Cibola White Ware sherd with mineral paint at 10X. Mineral paint usually has well-defined, hard edges. Mineral paint may exfoliate from the surface in tiny flakes, and usually sticks up off the surface of the pottery. It may be duller or shinier than the surface, and polishing marks will not continue across the paint lines. Click here for a photo of carbon paint.
Photo by Candace Lewis, sherd courtesy of Northern Arizona University Anthropology Department.