Before the creation of pre-mixed paints in the 1870s, painting the inside of a house was a tremendous hassle.
Curbed looked at the history of paint for residential spaces. In the 18th and 19th centuries, paints came in two forms (oil and distemper) and were mixed on-site. They had a short shelf-life, though, so paints were only produced when needed.
Applying paint was a difficult process. For distemper, painters would keep a wet edge, because painting over dry distemper would wash off. Painters needed to work quickly.
Today, modern paints can look historic. Paints in Benjamin Moore’s Century line have a soft matte texture that resembles fabric.