THE object of varnishing woodwork, whether painted or not, is to give it a glossy, hard surface which dust will not cling. To, and therefore is easily cleaned, and to exclude damp. Being transparent, it does not conceal what it is laid over. The varnishes most commonly used for woodwork are called oil varnishes, because … Read more


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 … Read more


THE ingredients of ordinary paints are white lead or zinc white; raw or boiled linseed oil, or both; turpentine; driers; and, in the case of coloured paints, pigment. The first is the base, or chief protective material; the oil enables the base to be distributed by the brush, and when it dries, that is, hardens … Read more


ONE of the great advantages of autumn decoration is that it makes possible cheerful rooms at a time when they are needed most. Some will be decorating rooms for the first time – rooms perhaps in new homes that have never yet seen the paperhangers roller or the painters brush. Others will be redecorating old … Read more

Painting Technique

Most paints require stirring before use, but read the instructions, particularly if the colour appears even when you open the can. Some oil paints need a very thorough mixing, using a clean wooden stick. Varnishes are better not stirred violently as this causes air bubbles which will mark the surface. Do all stirring before use, … Read more

Painting Skills

Paint is used both for decoration and protection. Paints intended for outside work are designed to stand up to bad weather. They can be used inside, but there are some inside paints that are unsuitable outdoors. Modern paints have synthetic ingredients and some require different techniques from traditional paints. Read and follow the directions on … Read more

How to paint walls

Painting a house wall is one of the oldest forms of decoration and still very popular. The best materials for amateur use are almost certainly the modern emulsion paints. These are water-solvent paints, but dry very hard. In fact a good emulsion paint may be scrubbed clean if it gets dirty. The washable distempers, which … Read more