Flake White is a traditionally lead based based paint that is one of the oldest synthetic pigments. It was used by the ancient Egyptians, the ancient Chinese, and famously, by the ancient Athenians in their cosmetics. In fact, it was one of the only whites available until the 19th century (it was often used as a base coat or canvas primer) when its production and sale were severely limited due to its toxicity. Even with its scarcity, flake white is still in high demand. It has superb mixing qualities, pure whiteness and durability. Conservationists note that paintings with a using flake withstand time better than those without. Flake white also has the fastest drying time of all the whites, making it a good choice for certain techniques that require fast drying paints.