Cyclopedia of Painting/Exterior Painting—New Work

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New Work. Be sure the character of the lumber is understood as to its absorption of the paint, and to assure satisfactory results see that the paint is reduced as thin as possible according to the conditions. Do not paint immediately after rain storms, heavy dews, fogs or in frosty weather. See that the surface to be painted is thoroughly dry and in proper condition to receive paint.

Do not follow too closely after the carpenter, as siding which has been tied in bundles is very often wet on the inside. Allow time for the siding to dry out, remembering that it is very hard to secure dry lumber. Do not apply shellac too heavy to knots and sappy places. Have it thin and brush well into the knots or other places that require shellac. Where light shades of paint are to be applied, use white or very light colored shellac.

Priming. It is bad practice to prime a building from a carpenter's scaffold. It is best to have the entire building ready to prime at one time so that the same mix of paint can he used. In this way a more even and better coat of priming can be given.

When a building or any part of it is ready to receive the priming coat, the carpenter should remove all scaffolds, blocks and braces. This leaves the building with no part of the surface hidden and all of it can be primed without interference. Ridges are left on a building primed with blocks or braces nailed to the corner strips or any part; when touched up, it is impossible to hide these spots so they will not soon show through the second and third coats.

It is good policy to always prime a building before the plasterer commences his work, as the priming coat will keep the dampness and fumes of the mortar beds from penetrating the surface. Reduce the paint according to the absorbing properties of the surface. Do not be afraid of getting the primer too thin. It must be thin enough to both satisfy and fill the surface and not leave an excess of pigment on the surface. The reduction must be with oil and turpentine, according to the character of the surface. Where hard, close grained woods are to be painted, a large percentage of turpentine must be used to assist in opening the pores of the wood and allow of greater depth of penetration.

The main point in priming is to satisfy all of the surface, thus leaving a uniform, even coating. A soft place here and there that is not satisfied and has received only half enough paint will soon dry out spotted; other places, where the wood is hard, an excess of paint which will dry with a heavy gloss. A good and satisfactory job of painting cannot be done over an uneven coat of priming. The priming coat should be applied with as much care as the finishing coat. Great care should be taken in keeping the paint of a uniform consistency. Where it is possible, prime the entire building at one time, as it is hard to prime a building in patches and obtain uniform results. In priming, use a full brush of paint to satisfy the soft spots, brush well and do not allow a surplus of paint to remain on the hard places. The priming coat should be as thoroughly and carefully brushed out as the finishing coat. To accomplish this, a good full stock brush must be used. Do not try to use a half-worn or cheap brush, as good results cannot be accomplished with poor tools. Use a medium full brush for painting under projections, cornices and under edges of the siding, being sure to fill all of the joints with paint, then use a full brush on the face of the siding and corner strips, thoroughly working the paint out under the brush so the pores of the wood will be filled. Be careful not to use a dry brush on any part of the work.

A building primed in the foregoing manner will leave an even surface over which to work and the second coat will go on smoothly and can be brushed out, thereby saving time and material.

Putty. Do not use cheap, ready-made putty. If it is not possible to secure putty that is known to be made from linseed oil and whiting, it is best for the painter to make the putty himself. This will not take much time and he can always be assured of overcoming some very annoying results. Cheap putty will peel from glass or after being traced with paint. Where used in grooves or over nail heads, it will turn yellow after paint has been applied. It is also apt to fall out, which is one of the most annoying things that can happen. A formula still in use by old practical painters is to take 5 pounds gilder's whiting and 1 pint raw linseed oil, the whiting gradually added to the oil and well kneaded in. As the mixture becomes too stiff to work by hand, pound it off with a mallet until all of the whiting is added and mixture is of a glazing consistency.

For a waterproof or harder-drying putty for use in floor seams or other exposed places, to the foregoing add one pound keg lead well worked in. If the keg lead is of a thin consistency, a little more whiting may be necessary to bring the putty to the proper consistency. This latter mix will be found to be more durable and produce more satisfactory results for glazing and all exterior puttying. Knife putty into all seams, cracks and nail holes; do not use the thumb in pushing putty into seams and cracks.

Middle Coat. Be sure the priming coat is hard dry. Do not have the second coat too oily, thus drying with too high a gloss, as this will cause the finishing coat to crack, peel and flatten. Do not paint over dirt, grease or mud splashed on the building from down spouts. Do not paint over frosts, dews or wet places. Do not paint while the plastering is drying out. Be sure the basement is not wet or damp. If such is the ease, the moisture is liable to go up through the house between the walls and siding and be attracted to the surface, causing dampness between coats, which will result in peeling in a short time. See that the basement windows or ventilators are open, allowing the basement to thoroughly dry oiit before applying a second coat of paint. Use a full stock brush that has been well broken in, even up by thoroughly brushing any skips or uneven places in the priming coat.

Where light shades are used for trimming, better results will be obtained by applying the trimming color on both the middle and finishing coats. Medium dark shade trimming colors can be used for the finishing coat only. Apply two coats for solid colors, such as green, black and red, or one coat over a suitable ground color.

Finishing Coat. Do not paint when there are indications of rain or the weather becoming cold. Do not work late in the evening on cold nights. The paint will pucker or crinkle if a frost or cold wind strikes it when half dry. Do not attempt to apply paint early in the morning, or on a surface that has been covered Avith frost the previous night. Allow plenty of time for the surface to dry. After the paint has set, do not attempt to touch up the spots that have been missed. This will cause peeling of such places. Wait until the paint is dry, repainting the parts on which such spots may show. The paint should be well brushed and plenty of elbow grease used. Paint flowed on to cover or hide the surface will soon crumble or break away in scales. No paint can be properly applied to a surface without heavy brushing; this makes one coat adhere to the other. Heavy brushing also starts oxidation by forcing the air through the paint. Thorough brushing keeps the paint coat even and uniform and prevents the paint from crinkling or leathering, which is sure to be the result if it is not uniformly applied. Improper brushing will produce heavy spots which are sure to pucker or crinkle, eventually causing the paint to blister or peel on these places.

Always finish a stretch before leaving for lunch or at night. Do not attempt to touch up ladder or stage marks, as such will always show in spots. Paint the whole board on which such spots show. Always have the paint for the finishing coat free from specks and dirt. Good work cannot be done with dirty or lousy brushes. Clean out pots at night. Put brushes away carefully. If skins have formed or dirt has got into the paint, strain it before commencing to work.

Two-Coat Work—Priming. Before commencing, be sure that satisfactory two-coat work can be done on the lumber to be painted. Be sure the surface is dry, as the priming for two-coat work is of heavier consistency' than for three-coat work and there is not the chance for the surface to dry out that there is if a thinner coat is applied. Brush the paint out well. Do not flow on, leaving the paint heavy in one place and thin in another. Remember this coat is to help cover the grain, as well as fill the wood, and only one more coat is to be applied to complete the work. If not uniformly applied, the last coat will soon show the effects of bad priming. Work the paint well into nail holes, cracks, beading and seams. Avoid holidays, as they will show up when the second coat is applied. Have the paint of a medium thin consistency, carrying sufficient turpentine to assist in penetrating and filling the wood. This coat must both satisfy and fill and leave sufficient pigment on the surface to assist in covering or hiding the grain of the wood.

Finishing Coat—Two-Coat Work. Be sure the priming coat is hard dry over the entire surface before commencing to apply the second coat. It is very often the case that part of the work has been primed for a month or six weeks and other portions have stood for only a few days on account of the inability of the carpenter to finish the entire building, or like causes. Places such as the latter will in a short time crack or peel, and when a complaint is entered the entire house is given credit for having been primed a month or six weeks. Do not apply the finishing coat during the time the plasterers are at work, as there is more or less trouble caused by the mortar being splashed or thrown over the work during this time; this necessitates retouching, which cannot be done without showing spots. Do not apply the finishing coat during the time the plaster is drying out, as it will absorb the moisture from the plaster, causing trouble through the paint peeling by having dampness between coats. Finish the interior of the building before applying the exterior finishing coat. This will give time for the plaster to dry out somewhat before this finishing coat is applied and result in a more clean and satisfactory job. See that the basement ventilators are open. This assists in properly drying out the basement. See that the surface is perfectly clean and free from plaster mortar before starting the work. Carefully putty all nail holes, seams and cracks. Reshellac the knots or sappy places where the pitch may have come through the priming. As this is the finishing coat, exercise care in having the paint uniform and kept to the right consistency to insure proper covering. The paint should be of a full oil reduction so as to be elastic, as this coat must both hide the surface and withstand severe exposure; it must be carefully applied and of the best material in order to accomplish these results. Use a good stock brush and one that has been properly broken in. A new brush will not allow of proper application or spreading of the paint. Work out well under the brush to insure proper binding and a smooth, even coat. Do not use a paint which has to be flowed on to hide the surface, as this will leave a spongy coat without proper binding. Bring the body and trimming color down together. Wipe off the body color from corner strips, door and window frames. Do not work this paint off with a trimming brush, as this will cause spots. Square up the work at noon and night so as not to have any laps.

Three-Coat Work—Priming. See that the surface is dry and in condition to receive paint. Study the character of the lumber and reduce the paint according to its absorbing properties. Note general information in regard to priming new work. The paint should be mixed to a thin consistency to fully satisfy the lumber with only enough pigment used to fill the grain of the wood and not leave an excess of pigment on the surface. This will allow the middle coat to penetrate through the priming coat to a sufficient depth to adhere to the fiber of the wood, as well as the pigment in the primer, thereby assisting in binding itself to the surface as well as to the coats that are applied over it.

If the primer is mixed to a heavy consistency, it will retard absorption or penetration and leave an excess of pigment on the surface that will under contraction and expansion break loose when successive paint coats are applied.

Second or Middle Coat. Before applying the second or middle coat, be sure the priming coat is hard dry over the entire surface. As this is the medium between the foundation or priming coat and the protecting or finishing coat, extreme judgment must be used in mixing the paint for this coating. It must not be too elastic and should dry without a high gloss. The paint for this coat, being the easiest working of any applied to the building, requires thorough and careful brushing to assure satisfactory results. Reshellac knots or sappy places if necessary. Knife putty into cracks, seams or nail holes. The paint should be mixed heavy so as to brush out well, also assist in filling and penetrating the priming coat, leaving a surface to which the finishing coat will readily adhere, as well as a surface which properly dries from the bottom out.

Too heavy an oil reduction will leave a high glossy surface over which the finishing coat will not adhere or properly dry. The reduction should be with sufficient turpentine to form penetration and still make a paint which will be elastic enough to withstand contraction and expansion and dry firm. Over such a surface the finishing coat can be brushed out smoothly and evenly without crawling or slipping under the brush. The paint will dry without danger of puckering, leathering, or flattening of the finishing coat as would be the case in a short time if applied over a high gloss. It is also very apt to crack and peel if oily coats are applied one over another. It is almost impossible to have solid painting with an excess of oil in undercoats as the coats will most always be spongy, rarely adhering closely to one another.

Finishing Coat—Three-Coat Work. See that the undercoat is hard dry over the entire surface. The surface should be perfectly clean and free from dust and dirt. Reputty where necessary. Follow the same precautions as previously given for finishing coats. Brush thoroughly and carefully. Use a full stock brush properly broken in. Do not use new brushes for finishing coats. The paint for this coat should be the most elastic one applied, as it must stand the most severe exposure. It should be of good consistency with a full oil reduction, mixed so as to brush out smoothly and evenly, remain where left without danger of running or sagging and dry from the bottom out. The drying and gloss are always assisted by having the under or middle coats properly reduced and applied. Follow previous instructions as to cleaning off body color on parts that are to be trimmed. Bring down and square up the work so as not to show laps or poor workmanship.

Roof. Be sure the surface is dry. Do not use tar oil or other offensive smelling oils that will ruin the cistern water. Turn supply pipe from cistern when painting the roof. Mix the full amount of paint requiied for the first coat, as it is very difficult to make two mixes for shingles which will appear the same. Apply uniform coats to prevent spotting. Have the priming coat thin so it can be easily worked into the cracks. Keep ladders from resting on tin or in gutters. Hook over the comb of the house. Trim the ridge-board and coping as the work progresses. In doing this work do not go over the roof with the ladders after it is finished. The life of a shingle roof can be more than trebled if the shingles are dipped into properly prepared paint before being laid.

In dipping the shingles, they should be dipped at least eleven inches. This will allow 4+12 inches to the weather and 6+12 inches for the under lap. Never dip damp shingles; break the band around the bunch and spread them out to allow of drying before dipping or applying the paint. For dipping shingles, use paint of the proper consistency for finishing coat, reduced with not less than 50 per cent raw linseed oil. When the shingles are laid, finish with one coat of paint of a finishing coat consistency. Remember the roof is subjected to very severe weather wear and soon shows defective work.

The Paint. The paint for the roof should be of good material. A mistake which is often made is that a very cheap mixture will do for shingles. Have the priming coat thin and enough of it mixed at one time to cover the entire roof. Keep the paint uniform while working and avoid having heavy laps or spots, as they will soon show through the second coat and make an ugly looking job. The second coat should be of good consistency and be well brushed out, using care to keep from applying the paint unevenly.

Foundation and Flues. Do not paint damp brick. Oil paint is the best size for brick. If the flues run from the foundation to the roof on the outside of the building and are to be painted a different color from the house or given a ground color of Venetian red, they should be painted before the siding is painted, especially the first coat, as it is very hard to keep paint from splashing over the siding in working on rough brick. Where flues are to be penciled and flat brick used, the flat color can be very easily applied after the body color has been applied. Never apply less than three coats on brick. If after the second coat has been applied the soft brick show, touch them up before applying the finishing coat. This will even up the work.

The Paint. The first coat for brick and foundation flues should be mixed thin so as to strike into the brick to a good depth and form a foundation for subsequent coats. Ten per cent of the total amount of thinners used in the priming should be turpentine. The second coat should be mixed half flat and well brushed over the surface. The third or finishing coat should be elastic, of good consistency and applied smoothly and evenly.

Window Sash. If the house is to be finished in natural wood on the inside, shellac the sash on the inside and prime on the outside. Paint the rabbit for the glass so that putty will adhere. Before setting the glass, apply a coat of varnish to the inside and a coat of paint to the outside of the sash. This will save a great deal of time in tracing. If the sash is to be black or dark color, give the surface a second coat of lead color mixed half flat. Never use black or dark sash color on bare wood.

Outside Blinds. Outside blinds should be primed before the carpenter fits them to the window. This will assist in keeping the blinds from swelling. Paint for all coats on blinds should be thin and well brushed out. Do not allow the paint to be heavy on the rail or ends of slats. Lay the blinds on a trestle with the stick side up. In painting, care must be taken not to get too much paint on the ends of slats, otherwise they will stick. If the work is to be painted green or any dark color, finished with two coats, the best results can be obtained by applying a priming coat of oil paint lead color. The finishing coat must be mixed with raw oil and sufficient dryer to set the paint. If three-coat work, prime with oil paint lead color, second coat with a finishing color mixed with part turpentine. Do not paint the ends of the slats or inside rails with this coating. This surface should receive but two coats of paint. The finishing coat should cover the entire surface and should be mixed with raw oil and sufficient dryer to set the paint.

Brush out well between the slats. Never use paint of heavy consistency on blinds.

When drying, open the slats. Care must be taken never to allow the slats to turn down flat when drying, otherwise they will stick.

Veranda Columns and Rails. These should be primed as soon as set, as they are usually made of heavy lumber and liable to crack if not primed. Do not paint columns and rails unless dry. Paint will soon blister or peel on heavy timber if the least dampness is present. Do not paint over shop or mill priming without thoroughly sandpapering or scraping off as much of this paint as possible, as it is usually a cheap mixture applied heavy, preventing penetration and not fit for priming. It will generally peel in a short time after another paint has been applied over it. Do not be responsible for paint applied over primers other than the ones you applied. Do not apply paint heavy on round columns, as very little paint is required on a round or convexed surface. If applied heavy, it will soon blister, crinkle or peel. Carefully guard against an excess of paint on this kind of a surface. Use very nearly a dry brush and work the paint out well. The same applies to spindles and other turned work. Guard against painting the tops of rails and like surfaces which are damp from frosts or dews.

The Paint. The paint for veranda columns and rails should be reduced in the same manner as for the siding, but requires an extra amount of brushing. The paint should be well brushed out to insure smooth, even coats. Knife putty into all cracks and nail holes, using a good, hard-drying putty. Sandpaper the columns and rails before applying the finishing coat, dust off and apply a well brushed coat. This work, together with veranda and porch floors, should be the last finished on the exterior of the building, as such will insure the surface from being scuffed or damaged by use.

Veranda and Porch Floors. A heavy coat of paint applied on the tongue and groove before laying will more than double the life of the floor through keeping out the water. Do not apply coats which are too oily. Brush well into the surface. Do not have an excess of paint or pigment on the surface. Remember the floors have to be walked on, consequently the paint must dry firm and hard. Thoroughly fill all cracks and crevices with paint, then brush out. Keep the work clean. Do not paint over mud, grease or plaster. Do not use old, fatty or skinny paint for floors. It will not make satisfactory work, will never dry hard and will soon scuff off. Do not paint floors immediately after frosts or heavy dews. Allow plenty of time for the surface to become dry and warm. Sufficient turpentine should be used in all coats to assist the paint in drying and hardening. More trouble is caused from floors not properly drying than from any other condition. The finishing coat can not dry solid if undercoats are spongy; neither will the paint wear well where the undercoats are not thoroughly hard. A finishing coat of elastic paint can be applied over a flat coat without causing trouble, but a flat or quick-drying paint applied over an oil coat will cause cracking or peeling. Do not flow paint on floors and expect successful work. Two coats will not make a passable job on a porch or veranda floor.

The Paint. For priming, the paint should be of a thin consistency, reduced with a liberal amount of turpentine so as to penetrate well into the surface. See that the priming coat is thoroughly dry before applying subsequent coats. Putty all seams, cracks and nail holes with putty which will dry hard. The second coat for floors over good solid priming should be mixed half flat so as to dry hard and firm. Enough paint should be left on the surface to fill and form a good protecting coat, but should not dry with a gloss or tack, as such retards the drying of the finishing coat. The third or finishing coat should be elastic and of good consistency, carrying sufficient turpentine to work free, penetrate into the previous coating and dry hard and firm. Remember that walking has to be done over this coat, therefore it must be brushed out smoothly and evenly so as not to leave heavy places which will dry unevenly and soon scuff up from usage.

Fence. Do not neglect the fence. Paint it as well and as neatly as the house. The pickets, rails and caps should be primed before nailing up, as this will save a great deal of time and allow of all edges to be painted. Do not paint the tops of rails or caps when damp from rain, dew or frost. The paint should be of the same consistency as that used on the main building, and if the rails, pickets and caps are primed well before nailing up, two coats are usually sufficient for the fence. The fence should receive the same trimming as the house. The paint should be of the same material as used for the main building and as well and neatly applied as on any other part of the work.