To paint the walls of a room is to many a laborious and expensive job; but when one is acquainted with the work, it does not seem to be so great a task, and therefore we will endeavor to tell just how to begin and how to finish a wall.
Supposing the wall to have been calsomined or whitewashed. As much of the old coating as can be removed must first be taken off. Calsomine can be washed off with water, but whitewash must be scraped with a putty knife if thick, or sandpapered over with No. 3 sandpaper, if thin.
The cracks and holes, if any exist, should be neatly filled with plaster-of-paris, wet with water to a mush-like consistency, and smoothed down.
Then, having dissolved half a pound of glue in a quart of water by boiling, reduce it with water to a water-pail full, and with a calsomine or whitewash brush, give the wall a good coating of the size thus formed. This will prevent the paint from striking in in spots, and, furthermore, it is an economical proceeding, for less paint will be required Give the size ample time for drying hard, and meantime get the paint ready.
Take white-lead ground in oil, and thin it to a working consistency with turpentine so it will spread easily with the brush; but not too thin.
Add one gill of brown japan to every quart of the mixture; stir all well together, and the paint for the first coat is ready. The size being dry, begin at one corner of the room, laying on the paint plentifully, and brushing it just sufficient to spread it evenly and smooth. If the paint be rubbed too much with the brush, it will show brush-marks and streaks, which should be avoided as much as possible. The best brush for wall painting is the flat bristle brush about four inches in width.
Go over every part of the wall carefully, laying on and spreading the paint, until all is done ; then give at least twenty-four hours for drying. The second, and finishing coat (for a good job can gen- erally be made with two coats), is now in order, and it is possible that a ” tint ” is desired. Tints are colors added to white, and to mix them the white-lead should first be thinned to a cream-like consistency with turpentine, and the staining ingredient that is, any desired dry color- should be mixed in a similar manner in a separate vessel Then add the stain little by little to the white until the’ tint required is obtained.
The woodwork of a dwelling is painted white in the following manner : Take from the keg of white-lead enough to complete the room, and put it in a paint-pot Cover well with turpentine, stir into a thin milk-like con- sistency, and set aside to settle. The white-lead mil set- tle to the bottom, leaving a good share of the turpentine and much of the oil it contained upon the top. Pour the liquid off, and thus you ” wash ” the oil from the lead. White-lead mixed with oil will, when put upon interiors, turn yellow, particularly if the rooms be darkened, as par- lors usually are, and by washing out the oil much of that trouble is obviated. When the lead is thus prepared, thin it with turpentine, and add, say, a teacupful of any light-colored carriage vamish to each quart of the paint to give it the necessary binding qualities.
This paint may be put on for all the coatings necessary to cover the ground solidly, although it is a different mixture from that used by the professional house-painter. He would use more oil, perhaps, but the method described will give better results than any other way of procedure.
Some desire a better white than white-lead will produce ; if so, take zinc white instead, and use it in the same manner ; and then, if it is desired to have a glossy surface, mix with the zinc white an equal quantity of white damar varnish (the mixture is then called China gloss),and apply it as the finishing coat, over either the white-lead or zinc white.