Interior Home Painting Ideas

Interior Home Painting Ideas

Tips, advice, and ideas for interior home and house painting.

Craftsman Style

Sometimes all the interior woodwork is painted; often, in houses where varnish is the principal finish, certain rooms are painted. For this a somewhat quicker-drying paint is used than for exteriors; paint is much more durable when not exposed to the weather, and a quick-drying paint is allowable. This may be an ordinary oil-paint, such as has already been described; more often it contains a portion of varnish in place of part of the oil, and is called a gloss paint, as it has considerable luster; these, if well made, are the most generally serviceable; for fine finishes enamel paints are used. In these the vehicle is a varnish.

Before beginning to paint, all knots and pitchy places, and all sap-wood, are given a heavy coat of shellac varnish. In all cases the foundation is a priming coat of white lead and oil, to which ten per cent of pale japan drier has been added; it should be almost all oil, very little lead. When this is dry, all nail-holes and crevices should be puttied up; the putty for this purpose is made by working dry white lead into paste white lead until it is of the right consistency; this dries quickly and very hard. It is not applied with a steel putty-knife, as this is liable to scratch the wood, and scratches will show on interior work; use a wooden spatula, or a conveniently shaped stick of hard wood. The white lead putty is made immediately before using.

The first full coat is lead, oil, and turpentine; this may be made by thinning paste lead with a mixture of equal parts oil and turpentine; this will dry quickly to a hard, "flat" surface, to which the next coat will adhere. The next coat should have about half as much turpentine in it as the preceding, and the final coat none at all. If there is any gloss when the next to the last coat is fully dry, it must be removed by lightly rubbing with sandpaper, or with curled hair, or with a handful of excelsior. If an enamel paint is to be used for. the finish, the second full coat is sandpapered to produce a smooth surface, over which the enamel is flowed on in a full coat. For extra good work this coat of enamel, when quite hard, is sandpapered, and another coat of enamel is applied. This may be left with its full gloss, or it may be rubbed with pumice and water to a flat (dull) surface.

When paint or varnish is spread out in a thin film it remains a liquid for a considerable time, then becomes a sticky, jelly-like substance, which will not run; then it becomes firmer, but still sticky; in this condition it is said to be "tacky"; then it becomes hard enough to handle. From the time it is applied until it first reaches this stage, the time should be noted; suppose it to be twelve hours; then at least four times as much longer, or forty-eight hours, or sixty hours altogether, should pass before another coat may be applied. A longer time than this is better, but this is the shortest; and this rule applies to outside and inside work, and to varnish as well as paint. For very quick-drying varnishes, such as shellac, this rule does not allow nearly enough time.

Old plastered walls may be given a coat of priming and then painted as though they were any other kind of a prepared surface. Many painters give a plastered interior wall a coat of size, or thin solution of glue, for a priming coat. New plaster is alkaline and is liable to attack paint; it is better to let it stand a year; but if necessary to do it a* once, give it a coat of strong alum and soap size, as described under the subject of calcimine; when dry, sponge off and paint. Size is not used on exterior work.

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