The use of cold-process coatings dates back to at least the year 3000 BC, when Egyptians began using varnishes and enamels made of beeswax, gelatin and clay--and later protective coatings of pitch and balsam to waterproof their wooden boats. Around 1000 BC, the Egyptians created varnishes from gum Arabic.
Independently, the ancient Asian cultures developed the use of lacquers and varnishes and by the 2nd century BC, were being used as coverings on a variety of buildings, artwork and furnishings in China, Japan and Korea. The Early Greeks and Romans also relied on paints and varnishes, adding colors to these coatings and applying them on homes, ships, and artwork.
In addition, most of the earliest recorded dwellings in Europe, Asia and the Americas used various cold-applied mixtures of clay, soil and water, as well as stucco pastes of water, sand, and limestone or gypsum to waterproof their roofs and walls. In Babylon, the surface of mud walls was made waterproof with ìmineral pitchî brought from the river. Many of these early coating materials are still used in the coatings of today.