Mixing Paints & Colors

Mixing Paints & Colors

Formulas and preparations for how to mix paints and colors for interior woodwork.

Craftsman Style

¶ The matter of mixing paints and colors, includes innumerable details which cannot be included within the limited space of this volume, but the most essential facts are given in the working schedules which follow. All of the details were presented in the author's book, "The Mixing of Colors and Paints".

Plain Painting

New Interior Wood Trim

¶ Operation 1: Brush down the wood with a duster brush and scrape off any accumulations of dirt, etc.

¶ Operation 2: Shellac knots and sappy streaks, if any, using a thin shellac. If the color of the finish is to be white or any very light tint, brush on a thin coat of shellac over the entire surface. This is to stop suction of soft, porous places which would cause the paint to dry spotty as to gloss and flat. The shellac also seals up streaks of resin or pitch which may come through and discolor light colored paint. The shellac coat should consist of about 2 pounds of orange shellac gum to 1 gallon of denatured alcohol,a two-pound cut, in other words.

¶ Operation 3: Paint. Apply one coat of paint, the liquid portion of which is about ¼ boiled linseed oil and ¾ turpentine. Tint to the final color wanted with tinting colors ground in oil. Let this coat dry 24 hours.

¶ Operation 4: Putty. Nail holes, cracks and bruises should be filled with good putty made from lead-in oil paste, dry whiting and a little japan drier. Color the putty with dry colors. Let the putty dry and then sandpaper the whole coat lightly with No. ½ paper, using turpentine with the paper to keep down the dust. If there is not time to allow the putty to dry be sure to fill level and smooth off perfectly and wipe off all putty around the holes and cracks.

¶ Operation 5: Paint. Two coats of paint should now be applied. Prepared flat wall paint may be used. Or white lead thinned with turpentine, or with flatting oil, may be used for these coats. If desired it is proper to use from 20% to 40% zinc oxide ground in oil with the white lead and a harder wearing surface will result.

¶ For a gloss finish mix the paint with about ¾ linseed oil, boiled, and ¼ turpentine. White gloss paint should contain no linseed oil except that in the first coat. Linseed oil turns the white paint yellow when not subjected to sunlight. For gloss white interior paint thin the pigment with about 1/5 turpentine and 4/5 white mixing varnish or first class white enamel.

¶ A varnish finishing coat may be used so that the paint will be more washable. The undercoats, then, should be mixed to dry flat; the first coat as specified above, second and third coats should be mixed with turpentine only. A final coat of white enamel over three under coats of paint makes even a better finish.

Old Interior Wood Trim

¶ Operation 1: Rub down the old paint, enamel or varnish with No. 1 sandpaper or steel wool to remove all gloss, dirt or grease. If the old surface has been waxed or finished with flat varnish containing wax no paint or varnish will adhere well until every trace of wax has been removed. Sandpaper well with No. 1 paper. Then wash down thoroughly with benzole (160 degree solvent naphtha) or benzine or turpentine. If the old paint, enamel or varnish is considerably cracked and scaled, which is not often the case on interior wood, it should be stripped off with liquid paint and varnish remover. Then sandpaper well and wash down with benzole to remove the wax film left by the remover.

¶ Operation 2: Brush down with a duster and clean the surface generally.

¶ Operation 3: Same as Operation 4, on new work.

¶ Operation 4: Same as Operation 5, on new work.

New Inside Woodwork

¶ First Coat

¶ 100 lbs. pure white lead,
1 gal. pure linseed oil,
3 gal. pure turpentine,
1 pt. Japan drier.
Makes about 7 gal. of paint.

¶ Second Coat

¶ 100 lbs. pure white lead,
1 ½ gal. pure raw linseed oil,
1 ½ gal. pure turpentine,
1 pt. Japan drier.
Makes about 6 gal. of paint.

¶ Third Coat

¶ Same as Second Coat for Old Inside Woodwork.

Old Inside Woodwork

¶ First Coat

¶ 100 lbs. pure white lead,
1 gal. pure linseed oil,
2 gal. pure turpentine,
1 pt. Japan drier (if raw oil).
Makes about 6 gal. of paint.

¶ Second Coat - Oil Gloss

¶ 100 pounds pure white lead,
3 to 3½ gal. pure linseed oil,
1 pt. pure turpentine,
1 pt, Japan drier (if raw oil).
Makes 6 to 6½ gal. of paint.

¶ Second Coat - Semi Flat

¶ 100 lbs. pure white lead,
½ to 2 gal. pure turpentine,
¾ gal. linseed oil,
½ pt. Japan drier.
Makes about 5½ gal. of paint.

¶ Second Coat - Flat

¶ 100 lbs, pure white lead,
2½ gal. pure turpentine,
½ pt. Japan drier.
Makes about 5 ½ gal. of paint.

Third Coat - Full Gloss

¶ 3 lbs. pure white lead broken up smooth with turpentine,
1 gal. white mixing varnish.

¶ Third Coat - Flat Finish

¶ 100 lbs. pure white lead from which the oil has been drawn, as described previously,
3 gal. pure turpentine.
Makes 5 ¾ gal. of paint.

¶ Use of Zinc Oxide. The use of half zinc oxide and half white lead for second and third coats makes a harder, finer-textured surface and one which is very white. Zinc bulks more than lead and so a little more oil, turpentine or varnish thinner will be needed, depending upon which coat is being mixed. More gallons of paint will result from the mix, also.

¶ Use of Flatting Oil. In place of linseed oil, turpentine and mixing varnish, a flatting oil may be used with white lead and zinc for flat and semi-gloss finishes. This paint is suitable for interior wood surfaces as well as for plaster and cement.

¶ First Coat

¶ Mix the same as previously specified for new or old wood, interior trim.

¶ Second or Finishing Coat Flat

¶ 100 lbs. of white lead,
2 to 3 gal. flatting oil.
Makes 4¾ to 5¾ gal. of paint.

¶ Finishing Coats - Semi Gloss

¶ 100 lbs. of white lead,
¾ gal. light mixing varnish,
1½ to 2 gal. flatting oil.
Makes from 5 to 5½ gal. of paint.

¶ Mixing White Paint for Dark Rooms. When linseed oil mixed with white paint is placed away from strong daylight the paint will turn yellow. To avoid this with white paint and light tints, use flatting oil or use no linseed oil, aside from a very little in the first coat.

¶ For second and third coats, to dry semi-flat, on new or old interior surfaces, mix your paint in these proportions :

¶ 100 lbs. of pure white lead,
1½ to 2½ gaL pure turpentine,
¾ gal. white mixing varnish or white enamel varnish,
½ pt. Japan drier.

¶ Less turpentine and more varnish will give a gloss finish.

Next Page: Enameled Wood Trim.

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