Extracting tar from wood has a history that’s almost unbelievably long. There are indications that the Neanderthals used tar. Way later, but still 7,000 years ago, tar was used in Mesopotamia. Ever since, a steadily growing amount of people have discovered the protective properties of pine tar, from ancient Greeks to vikings. Starting 1928, Auson is the contemporary carrier of pine tar traditions. Today, pine tar is used mainly for houses. That’s a good idea.

During the Middle Ages, tar became a Swedish export commodity, and one that would grow in the coming centuries. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Sweden was the world-leading producer of pine tar, with periods of a monopoly-like situation.We had plenty of forests. We still do.

The demand kept increasing, and not just abroad. The domestic demand was big, but since pine tar was such an important export commodity, the Swedish government tried to get citizens to start using clay-based paint instead. This propaganda turned out to be successful. The result, however, was that the much less protective and much less preserving red, clay-based paint became dominant. And that’s how it goes. Today, when we talk about red paint, what we refer to is nothing but a poor substitute for the authentic, original product.

Red Pine Tar from Auson is the origin of all red paints. Red paint original. It consists of pine tar, red pigment and gum turpentine—also extracted from wood. Our Black Pine Tar is, in exactly the same way, the ancestor of all black paints. Pine tar is the original method for preserving wood. That’s why our oldest, most valuable cultural heritage buildings can only be painted with pine tar paint. A better, more natural or more sustainable way to preserve living wood doesn’t exist. Nor a more beautiful.

The history of mankind is intriguing. In our time, an increasing number of people care about sustainability. A thousand years ago everything was organic. Now it’s an exception. But the original is still organic. Pine tar paints from Auson are a homage to sustainability, beauty and the forests.