PAINTING OLD WOODWORK

If the old paint is blistered, and generally in bad condition, the best course is to remove it, and treat the woodwork as new. Burning off with a blowlamp is far the quickest method. The paint is removed with a stripping knife, pushed upwards whenever possible, as fast as the flame softens it sufficiently to come away easily. If the scraping is not done cleanly in the first instance, the re-heating of any patches left will scorch the wood round them.

Should a blowlamp not be available, liquid paint-removers may be used, the wood being washed afterwards and allowed to get thoroughly dry.

Should it be decided to paint over the old paint, this should be well washed with a weak solution of sugar-soap, and rubbed down with pumice powder till all roughness has been removed. When it has dried, any blisters should be cut out, and the patches exposed be primed before being levelled up with putty. The new coats – possibly one may suffico, and more than two should not be needed – are mixed like the corresponding coats on new work.

HINTS ON USING THE BRUSH

THE depth of paint in the pot should not exceed half an inch. Tilting the pot gives the worker a choice of depths.

Excess paint should be wiped off on a wire stretched across the pot from lug to lug, not on the sides of the pot.

Do not overcharge the brush. Thick coats are more likely to blister than thin ones. Four thin coats are better than two thick coats.

Do not try to cover the surface teo quickly. If the best results are desired, ovory stroke should be made carefully, and the paint kept evenly spread everywhere. Keep stroking down in the direction of the grain, bringing the brush on to the work lightly at a very acuto angle and removing it in the same way at the end of the stroke.

Special care must be token not to let the brush stray on to another surface with the grain running in a different direction.

When painting a panelled door, begin on the headings. Then do the panels; then the upright muntins between the panels; then the rails at top, bottom and centre; and finish at the upright stiles of the frame.

When painting iron, all loose rust must be carefully removed, as the paint would be sure to come away over any left. Red oxide of iron paint or red load paint should be applied as the first coat. Both of these get a good grip. Other coats as for woodwork.

Pictures, Hanging. The number and positions of pictures in a room are governed largely by furniture, such as bookshelves and cupboards, standing against the walls. If there is room for but few pictures, those given a place should be really worth looking at; for pictures must not be regarded as mere ornaments or a glorified wall-paper.

A picture rail or picture rod makes hanging much easier and avoid damaging the walls with nails. Where such does not exist, one may be fitted easily and at a moderate cost by any builder, or by a handy amateur. The only alternative is to use nails driven in at a slight upward slope, or, in the case of light pictures, hooks held by steel pins driven into the plaster. Ordinary picture cord does well enough for suspending tight pictures; but it is not to be trusted where a picture weighs more than 10 lb. Stranded copper wire should be used for pictures over this weight (excepting very heavy ones). Avoid brass wire, as it corrodes quickly. The wire sold for aerials does very well. Picture dealers sell copper wire, gilded over, for hanging purposes. Very heavy pictures should be suspended by two vertical chains. Hooks in place of rings in the frame will enable height and level to be adjusted easily. If nails have to be used to carry such pictures, they should be driven into wall plugs, not merely into the wall.

The rings or hooks in a frame should be so placed as to give the picture only a slight forward tilt, with its bottom edge in contact with the wall. It is a great mistake to have a large tilt, which would be justified only if the picture were hung very high – as it should not be.

Height of hanging is to a certain extent a matter of taste. The general rule is that it should permit the easy examination of a picture. Where the pictures are of very different sizes, one has the choico between a uniform top level, a uniform bottom level, or a uniform centre line. The first may be most suitable for a low room; either the second or the third for a lofty room.

If some of the pictures to be hung in a room are much lighter in tone than others, selectthe positions which are best lighted for the darker pictures.

The worst possible position for a glazed picture is directly opposite a window, where the glass will act as a mirror and conceal what is behind it, if viewed from in front.

Pictures should not be placed where sunlight can fall upon them directly at any time of year.

At every spring cleaning the cords of all pictures should be examined and tested at the suspension point, where they perish first, by gripping on either side and pulling hard. Even if it stands the test a cord which is much discoloured, or & wire that shows signs of corrosion, at this point, should be replaced.

THE three wooden planes which the joiner uses for ordinary planing – jack, trying and smoothing planes – are described and illustrated in the article on TOOL OUTFITS. For amateur use there is much to be said in favour of the iron plane, as it includes a mechanical adjustment which makes the correct adjustment of the cutter an easy matter, and its sole or contact surface remains perfectly true, being exempt from wear and warping. The more delicate operations of cabinet-making in any case require the use of metal planes of suitable size.

Whatever type of plane be used, its blade will need frequent re-sharpening. H a keen edge is not maintained, a good surface cannot be produced. A blunt cutter roughens, and may even tear splinters from, the wood.

In all but the smallest metal planes, the cutting blade has a break or back iron attached by a screw to its front. The function of this piece is to turn the shaving up into the throat of the plane as fast as the cutter separates it, and make it come away cleanly.

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