Tips on Mixing and Applying Paints

When you mix paint, make sure to mix adequate amount for the whole job. When it's dry, check the color under the light in which it would be seen. Keep the color a bit lighter than the effect you want. It is best to use a can only half full with paint. In as much as new cans come filled to the brim, pour one-third of the can—or less, if you'll be using less—into another broad-based can. Coffee cans are great for this function.

Dip the brush in so that only half the length of the bristles are covered. Then take out excess paint by pressing on the inside wall of the can. Professionals place a wire or stick across the paint can for wiping the brush. (Pressing on the brim tends to spill some of the paint over the outside.) A paper plate pasted to the bottom of the paint can would help keep your working area clean.

Here are some steps to get a good painting job:

1. Clear the working area of non-essentials, and collect all the things you'll require.
2. Prepare the surface. Sand down irregularities and flaws. Fill holes using plastic wood. (If plastic wood isn't available, use putty after the priming coat has been placed.) For a good finish, repeat sanding using No. 0 or No. 00 paper. Brush off all dust prior to continuing.
Old wood must be reduced to a surface free from peelings, cracks, and varnishes. Old paint could be taken out by sanding, or with chemicals and sanding, and a thorough washing using laundry soap or kitchen detergent. Be sure the wood is really dry before painting.
3. In painting, first take out loose bristles from your brush by ruffling or brushing on the palm of your hand.
4. Hold the brush handle between thumb and forefinger, like a pencil is held, supporting the broad part of the handle with the fingers. For relief, hold the brush as you will a tennis racket. Brush wood first along the grain, then across grain, and lastly with the grain, at a 90-degree angle.
5. Cover all knots and blemishes with shellac to avoid "bleeding." Bleeding happens when paint oils dissolve turpentine, sap or pitch in the wood.
6. Prime the wood using a coat of thin paint to fill in the pores. The prime coat could be a special base paint of white or a neutral color, or it could be a thinned version of the finish paint you decide to use. Put on the first coat firmly with a brush; do not just "flow" the paint. The brush marks may show after this coat, but would be covered by the second, heavier coat that follows. Let the prime coat dry for at least 24 hours.
7. Paint can be put on over stain when water stain or non-grain-raising stain was used. Otherwise, the surface must first be shellacked (one or two coats) or be covered using aluminum paint.
8. Paint a second coat, using firm strokes with the grain. Check the paint now and then for consistency. Allow 48 hours for drying.
9. If needed, paint a third coat. Allow 72 hours for drying.

By Tip Writer