A historical paint manufactory in Staicele, Latvia (1967), was using local resources – colour earth. Oil paint composition consisted of pigment, drying oil, varnish and siccative. It had two different tones that are obtained by using natural colour earth pigments: ochre and its burnt form (burnt umber). Pigment quality was analyzed using historical documents, modern pigment tests, and manufactory technology. Chemical composition, particle size, and pigment tone were determined, and the coating ability was calculated. A palette of oil paints based on the historical recipes for restoring Staicele oil paints was created. Properties of colour earth pigments were compared to specimens taken from the local source of iron that is located near the old paint factory. Results provide a historical and technological insight as well as insight in the properties of the basic paint composition.