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House Painting

coat, paint, oil, dry, turpentine, lead and priming

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HOUSE PAINTING Inside Work. All window and door frames, whether they are to be finished with paint or varnish, should receive a good coat of paint made with some cheap pigment, such as iron oxide, and boiled oil, applied to the back of the frame, before they are brought from the shop to the house; this prevents the absorption of moisture and hin ders decay. If they are to be painted, they should receive a priming coat in the shop, if possible; if not, it should be applied as soon as prac ticable. The priming coat is composed of white lead and boiled oil or raw oil, with five to ten per cent of dryer; and should be almost all oil, with very little pigment. Turpentine is not a good thing in a priming coat, because the object is to fill the pores of the wood, and turpentine evaporates. As soon as this is dry to the touch, all holes are to be filled with putty. The best putty for this purpose is white lead putty, made by mixing a little raw oil with dry white lead, or by adding dry lead to paste lead until it is of the right con sistency. This kind of putty hardens quickly as compared with common putty, and is the best for this purpose. A steel putty-knife should not be used on interior woodwork, as it is almost certain to scratch it; a hardwood stick, suitably shaped, should be used. All cracks, joints, and nail-holes should be carefully filled. All knots and sappy places should be varnished with shellac varnish; this pre vents the pitch and moisture from attacking the paint. The shellac should be applied where it is needed, before the priming coat. The priming coat should be given time to get quite dry; at least a day—two days, if possible; and a week is better yet. Then it is ready for the second coat. This should contain a considerable amount of turpentine. If no turpentine is used, the surface is likely to be glossy, and the next coat of paint will not adhere well; but by replacing part of the oil with turpentine, we get what painters call a fiat coat—that is, one which is not glossy; if this is made from paste lead or any paste paint, it can be produced by thinning the paste with a mixture of oil and turpentine in equal proportions; some painters prefer one-third oil and two thirds turpentine. This is for inside work only. This coat should

be allowed to dry thoroughly; if it takes ten hours for the paint to be dry enough to handle, then at least four times ten hours additional should elapse before the next coat is applied; this is a good general rule; and as much more time as possible should be allowed. If the finish is to be ordinary oil paint, the next coat may be paint, thinned with about half as much turpentine as before, or with no turpentine at all. In the latter case, when the coat is thoroughly dry, it must be carefully examined, and, if glossy, it should be rubbed with something to take off the gloss; curled hair is often used, or a light rubbing with pumice and water. Then the final coat, which has no turpentine in it, may be applied.

But if the finish is to be with an enamel paint, the second coat, when quite dry, should be very lightly sandpapered with fine sand paper, and the third coat should be of like composition to the second, treated the same way; then the enamel paint is applied. For a really first-class job, when this is quite dry, it should be rubbed down with curled hair or pumice and water, and another coat of enamel put on. This may be left with the natural gloss if desired; or it may be rubbed with pumice and water to a flat (dull) surface.

Painting Plastered Walls.

Old plastered walls may be painted with oil or enamel paints as though they were wood, remembering that the priming coat will have almost all of its oil absorbed by the plaster. New plastered walls do not take paint well, on account of their alkaline character, which gradually disappears with exposure to the atmos phere. It is well to let a wall remain unpainted at least a year. But if it is necessary to paint a freshly plastered wall, the wall is prepared by some painters by washing it with a solution of sugar in vinegar, the sugar uniting with the lime to some extent; or—more commonly— by washing it first with a strong solution of common alum and then with a solution of soap. After this is dry, it is washed with clean water, allowed to dry, and then painted. The alum and soap form an insoluble compound which closes the pores of the plaster to some ex tent, and prevents the lime from acting on the paint.

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