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The history of a groundbreaking idea

There were three outstanding personalities at the beginning of revolutionary mineral-paint invention: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, King Ludwig I of Bavaria, and last-but-not-least, the tradesman and researcher A.W. Keim, the inventor of silicate paint. The basis of his 1878 patented mineral paint was a mixture of liquid potassium silicate (waterglass) and inorganic colour pigments. The result: A high-quality silicate paint system that offers performance, durability, protection and colour-fastness that remains unsurpassed.

Buildings decorated with KEIM paints in the 19th century are still in excellent condition today. Amongst such examples are the β€œWhite Eagle” Inn in Stein am Rhein and the City Hall in Schwyz (1891), both of which are in Switzerland, and facades in Oslo (1895) and Traunstein, Germany (1891).


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Goethe nie był jednak w stanie przełożyć swoich przemyśleń na żadne praktyczne zastosowania. Katalizatorem prac rozwojowych Adolfa Keima był król Ludwik I Bawarski. Monarcha ten miał wielką pasję do sztuki. Pragnął doświadczyć wspaniałych włoskich fresków wapiennych w swoim własnym królestwie w Bawarii. Jednak surowy klimat na północ od Alp niszczył takie freski w krótkim czasie. Dlatego też wezwał bawarskich naukowców do opracowania farby o wyglądzie podobnym do fresków wapiennych, ale o znacznie większej trwałości.

The unique and convincing solution to these requirements was KEIM's silicate paints. What was truly groundbreaking about A.W. Keim’s invention was the bond between paint and brickwork. KEIM’s classic mineral paint was able to strengthen and expand its position as the leading mineral paint for facades due to consistent further development of the product’s positive properties and targeted adaptation to various types of substrates.

In a time of pressing environmental problems, our wishes to see environmentally-friendly, permanent and excellent high-quality paints have become stronger. This wish was met with a far larger mineral product range. In short, a continually young idea continues to prevail.

Technical information for painting

Adolf Wilhelm Keim (1851-1913) is well-known not only for the mineral paints named after him, which are still produced by KEIM today. In 1884 he founded the "Technische Mitteilungen fΓΌr Malerei" to inform about commercial paints and to raise awareness of abuses in the paint industry. Today, the "Technische Mitteilungen fΓΌr Malerei" is one of the main sources of information on art technology and restoration history. They are available for research online. Learn more

Who was Adolf Wilhelm Keim?

Learn more about the life of Adolf Wilhelm Keim.

Learn more

Milestones in silicate technology

KEIM Purkristalat


The first real-world solution as a pure silicate paint.

In 1878, A.W. Keim developed the first silicate paint fit for practical usage. It consists of a powder component with mineral colour pigments and fillers, together with a liquid component: potassium silicate as the binding agent.

KEIM Granital


Invention of the single-component silicate emulsion paint.

The second generation of silicate paints followed in 1962 with KEIM Granital. The one-component, ready-to-use β€žsilicate emulsion paintβ€œ is easier to handle and safer to use.

KEIM Soldalit


Universal sol-silicate paint for all substrates.

In 2002, the development of β€žsol-silicate paintβ€œ revolutionised the facade market. Based on a completely novel binding principle, it opens the doors for application on practically all usual substrates.

KEIM Lignosil


Mineral protection of wood surfaces. A milestone!

Following many years of development work and corresponding practical tests, KEIM Lignosil, the world's first mineral composite coating for weather protection of wood, was launched in 2013.

KEIM PPF-Technology


Opening of the first "Lokale Farbwerkstatt".

Ten years of development have gone into the KEIM PigmentPowderFluids (PPF), which revolutionised the KEIM-specific powder tinting process in 2019. The fluidised powder pigments enable localised tinting for the first time via the "KEIM Local Colour Studio". The special feature: The unique KEIM quality criteria remain absolutely unchanged!

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