For walls, the first coat should be as dark in shade, and as thin as practicable the object being to stain the plaster as much as possible. Indeed, if the whole mass of plaster could be stained through and through, it would be desirable to so stain it. The use of glue in wall-painting is of doubtful propriety. It should never, under any circumstances, be put on until after the second coat, and then rubbed on with a rag very lightly. In first-class work, however, its use is not recommended. Plaster, mixed with weak glue size, which prevents its setting too rapidly, is the best material for stopping walls preparatory to painting, and each coat of paint should be carefully rubbed with worn sandpaper before the succeeding coat is put on. For preparing walls, a small pocket trowel will be found a most serviceable tool ; or a trowel-shaped putty-knife, which is now coming into general use. The preparation of ceilings for white-washing, or laminating as the operation is sometimes pretentiously called, is an operation requiring some skill and knowledge of ” how to do it.”
A dirty ceiling which has been subjected to successive coats of white-wash, whether of lime, or whiting and glue size, can not be made solidly and smooth-ly white by additional white-washing. The mass has become spongy, and sucks up the water so quickly that the material cannot be evenly distributed. In such case, the only way is to begin anew—to go at once ” down to hard pan,” removing all the previous applications, by washing and scraping. This is best effected with a broad-bladed, square-pointed putty knife, keeping the ceiling wet meanwhile.
Plaster hard finish is not of uniform density, and some spots are much more absorbent than others. To remedy this, a mixture of soft soap and alum, dissolved in water should be applied with a broad kalsomine brush. All priming for work to be finished in oil should be diluted in oil, using not a particle of turpentine. In no case should wood in a wet state be painted in oil, the consequence in such cases, being the speedy decaying of the wood or the sealing, and casting off of the paint. Priming coats, on exteriors, require to be thin, using only a small quantity of color ; where it is applied in thick masses the wood will drink up the oil, leaving a crust on the surface which will soon disappear in flakes, or dust off, having the appearance of flour. For work exposed to the weather, the turpentine should be wholly omitted, and oil alone employed in all coats.
2nd coat for interiors
Mix with raw oil and turpentine, eaual parts, or dilute ready ground colors wholly with turpentine ; add a small quantity of dryer, if dark, use the liquid brown japan, or patent dryer ; if white, sugar of lead is best. As to the quantities required, experience must be the teacher, as some paints do not require the same amount as others. This coat should be put on as thick as will spread and rub out, cross smooth lightly with the tip of the brush.
Same as the second, with the exception of using more turpentine; it requiring to be a trifle thinner. Coats for out-side may be of the same consistency as the above, using raw or boiled linseed oil.
Flatting. Consists In employing turpentine in the place of linseed oil in diluting colors, using only sufficient oil to bind the paint and fix it on the ground, say one-fifth oil to four-fifths turpentine. This requires to be mixed thin and spread on quickly ; finish lengthwise, without cross-smoothing with light sweeps of the tip of the brush ; this will set in less than thirty seconds, after which it will not do to retouch, or it will show a gloss. Care must be taken to spread this on quickly and evenly. The room requires to be kept close, and free from any draft of air.
Porcelain Finish. First and second coating with lead same as above ; the third coat requires to be the best French zinc, mixed flat; when dry and hard, you will mix your porcelain finish by adding white demar varnish to your zinc flat-ting, and flow on a coat the same as you would varnish. Each coat should stand two or three days before receiving another.
Sulphate of zinc, or sugar of lead are the only proper dryers for flatting; either of them may be dissolved in water, and stirred into the color, adding it gradually. Flatting or varnishing should be finished each piece before commencing another or you will make bad work. Have a rule and system in your work, if you would have success. We will take a door for instance, for painting which there is an established rule, that is but seldom deviated from.
Rules for painting doors
The first important consideration is to have your door thoroughly sand papered and dusted, not forgetting the top, as there will always be found a quantity of dust accumulated, which your paint or varnish brush is apt to gather and distribute on your paint。 After these precautions have been taken, next proceed to divest the door of its trimmings, which is simply and quickly done, requiring the use of a screw driver only; next whittle out a stick of hard wood and shove it through the key or knob-hole, as a temporary handle commence on either of the upper pannels, by flowing in your color or varnish around the edges, working it well into the moldings ; then coat the flat surface of the panel even; first, lay off the work up and down, then cross, smooth and finish up and down with the tip of the brush lightly, wipe up all surplus paint on the moldings, finish remaining panels, on that side of the door, the same. The object is to complete one side before commencing another ; next the edges, cross-pieces and uprights in rotation. In painting doors, in-doors, for kitchen, dining-room, and sitting room, the panels should be painted in a lighter color than the frame work. The same harmony should be observed in the remaining wood-work, , the door and window casings should be light, the foot or base dark, and the moldings above it light.