These should be primed as soon as set, as they are usually made of heavy lumber and liable to crack if not primed. Do not paint columns and rails unless dry. Paint will soon blister or peel on heavy timber if the least dampness is present. Do not paint over shop or mill priming without thoroughly sandpapering or scraping off as much of this paint as possible, as it is usually a cheap mixture applied heavy, preventing penetration and not fit for priming. It will generally peel in a short time after another paint has been applied over it. Do not be responsible for paint applied over primers other than the ones you applied. Do not apply paint heavy on round columns, as very little paint is required on a round or convexed surface. If applied heavy, it will soon blister, crinkle or peel. Carefully guard against an excess of paint on this kind of a surface. Use very nearly a dry brush and work the paint out well. The same applies to spindles and other turned work. Guard against painting the tops of rails and like surfaces which are damp from frosts or dews.
The paint for veranda columns and rails should be reduced in the same manner as for the siding, but requires an extra amount of brushing. The paint should be well brushed out to insure smooth, even coats. Knife putty into all cracks and nail holes, using a good, hard-drying putty. Sandpaper the columns and rails before applying the finishing coat, dust off and apply a well brushed coat. This work, together with veranda and porch floors, should be the last finished on the exterior of the building, as such will insure the surface from being scuffed or damaged by use.
A heavy coat of paint applied on the tongue and groove before laying will more than double the life of the floor through keeping out the water. Do not apply coats which are too oily. Brush well into the surface. Do not have an excess of paint or pigment on the surface. Remember the floors have to be walked on, consequently the paint must dry firm and hard. Thoroughly fill all cracks and crevices with paint, then brush out. Keep the work clean. Do not paint over mud, grease or plaster. Do not use old, fatty or skinny paint for floors. It will not make satisfactory work, will never dry hard and will soon scuff off. Do not paint floors immediately after frosts or heavy dews. Allow plenty of time for the surface to become dry and warm. Sufficient turpentine should be used in all coats to assist the paint in drying and hardening. More trouble is caused from floors not properly drying than from any other condition. The finishing coat can not dry solid if undercoats are spongy; neither will the paint wear well where the undercoats are not thoroughly hard. A finishing coat of elastic paint can be applied over a flat coat without causing trouble, but a flat or quick-drying paint applied over an oil coat will cause cracking or peeling. Do not flow paint on floors and expect successful work.
Two coats will not make a passable job on a porch or veranda floor.
For priming, the paint should be of a thin consistency, reduced with a liberal amount of turpentine so as to penetrate well into the surface. See that the priming coat is thoroughly dry before applying subsequent coats. Putty all seams, cracks and nail holes with putty which will dry hard. The second coat for floors over good solid priming should be mixed half flat so as to dry hard and firm. Enough paint should be left on the surface to fill and form a good protecting coat, but should not dry with a gloss or tack, as such retards the drying of the finishing coat. The third or finishing coat should be elastic and of good consistency, carrying sufficient turpentine to work free, penetrate into the previous coating and dry hard and firm. Remember that walking has to be done over this coat, therefore it must be brushed out smoothly and evenly so as not to leave heavy places which will dry unevenly and soon scuff up from usage.
Do not neglect the fence. Paint it as well and as neatly as the house. The pickets, rails and caps should be primed before nailing up, as this will save a great deal of time and allow of all edges to be painted. Do not paint the tops of rails or caps when damp from rain, dew or frost. The paint should be of the same consistency as that used on the main building, and if the rails, pickets and caps are primed well before nailing up, two coats are usually sufficient for the fence. The fence should receive the same trimming as the house. The paint should be of the same material as used for the main building and as well and neatly applied as on any other part of the work.