Monday, 22 June 2015

What paint to use for what

Yesterday I said I'd tell you why I use silk emulsion for woodwork.....

Basically I am a firm believer in as near perfect scale as I can get.  This will be affected by material choices and how much you can afford to pay.  The clunkiest of furniture in materials, which are too thick when translated up twelve times, are always the cheapest.  The most beautiful are always out of my budget but made from wonderfully scaled thickness of wood and slimness of leg and so on.  I am pitching somewhere in between.

Other things that affect scale are colours and how light interacts in the rooms.  

If you over-light a room it does look odd, so even light has to be in scale.  

Colours need to be brought down a tad and look better if they look a little subdued otherwise they jangle on the eye.  One of the worst offenders for me is 'shine'.  Very highly varnished furniture and very glossy paint simply don't look real.  So, when it comes to gloss-painted wood I actually don't want gloss paint.  If you do, then you would also be better to spray it (car paint touch ups for example) as it will give you a much better finish in this scale than brushing it on and it leave less 'pools' which always seem to settle in nooks and crannies.

By a process of trial and error I have arrived at a couple of ways of reproducing scaled down glossed wood.

The first is by using the aforesaid silk emulsion and the other is by using Cuprinol's 'Garden Shades' range of paints.

first coat

It must be the easiest way to preserve all the fine details in the wood and absolutely the easiest to apply.  It goes on like a stain so it just washes on with no gloops and globs of paint settling anywhere.  It is meant to preserve and colour outside wood so it has a good pigmentation, giving you an acceptable finish in one coat.  

However for a great finish give it a gentle rub down when bone dry and a second coat.  You can rub it down with nothing more fancy than a scrumpled up brown paper bag.  That provides enough abrasion to remove the nibs.  If your wood is poor quality you might need to use a fine (more than 220 grit) sandpaper.

Second coat it and when bone dry you can denib again if you want to and if its not quite shiny enough for you, go over it with some clear shoe polish - old-fashioned wax type (Kiwi) in a tin.  Furniture polish doesn't seen to do the same job no idea why.  If you want it to stop looking spankingly 'just painted' then use a mid-tan shoe polish to dirty it up a little.

decanted paint and three brushes

I think you can buy sample pots of Garden Shades - to be truthful I have never looked as our shed is painted in the green I like for front doors so I have been using that for four years.  I just decant a little into one of those small jam jars you get in hotels.  Never ask if they have any, after breakfast, as you will get a lifetime's supply!

Typing this I realise I am an eejit - if they do sample pots then their white would do the wood trims better than my silk emulsion!!  Check out their site for colours:  Garden Shades

(Aaaaarggggh, they do sample pots.)

As for brushes - I have a zillion from real life and this hobby, but only use these three.  The half-inch Hamilton is ten or more years old.  The middle paintbrush is a number 12 flat and just as old, the smallest one is a number 8 flat and maybe three years old - its predecessor didn't wear out. I used it for glue because I was to lazy to get a glue brush and it never recovered from the shock!!

Here's the rest of the housekeeper's door first coated.

no paint puddles in the creases

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