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General Painting Tips

Artificial Grain Finishes
Care of Paint Brushes
Painting New Plaster
Treatment and Care of House Floors

By Ray Lewhite.

The best material for making paint, varnish or emulsion brushes is the bristles of the hog. Other types of brushes are made from the bristles of the horse, badger, goat, bear, skunk or ox and from the fur of sable, marten and squirrel. Hog bristles are the most suitable because of their elasticity with the added qualities of hard-wearing and wiriness. They are also sponge-like, thus enabling the brush to pick up and hold a quantity of paint. Bristles have a natural taper, being larger at the root end : this tapering is characteristic and can thus be a distinguishing mark between real bristle and other materials.

Treatment for a New Paint Brush

Painting Tips
Many novices buy a new brush for immediate use on some very special painting job and wonder why they get such poor results, especially on a large surface such as a door. The reason is quiet simple, for a new brush is inclined to be stiff and will scratch rather than leave a smooth coating of paint. If it is essential to have a new brush, then try working it in first on a less important job, or alternatively, start work in a less conspicuous part of the room such as a skirting board. The new paint brush should be well soaked in clean, cold water for about 12 hours before use in order to swell the bristles and clear them of dust, grit etc., and then thoroughly dried. The latter is important, as the slightest moisture on your paint film will mar the finish.

The Varnish Brush

Painting Tips
When varnishing never lay down your brush in a place where it can pick up dirt and dust. During even a very short break it is well worth the trouble of standing your brush in the varnish and covering brush and tin with a piece of clean paper (Fig.1). Before recommencing work, remove the excess varnish by passing the bristles under a palette knife - or similar instrument - held over the tin. For a long break in operations, e.g., over-night, leave the brush suspended in a tin containing some of the varnish added to which is an equal bulk of white spirit. When required again, scrape the thinned varnish from the brush with a palette knife as before and rub out thoroughly on a clean piece of paper. When the job is complete wash out in white spirit, shake out till all the spirit has gone. Then wash in hot soapy water, dry, and store in a warm , dust-free place.

Emulsion Paint Brushes

Painting Tips
The treatment for emulsion brushes is the easiest of all. Simply wash them thoroughly in clean water, allow to dry naturally, and hang them bristles down in a reasonably dry place. With emulsion paint never under any circumstances allow emulsion to dry on the brush or it will be ruined. Emulsion sets as hard as cement, and even if you are to leave it for a few minutes, place the brush in a bucket of clean water.


Painting Tips
A stippler brush should be thoroughly washed out in warm, soapy water. It may be necessary to give a first washing in white spirit to remove most of the paint. Place a small amount of the spirit into a flat, shallow tray, dip the tips of the bristles into it, then dab the brush hard on some absorbent newspapers. If the procedure is repeated three or four times the bulk of the paint should have been removed. Wash clean with warm soapy water and then hang up to dry. Rubber stipplers may be treated in exactly the same way, and when dry dusted with French chalk. Do not allow brushes to stand in the water or white spirit and avoid, as far as possible, any getting in the base or wooden back, as this is liable to warp or split and then the result will be loose bristles.

Ordinary Paint Brushes

Painting Tips
If the brush is only left for a short time it may be rinsed in white spirit and then left suspended in raw linseed oil. When the job is completed and the brush no longer required, wash thoroughly in white spirit and then in warm soapy water. Allow to dry naturally and store in a reasonably dry place. The alternative to this process is the use of brush renovators obtainable from most ironmongers and paint shops.


Painting Tips
Many novices will probably imagine that the foregoing hints on the care of their brushes is being over-cautious, I can assure them that this is not so, for a few minutes extra work spent in the thorough cleaning of brushes can save the decorator pounds a year.

Staining and Polishing and Treatment for Floors in a Bad Condition

Painting Tips
Most houses have timber floors, the flooring ranging from hard-woods, such as oak, teak, or birch, to the more commonly used and less costly white pine which is softwood. No matter whether the floor is laid in hardwood or softwood it can be improved in appearance and will last longer if properly taken care of and correctly treated. Carpets being an expensive item nowadays it is seldom that a room has a carpet from wall-to-wall the usual method being to stain and varnish or wax polish the whole floor and lay down rugs, or have a wood surround ; Stained and varnished or polished, with a square of carpet in the centre.
Before commencing to treat any floor it is always better to give it a good rub down with sandpaper, and another important point to remember is that if a water stain is preferred to a spirit stain the floor should be given a coat of size as this helps to fill the grain of the wood and prevents the stain being absorbed to much.


Painting Tips
To stain and treat a floor or surround of white pine where the flooring is in good condition with no open joints or worn patches in the floor-boards. The floor should be washed and scrubbed and be allowed to dry out. Then before applying the stain go over the floor with a dry duster to remove all dust. One coat of spirit stain - not a mixture of stain and varnish to the colour desired is then applied with a soft brush and after this coat is thoroughly dry a second coat of stain is brushed over the flooring and allowed to dry. The floor is next given two coats of clear hard copal varnish and left until the varnish is thoroughly hard and dry. as an alternative to the stain, which is usually some shade of brown, the surround could be given two coats of paint in a colour to suit the decorative treatment of the room and finish off with two coats of hard drying varnish

Floor in Bad Condition

Painting Tips
Where it is desired to treat a floor which is not in good condition it will be necessary to fill up all open joints and cracks, fix down any loose boards and punch in any protruding nail heads. Should the joints between the floorboards be fairly wide, wedge-shaped laths, glued on both sides, should be driven into the joints and planed down to the level of the adjoining boards. A surform tool is ideal for planing wood floors. If, however, the joints are only slightly open, putty or wood filler can be used to fill the openings. The treatment of a floor or surround of oak, teak, parquet or other hardwood is simple. Remove all dust and give two coats of raw linseed oil, allowing the first coat to dry thoroughly before applying the second coat. After the second coat is dry the floor is ready for polishing. A suitable polish is a mixture of beeswax and white spirit well rubbed into the wood with a soft rag and polished with a circular motion until a good gloss is obtained. The wax polish is prepared by shredding a sufficient quantity of beeswax into a earthenware jar and covering the wax with white spirit, the jar being placed in a warm place and the mixture stirred until the wax is the consistency of a thick cream. If making up this mixture is too much trouble, ready-made wax polish can be obtained from any good hardware or painters establishment. To keep a floor treat in this way in good condition, it should be given a rub over occasionally with the wax polish and gone over daily with a mop or floor polisher. A nice surround to a white pine floor can be obtained by the use of plywood, oak or birch faced. The plywood can be glued or panel-pinned to the existing flooring and wax polished.

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