Add 5 per cent, to regular price for knotting, puttying, cleaning, and sandpapering. For work done above the ground floor, charge as follows: - Add 5 per cent, for each storey of 12 ft. or less, if interior work; if exterior work, add 1 per cent, for each ft. of height above the first 12 ft.
The following is the substance of an address delivered by McKeon, secretary and treasurer of the Master Car-Painters* Association, of the United States: - A first-class railway coach costs, when complete, about 1200/. To protect this work, the painter expends 60/. to 120/. The latter figure will make a first-class job. The car has been completed in the wood-shop, and is turned over to the painter, who is responsible for the finish. He is expected to smooth over all rough places or defects in the wood, which requires both patience and skill to make the work look well. Twelve weeks should be the time allowed to paint a car, and it cannot be done in any less time, to make a good job that will be a credit to the painter and all other parties interested in the construction and finish of the car. Too much painting is done in. a hurry,; proper time is not given the work to dry or become thoroughly hardened before it is run out of the shop, and consequently it does not always give the satisfaction it should; nor can it be expected that hurried work will be so lasting or durable as that which has the necessary time given to finish it. Priming Paint. - The priming coat of paint on a car is of as much importance as any succeeding one, and perhaps more.
Good work is ruined in the priming by little or no attention being given by the painter to the mixing and application of the first coat. The foundation is the support, and on that rests success or failure. The priming should be made of the proper material, mixed with care from good lead and good oil, and not picked up from old paints, which have been standing mixed, and must necessarily be fat and gummy, for such are unfit for use on a good job, and will have a decided tendency to spoil the whole work. Special care should be exercised, both in mixing and applying the priming, and it should be put on very light, so that it may penetrate well into the wood. Too much oil is worse than not enough. Good ground lead is by far the best material for the under-coats on a car. Two coats should be given to the car before it is puttied, as it is best to fill well with paint the nail-holes and plugs, as well as defects in the wood, so that moisture may not secure a lodgment, which otherwise will cause the putty to swell, although sometimes unseasoned lumber will swell the putty; and as it shrinks, the nail remains stationary, and of course the putty must give way.
In mixing putty, which may be a small matter with some, take care to so prepare it that it will dry perfectly hard in 18 hours. Use ground lead and japan, stiffening up with dry lead, and whatever colouring you may require in it to match your priming coats.
The next coats, after the work is well puttied, should be made to dry flat and hard. Two coats should be applied, and, for all ordinary jobs or cheap work, sandpapering is all that is necessary for each coat; but when a good surface is required, I would recommend one coat to be put on heavy enough to fill the grain; and before being set, scrape with a steel scraper. The plain surface is all that requires coating and scraping with the heavy mixture. For this coat, which is called filling, use one half ground lead and any good mineral which experience has shown can be relied on. This scraping of the panel work will fill the wood equal to two coats of rough-stuff, and saves a great amount of labour over the old process, when so much rubbing with lump pumice was done. Sandpaper when the filling is thoroughly hard, and apply another coat of paint of ordinary thickness, when, after another sandpapering, you have a good surface for your colour.
Rough-coating on cars has gone almost out of use, and few shops are now using it to any extent. My experience is that paint has less tendency to crack where rough-stuff is left off. I do not claim that the filling was the principal cause of the cracking, if it was properly mixed; but I believe the water used in rubbing down a car with the lump pumice injures the paint, as it will penetrate in some places, particularly around the moulding plugs.
The car being ready for the finishing colour, this should be mixed with the same proportion of drier as the previous coat, or just sufficient to have it dry in about the same time. A great error with many car-painters is using a large portion of oil in the under-coats, and then but little, if any, in the finishing coats: this has a decided tendency to crack, the under-coats being more elastic. Always aim to have colour dry in about the same time, after you have done your priming; by this plan you secure what all painters should labour to accomplish - namely, little liability to crack. Work will of course crack sometimes, after being out a few months, or when it has repeated coatings of varnish; and using a quick rubbing-varnish on work will cause it to give way in fine checks quicker than anything else. Many of the varnishes used are the cause of the paint cracking, and no painter has been wholly exempt from this trouble.
The most common cause of cracking is poor japan, which is the worst enemy that the car-painter has to contend with. The greater part of the japan is too elastic, and will dry with a tack, and the japan gold size has generally the same fault, although the English gold size is generally of good quality; but its high price is an objection to its use. A little more care in the manufacture of japans would give a better drier, and few would object to the additional cost. Japan frequently curdles in the paint; it will not mix with it, but gathers in small gummy particles on the top. Work painted with such material cannot do otherwise than crack and scale, and the remedy lies only in getting a good pure article of turpentine japan.
In regard to using ground lead, car-painters differ, as some prefer to grind their own in the shop. I use the manufactured lead, and my reasons for doing so are that it is generally finer than any shop can grind it with present faci-lities, and it has age after grinding, which improves its quality. You can also get a purer lead and one with more body than you can by grinding in the shop, which is a fact that I think most painters must admit. I have tested it very fully, and am convinced on this point.