This section is from the book "Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry, And Building", by James C. et al. Also available from Amazon: Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry And Building.
While the same principles apply to the inside painting as to the outside, more care should be exercised in the application. Puttying must be done with the greatest of care, and a greater skill in the application will be needed. If a painted finish is desired greater care must be taken in protecting from knots and pitch by the use of shellac, even to the extent of shellacing the whole finish if it is necessary. For inside painting zinc is used to a large extent, instead of lead, and is often preferred as it has no tendency to turn yellow in rooms which are not well lighted, as lead will sometimes do. Tastes vary as to the kind of surface desirable for painted finish. If a dull finish is desired it may be obtained by mixing the last coat of paint with clear spirits of turpentine instead of oil. Oil gives a somewhat glossy finish and if a high gloss is desired varnish may be mixed with the last coat. The so-called enamel finish is very popular and is obtained by the application of five or six coats of paint, each coat rubbed down with pumice and oil, the last coat being of a prepared enamel.
Staining in various tints is a popular way of' finishing many interiors. This is done sometimes to change the natural color of oak or other hard woods, and more often to give a desired tone to softer woods such as whitewood or cypress.
Stains are in general of three kinds, water stains, oil stains and spirit stains. The richest color effects are produced by water stains, for the reason that their work is performed by absorption and there is thus less tendency to obscure the grain of the wood. Oil stains are superior to water stains in the matter of preserving the wood and, by reason of not freezing, their use in cold weather is an advantage, but the result is a loss in clearness of grain and color effects. For renewal of old work oil stains should be used, as the previous finishing will prevent proper absorption of the water stain. Spirit stains tend to strike into the wood by evaporation, requiring about twice as much to cover the same area as water or oil stains, and they are not so extensively used.