The only way to produce solid, uniform work, is by making every succeeding coat lighter in tint than the one which preceded it.
This is specially the case with walls, and other extended flat surfaces. No matter what the finish is to be, the first coat should always he darker than the one which succeeds it; and the darker the shade of the finishing coat, the more important it is that this rule should be observed.
If the work is to be finished with black, prime with black. If with green, let that be the color of all the preceding coats. If with blue, let that color be the ground- work
Venetian red, finely ground in boiled oil, deeply stained with black and used very thin, in order to stain the wood as much as possible is the best first coat for work which is to be finished in imitation of black-walnut or other dark wood. The succeeding’ coats should be as dark as may be with a view to the proper shade of ground-work for the graining. In such case, if (as must happen in the ordinary course of events) the work becomes braised or “chipped” by an accidental knock from a chair-leg or other article of house furniture the general appearance of it is little impaired thereby.
Quite the contrary, however, is the case if the underneath coats are white. Then, an accident of the kind before mentioned, shows a white spot, which staringly proclaims the work to be a delusion and a sham. Dark colors, too, as the Yenetian red before men- tioned, make better foundations than white lead or zinc. They dry harder and “rub” better, and, what is most important, cost less. This matter having been duly considered, let us now proceed to the coats succeeding the first. Before applying a second coat, the first should be carefully rubbed and all the nailheads and other indentations carefully stopped with pure linseed-oil putty using for flat sur- faces a square-bladed putty-knife. Puttying with the fingers should never be tolerated (good work is now the subject under consideration). This done, the whole should be care- fully examined to ascertain if the oil in the former coat shall have revealed any resinous or pitchy spots, not previously covered with the shellac.
These preliminaries being attended to, the work may be considered ready for a second coat. The directions as to rubbing with sand- paper are to be observed in all the succeeding coats. As a rule, on interior work, paint should never be applied to a surface which has not been previously rubbed. In priming work which is to be finished in oak, finely-ground French ochre is recom- mended. The objection to this pigment, that it does not work smoothly and easily under the brush, has arisen from its coarseness! Finely ground in boiled oil, it works as smoothly as white lead, and makes an excel- lent foundation for the succeeding coats.