Shades to Avoid. There are certain shades of color which, for some little understood rea son, are deficient in covering power and which should not be chosen for two-coat work. Among these are the tints of lemon yellow and ivory white of a certain tone. While a light buff made with ocher will cover perfectly, a tint of lemon chrome yellow of about the same depth will be very unsatisfactory. These are things which experience must, in a measure, determine.
Painters as Sanitarians. The painter is often called upon to play a very important part as a sanitarian; in other words, it frequently becomes necessary to paint and repaper after a case of contagious or infectious disease in order to prevent the spread of such disease. Modern scientific investigation has determined that nearly all diseases owe their origin to, or are spread by means of, microscopic organisms called "germs." These germs multiply very rapidly in a person affected with any disease, and are cast off, either in the breath or from the body, finding lodgment on any surface that offers sufficient inequalities to hold them. Draperies, fabric hangings, calcimine, wall paper, blankets, and similar surfaces will catch and hold these germs, which may lie dormant for an indefinite period, depending upon the nature of the disease. In some cases the danger of infection lasts but a few days; while in the case of such persistent diseases as cancer, diph theria, or scarlet fever, the germs may retain their vitality for months or even years.
The painter who is called upon to refinish a room where a case of disease of this kind has occurred should use special precautions. Nature's disinfectants are sunlight and plenty of pure, fresh air; and the very first thing, there fore, to do is to remove all shades and open the windows, keeping them open night and day if possible. There are, however, many rooms which never receive the light of the sun; and it is wise to disinfect these rooms by spraying formaldehyde solution on sheets, and hanging them up in the rooms for at least six hours, first thoroughly stopping up all cracks in doors and windows.
Another method of disinfection is to burn sulphur in open vessels supported on bricks in pans of water. Unfortunately, the sulphur gases will darken silver and other bright metal work, and discolor any paint containing white lead.
Corrosive sublimate (bichloride of mercury) is a very powerful disinfectant. It can be ob tamed in tablets, which are dissolved in water, to form a solution of one to five thousand, and with this all the woodwork should be washed down before repainting or revarnishing. The
same disinfectant should be used in the water that is employed to wash off old calcimine or to saturate the old wall-paper preparatory to scraping it off. To make assurance doubly sure, it is well to add carbolic acid to the glue size which is used to prepare the wall for calcimining or repapering.
The absolute neglect of sanitary precaution in repapering over old wall-paper is surprising and almost criminal. Disease germs are buried under a layer of paste and paper, and the houses or rooms are afterward rented to people en tirely ignorant of the facts. Moreover, the decaying paste, under several layers of paper, becomes a favorite lurking place for bedbugs and other vermin. In New York there is a law requiring old wall-paper to be removed from tenements before they are repapered. A similar law, only broader in its scope, so that it would require the removal of all old paper before repapering, should be on the statutes of every state, and should be rigidly enforced by the Board of Health.
Care of Scaffolding, Ladders, and Ropes. During the winter the painter should carefully examine his scaffolding, ladders, and ropes, to see that they are all in fit condition for the next season's work. Care taken to attend to these matters may save one from costly damage suits. There are always plenty of sharp lawyers wait ing for the opportunity to bring such suits whenever they hear of accidents, offering to take the case on condition that they are given half the amount recovered and that the injured party is to pay them nothing unless the jury awards damages against the employer.
Ladders and scaffold boards ought always to be stored away under cover. Every rung should be examined for possible defects; and, if any are weak or broken, they should be replaced by new ones. Small pressed-steel sockets are made that can be screwed to the inside of the uprights of a ladder to hold a new inch and a half rung. They are inexpensive, and practi cally make an old ladder new. If the upright itself is broken, a strip of seven-eighths inch hardwood may be screwed on the inside of the upright, and the sockets fastened to this piece. This is a much neater and stronger way to repair a broken ladder than by nailing a one by three-inch piece of board on the face.