Kitchens and pantries, to be repainted, should be thoroughly cleaned. The best way is to wash the woodwork and walls with rainwater and washing compound, using 1/4 pound of washing powder or soda to three gallons of rainwater. Thoroughly sponge and brush the surface, then rinse with clear water. This will remove smoke or grease more readily than will turpentine or benzine. For the walls of the kitchen or pantry to be repainted, the first coat should be mixed half flat, then apply a full oil coat of a flat color mixed with varnish, in the proportion of 1-3 color and 2-3 mixing varnish. Either of the foregoing will dry with a good gloss and can be washed.
The woodwork should be thoroughly sandpapered, and, if in very bad condition, scraped. If the old paint is thoroughly hard and two coat work is necessary the first coat should be mixed half flat, then a full oil coat applied over this, or flat color and varnish in the proportions directed for wall work.
Shelves in cupboards and pantries should be thoroughly washed, sandpapered and then a coat of flat color applied. The finishing coat should be mixed with varnish and flat color to dry hard and solid so as not to be softened with moderate heat. Very warm cooking utensils are often placed in pantries and on shelves, and if the paint is not hard dry this is liable to soften it.
Floors should be scrubbed three or four days before paint is applied. If there are any grease spots, wash them with turpentine or benzine. The first coat of paint should be mixed to dry firm and hard in the wood. Reduce lead in oil with 2-3 turpentine and 1-3' good copal or mixing varnish. When hard, sandpaper lightly, dust off and apply a coat of 2-3 mixing varnish and 1-3 flat color. This will dry with a good gloss, firm and hard and make a coating which is not in danger of being scratched or scuffed up.
If the surface has been previously painted and is in good condition, thoroughly sandpaper and apply a coat of paint mixed flat and tinted to the proper ground color with a pint of hard-drying varnish added. Should the paint dry too flat for good working or combing of the graining color, an additional amount of varnish can be added, or a small amount of oil. If numerous coats of oil paint have been applied, or if the surface is badly cracked, the paint will have to be burned or removed with paint remover, then proceed as with new work.
Where graining is done over an old varnished surface, it is best to remove the varnish before applying the paint to avoid cracking; however, if it is impossible to do so, the ground work can be mixed to a semi-paste with a good mixing varnish, then reduced to a painting consistency with turpentine. A small amount of oil can be used should the color not work freely, but not to exceed four ounces of oil to the gallon of paint. Should the paint dry too flat for good working or combing of the graining color, an additional amount of varnish can be used in the second coat to produce an eggshell or semi-gloss, whichever is desired.
If a surface which has been previously painted or varnished is to be stained, it must be handled and built up with the proper shade of ground color according to the wood to be imitated in the same manner as a similar surface for graining ground. The stain must be of a heavier consistency than for bare wood. Brush out thin and even. It cannot be wiped off as on new work and the effect depends upon the brushing. If the grain of the wood is to be imitated, the surface must be grained.
It should be borne in mind that light and air are necessary to the drying of paint. Paint will not harden in tightly closed rooms. This is especially true of kitchens, pantries and work of this character where there are numerous shelves and drawers, and if closed the paint or varnish will remain tacky and not harden through.
Floors which are to be painted should be exposed to a free circulation of air from underneath. If they are over damp basements or cellars, the windows or ventilators of same should be opened to allow of free air circulation from underneath, as dead or damp air will prevent the paint or varnish on floors from hardening.