Permit me to make a few suggestions here in regard to the mixing of paint, which may not fully agree with others' views. There is just as much paint that cracks by putting it on too flat as by using too much oil. Some painters mix their finishing colour so that it is impossible to get over a panel of ordinary size before it is set under the brush, and consequently the colour will rough up. Colour should be mixed up so that it will not flat down for some time after leaving it, and then you have got some substance that will not absorb the varnish as fast as it is applied to the surface. This quick drying of colour is not always caused by want of oil in it, but because there is too much japan, and a less quantity of the latter will do better work, and make a smoother finish. Give your colour 48 hours to dry between coats; always give that time, unless it is a hurried job, and experience has fully demonstrated that it is poor economy to hurry work out of the shop before it is properly finished. Oils, Driers, and Colours. - In car-painting, both raw and boiled oils arc used, and good work may be done with either, but I recommend oil that is but slightly boiled, in preference to either the raw or the boiled.
After it is boiled, if it is done in the shop, let it stand 24 hours to settle, then strain off carefully; this takes out all the impurities and fatty matter from the oil, and it will dry much better, nor will it have that tack after drying that you find with common boiled oil. Use the proper quantity of drier in mixing your paint, and a good reliable job will be the result. In car-painting, never use prepared colours which are ground in oil, as nine-tenths of such colours are ground in a very inferior oil, and they may have been put up for a great length of time, in which case they become fatty, and will invariably crack. These canned colours do not improve with age, as lead and varnish do. Finishing colours should all be ground in the shop, unless special arrangements can be made with manufacturers to prepare them; and the colour should be fresh, not over 6 or 8 days old after being mixed and open to the air. Enough may be prepared at a time to complete the coating on a job; but when colour stands over a week, it is not fit to use on first-class work, as it becomes lifeless, and has lost that free working which we find in freshly mixed colours.
Such colour may, however, be used upon a cheap class of work, or on trucks, steps, etc, so that nothing need be wasted in the shop.