(Correspondence) [467] Coloring Walls.

Manufacturer and builder 10, 1872

We suppose our correspondent means water-colors, or so-called fresco; as for oil-colors, there is not the least difficulty, no more than painting a wooden partition with two or three coats of oil-paint. In regard to the success of an "ordinary painter without experience in that work," it will depend entirely on the intelligence of that painter. Some will succeed at once when other will not. In regard to mixing "the color with the last coat," we ask, what is the last coat? Is it plaster? We say, no. Finish your wall with so-called hard finish, that is, plaster of Paris, with as little lime as practicable, and wait till thoroughly dry. If too fresh, the colors will change: it is therefore customary to let a plastered wall stand for a whole year, in order to be sure that all the lime has lost its caustic properties, and is changed into carbonate of lime; while otherwise it will act on some kinds of pigments, and discolor them with unequal spots. The ordinary preparatory coat to place on the wall before putting on the color is a solution of alum ad soap in water; after the wall is covered equally with this, the color is put on. It consists of Paris white, mixed with the pigment, which may be, for blue, ultramarine; for gray, lamp-black; for brown, umber; for light red, burnt sienna; etc., the whole mixed well with water in which a little glue has been boiled. Lay it on with a broad flat brush, don't rub it on the wall, do not even touch twice a well-covered place with your brush, and after some practice you will soon learn to put on an even coat of color. It makes a good effect to color a flat wall in panels, with contrasting tints, for instance, the wall brown and the panels bluish gray; there where the colors touch, and where the outline is necessarily rough, if you are not a fresco painter, you may cover this rough line by pasting a strip of border paper-hangings, best if representing a moulding. Some years ago, we treated ourself in this way the hall of our dwelling-house, with great success.

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