Painter’s Tools and Furniture

The tools required and best adapted to the general house and decorative painter : To ensure success in the various branches we would recommend the following: Oval, ground bristle varnish brushes, for all kinds of surface work ; they are in general use in all first class establishments.

A correspondent of the painting magazine makes an objection to the use of round brushes, which must be allowed to have considerable weight “being made round,” he says, ” they are by no means well adapted, in that shape, for laying on a flat surface; the consequence is that painters invariably use their brushes but one way, for the very purpose of wearing them flat, which goes to prove the necessity of an alteration in their general shape.”

He then describes one which he made with a flat handle, and found it to answer much better for all common purposes than the ordinary round brush. The handle was of beech, about an inch and half wide and three-eighths of an inch thick, and near the end to which the hairs were tied was beveled off to a thin edge.

  1. Never attempt interior painting with a new brush, or on finishing coats of any kind until they have been worn to a certain extent on coarse work of some kind. This rule can be applied to brushes of all kinds. In this way you will obviate the trouble and vexation of having your work filled with hair and bristles, when expedition is most required, such as laying, flatting, demar, and other quick drying varnishes.
  2. In the schedule of brushes are sash-tool, dust-brush and water-tool brushes for graining purposes; one four-inch width badger hair blender or softener ; one two-inch hog’s hair mottler ; one grainer’s brush; the last mentioned is used most in stain graining it consists mainly in taking a half worn varnish brush and cutting out in small patches, at intervals, so it will have the appearance of a coarse comb.
  3. Striping, ornamenting and lettering pencils: The first mentioned should be long and slim, and those best adapted to scrolling, &c., should be shorter and diamond pointed when filled. Filling pencils; for sign writing, are best when broad and square pointed. Camel’s hair pencils are in gen-eral use, and are the best adapted to the mechanical painter. Sable, martin and swan’s-down are used most by the artist.
  4. In order, will be a set of steel graining combs, which will vary in width from one-half to four inches ; although combs equally as good can be made at a trifling cost, by procuring a piece of gutta percha and cutting it into the desired size. Care should be taken to have the edges straight; take a pen-knife and cut in slanting each way to the depth of a quarter of an inch, leaving a small space between each tooth ; by this method they can be made fine or coarse to suit the work ; sole leather, or cork, is sometimes substituted, which answers a good purpose in the absence of steel or gutta percha.
  5. Putty and palette knife, chamois skin, sponge, step-ladder, lump and pulverized pumice stone, sand paper, &c. Formerly a slab and muller were indispensable articles in the furniture of a paint shop. These have been, in a great measure, superseded by the iron paint mill, and the latter, in some degree, by the introduction of ground colors put up in tin boxes, commonly called  cans of convenient size. These boxes, after the manner of fruit cans, are sealed by soldering a patch, or disc, of tin over the opening through which the contents were introduced, and being hermetically closed, the paint remains unchanged until such time as it may be wanted for use. The objection, formerly, to this mode of putting up colors, was the difficulty of opening the cans, particularly the smaller ones.

This has, however been entirely removed by an invention, which is patented, and which most effectually overcomes the difficulty before mentioned. It consists sim-ply in making one end of the can of thinner metal than the body and bulk of same, so that the said end may be cut out with a penknife. To get at the contents requires but an instant of time, and may be effected without waste of material, or even soiling the fingers.

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