Keim mineral paints are a Bavarian invention with their roots deep in the region's heritage. They are synonymous with the technical refinement and high quality also found in other products originating from this area of alps, kings and castles.
The scientist Adolf Wilhelm Keim successfully combined water glass (potassium silicate solution) with inorganic colour pigments to produce a paint that both penetrates and chemically reacts with the mineral substrate onto which it is applied.
KEIM paints become an integral part of the surface, whereas organic paints merely form a skin on the surface. This high quality silicate paint system offers performance, durability, protection and colour-fastness that is not knowingly surpassed. Buildings decorated with KEIM paints in the 19th century are still in excellent condition today. Amongst such examples are the "White Eagle" inn, Stein am Rhein and the City Hall, Schwyz, both of which are in Switzerland and were decorated in 1891, together with facades in Oslo (1895) and in Traunstein, Germany (1891).
Potassium silicate has been known since the Middle Ages, when it was termed Liquor Silicium, but was not exploited because of a lack of production know how and end uses. Then in 1768 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the prolific German poet, playwright and scholar, commented upon his own experiments, "what most occupied my spirit for a long while was the so called Liquor Silicium which is obtained if pure quartz sand is melted with an adequate proportion of alkali, giving rise to a transparent glass which melts in air yielding a beautiful clear liquid...".
However Goethe was unable to translate his thoughts into any practical uses. The catalyst for Adolf Keim's development work was King Ludwig I of Bavaria. This monarch, who is synonymous with Bavarian fairytale castles, had a great passion for the arts. He longed to have the fine Italian lime fresco work in his own kingdom but the harsh climate north of the Alps destroyed such frescos within a short time. He thus appealed to Bavarian scientists to develop a paint that was of similar appearance to lime frescos but also had much greater durability.
The unique solution to these requirements was embodied in Keim's invention - a liquid silicate paint that becomes a part of the surface to which it is applied and binds the colour pigment into it as well.
Keim's classic mineral paint enabled him to build his position as the leading manufacturer of mineral paints for the decoration of facades through research-based improvements to product characteristics and a thorough knowledge of the various substrates for the paints.
Today's environmental awareness has led to increasing levels of demand for environmentally compatible paints which are durable and of high quality. Keim has responded to this by providing a wide range of mineral based products, so consolidating its position as a leading supplier of mineral paints.