find out the type of glaze it
has on it and if it is either chalk or pottery. A lot of older pieces were made
of chalk and painted with cold paint. If the piece is high gloss glaze then any
cleaning you do can damage the piece. My advice is to wipe it off with a damp
cloth with no detergent and leave it alone unless there is a large build up of
grease of the piece. Then you can take a change and find a spot not visible and
use a mixture of water and a light detergent like Dawn, using only a small
amount of detergent. Rub gently to determine if the cold paint is going to
stay on the piece of pottery. If not stop and enjoy the piece the way it is.
Cold paint on chalk pieces adhered to the material better when it was applied
and can be cleaned easier than pottery with a high gloss glaze. But again start
off with a small test area to insure you can clean the piece.
BLEACH, this covers all types of pottery and toys DON'T use it PERIOD.
The same goes for older toys, but generally the toys can be cleaned
since they were painted over metal with has better adhesive characteristics than
pottery. First determine if the toy has paint that is lifting from the metal if
so don't try to clean that area. Again as in the pottery do a cleaning with a
damp cloth first and work from that point with a mild solution of detergent and