This section is from the book "A Treatise On Architecture And Building Construction Vol4: Plumbing And Gas-Fitting, Heating And Ventilation, Painting And Decorating, Estimating And Calculating Quantities", by The Colliery Engineer Co. Also available from Amazon: A Treatise On Architecture And Building Construction.
Intermediate Coats. For the second coat, the same paint used for the priming, or white lead thinned with oil and a little turpentine and driers, may be employed, the proportion of driers, for ordinary cases, being 1 1/2 ounces to 10 pounds of white lead; but in winter, or in a damp climate, the proportion of driers must be increased. It should be observed that second color for new work is made up chiefly with oil, as it best stops the suction of the wood, but second color for old work is made up chiefly with turpentine, because oil would not, in this circumstance, either dry or adhere so well.
The color should be spread on as evenly as possible, and to effect this, the brush should, as soon as the whole, or a convenient quantity, is covered, be passed over it, in a direction at right angles to that in which it is finally to be laid off. This operation is called crossing. After crossing, it should be again laid off softly and carefully, in a direction contrary to the crossing, but in accord with the grain of the wood, taking care that none of the cross brush marks be left visible. In this case, good workmanship demands that the paint be laid evenly and the brush marks unobservable. In laying off, the brush should be started in that portion of the work already done, so that the joining be imperceptible. Every coat should be perfectly dry and all dust carefully removed before a succeeding one is applied. In the third painting, oil and turpentine should be used in equal proportions.
Final Coat. The fourth painting may be considered the finishing coat, although a fifth-always with great advantage-is often given. The finishing coat must not, by any means, be applied unless that immediately preceding it, be entirely and uniformly dry, as regards surface; for, if in one part it be glossy, and in another dull, it is evident that the absorption of the wood is not stopped and the third or fourth coat, as the case may be, must be repeated, before the finishing coat is laid.
Old Work. In commencing to repaint old work, the surface should, in the first place, be gone over with the stopping knife and all excrescences removed. It is then rubbed with powdered pumice stone and water, the greasy-parts being also rubbed with lime.
111. Cleaning old paint may be effected by washing it with a solution of pearlash in water. If the surface is greasy, it should be treated with fresh quicklime mixed in water, washed off and reapplied until the grease is entirely removed.
Removing Old Paint. Dissolve 2 ounces of soft soap and 4 ounces of potash in boiling water; add 1/2 pound of quicklime; apply hot and leave from 12 to 24 hours. This will enable the old paint to be washed off with hot water, and is a neater and more rapid way than burning off, etc.
113. Parts from which the paint has been entirely removed, and decayed patches, must be gone over with a coat of priming color, and fissures, holes, etc. made good with stopping. The first coat is then to be applied, mixed with turpentine. The quality of the next coat, which will be the ground, or first-finishing, coat, depends on the manner in which the work is to be finished. A general rule for finishing in oil is that the under, or first-finishing, coat should be in oil. All turpentine grounds must have a little oil mixed with them, and all under coats, except the priming, or first coat, in new work, have a small quantity of turpentine added. There are, however, pigments of a cheaper grade, but permanent character, which in tone approach the very best, and these may, with advantage, be used as a first-finishing coat, while the final coat is laid with the finer grade of paint.
114. Flatting is the term given to that method of painting resorted to when it is desired that the dry surface present a flat or dull appearance, without any gloss. The paint used for the first-finishing coat should be, in this case, rather thicker than that employed under other circumstances.
Mixed with linseed oil and turpentine, it should be rather darker than the flatting is intended to be. Special care should be given to the laying of all the coats preceding the flatting. They must be very evenly spread and smoothed with glass paper to be perfectly even, otherwise the smallest irregularities will appear in the finished surface, to the injury of that perfectly fiat appearance in which lies the real beauty of the work. The pigment used in flatting consists of white lead, with which the necessary coloring matter is mixed; turpentine alone, with a small quantity of copal varnish, being added. This causes it to bind better. If carefully done, the work will bear one washing without injury to the flatting or the appearance of the dead surfaces. The color should be rather lighter than that finally required, as it darkens a little while drying. Necessary as it is that the coat preceding the flatting should be dry, it ought not to be absolutely hard, for the flatting, mixed with turpentine, and a little varnish, should slightly dissolve the surface, so as to become, in a measure, incorporated with it. By this partial incorporation much beauty and durability are obtained. If, on the other hand, the previous coat had become quite hard, the flatting would, in most cases, appear streaky when dry, and be likely to split and peel off.
Owing to the special composition of the paint used in flatting, it dries very rapidly, and two, four, or six men, may, at one and the same time, be employed in flatting a wall. In a small room, however, two men are sufficient. A plank laid across step ladders, or trestles, is placed in front of the wall, at about half the distance from the floor to the ceiling. One of the men stands on this platform, while another stands on the floor. The latter commences the work, painting a strip about 18 inches wide and carrying it up as high as he can conveniently reach, working rapidly and crossing occasionally, so that no brush marks, in any one direction, be visible, laying off very lightly so that the points of the hairs just skim over the work. The man above proceeds with the operation from the line where his fellow worker leaves it, and carries it up to the top of the wall, the first man meanwhile getting on with another strip, both artisans being exceedingly careful that no break occurs, and that the lines at which their work joins is invisible.
Brushes, called stipplers, are used to flatten the tint after it is applied. These are broad and flat, and in form resemble a hair brush (Fig. 26). In practice, the stippler is gently dabbed against the wet paint, producing a level grain over the whole surface, something like the "tooth" on the drawing paper known as "cold pressed." These brushes may be obtained in various shapes and sizes-the handles of some being continuous with the back; in others, fixed as in the illustration. The adoption of either form is, of course, a matter of taste. In flatting a door, the panels must be finished first, and great care taken to carry the paint fully into the edges and corners. Then it is convenient to paint the muntins, next, the upper, middle, and lower rails, and, lastly, the stiles. Should any brush marks appear at the parts where the work is necessarily in cross directions, they should correspond with the grain of the wood at the joints, as it in reality exists at these points.