Birch is the best wood to take paint or enamel, as it is very hard and does not dent or bruise readily. Poplar, pine, and gumwood come next. When it is necessary to paint or enamel over these last-named woods, it is advisable to seal the wood with shellac before proceeding with the first coat of paint. The first coat of paint - either flat tone or bright - applied over the shellac should be thinned about 10 per cent with pure turpentine; the second coat should be thinned slightly, and the third coat applied as it comes from the can. Rub down each coat of paint with No. 0000 sandpaper before applying the next coat of paint or enamel. This makes a smooth, hard-paint finish. Over the last coat of paint, if desired, a thin coat of enamel may be applied, and finished with a second coat of enamel just as it comes from the can. This latter gives a shiny, brilliant finish unless rubbed down with powdered pumice and moistened with olive oil. Enamel may be purchased with semi-glossy or egg-shell finish.