However there may be a couple of tips I can offer up about painting.
Brushes - Over many years I have acquired a zillion brushes for various reasons
Even when they are decidedly defunct I keep them and use them for one-off jobs like gluing or staining.
These have been my two favourite all-purpose painting brushes for minis for years. They are just cheap Chinese made ones picked up somewhere along the way but they have worked really nicely for a very long time.
I recently saw a set of Daler (good make) brushes in a sale and thought it would be nice to have some new kids on the block.
Since which time this size 8 Flat Shader has become my all time favourite.
The paint I use for white interior wood work is Valspar, Tidy White, Silk. All my paints for everything are water based for easy clean up.
When I opened it, the top was covered in about half an inch of grey oily liquid - this is the silk finish element of the paint and rises to the top when the paint sits for a while. It takes a lot of stirring in. This is a really important step with almost every paint you use - elements will sink and rise and generally separate out from the base and will need a very lengthy stir - long past the point where you think it looks OK - if you want to achieve the best possible finish. I use a coffee stirrer for this but I am on the look out for a very small whisk.
I forgot to take a picture of the paint I am using, but this jar of wood stain is an extreme example of what I mean. It is a full jar and has 'split' into about 25:75.
I decant paint samples into little jars - those jams you get in hotels. The larger jars are ex Tesco Finest various sauces....mint, apple, cranberry etc. They are good for larger quantities of paints and some 'finishes' such as varnish and wood-stain. They are all much easier to use from jars rather than their badly made containers, they stay cleaner, tops go on and off easier and I can see what I have easily. They are light protected as they reside in a drawer.
Artist acrylics stay as they are in another drawer
My Valspar paints (sample size for about £2 something) already come in great plastic pots. With a couple of thousand choices of colours and three finishes and good value and a quality finish they are simply the best for me.
Ooooh look, three tins waiting to be decanted into jars.....
Trims in the Music Room -
Dental trim for the Ceiling
As always I don't want the hassle of trying to measure accurately the length of each piece of trim I need to cut. I tear up paper strips from a magazine....
Press it carefully into the two edges where the trim will go making very accurate, sharp creases with my finger nail. I then remove the strip and use it to mark where the cuts need to go on the trim.
I always begin at the back of the room and, if there is a fireplace, I work across that by fitting a strip either side of the chimney breast first.
I then construct the three pieces needed to wrap around the chimney breast before gluing them in place
First thing to do is mark up where the rail is to go. I use a piece of cardboard I have now had for years. It is a three inch strip that I slide around the wall, making sure it is sitting neatly on the floor and draw a pencil line around the wall, marking where the rail will go.
When I paint thin strips of wood like dado rails I do have a 'system'. The top edge and bottom edge need to be painted first and I use my finger for this, brushes are just too large to do it smoothly. I can then lay the piece flat down and paint its face. All trims take two or three coats, rubbed down between each coat
|showing the second finger painted coat along the top edge|
They are measured and cut in the same way as the ceiling trim and in they go, followed by the skirting board.
The secret of successful skirting boards is to make sure the top edge clings to the walls - it looks dreadful if there are huge gaps. I use my favoured De Luxe glue. Whatever you use let it go very tacky before trying to fix the trims to the walls - you want them to grab as quickly as possible. With skirting boards I make sure all of the top edge has glue along it and I add a few drops of superglue here and there to give it an instant solid grab when it goes on. You also need to push them hard down on the floor to make sure any kinks in your flooring don't shove the skirting out of place.
The room is finally ready for me to find all those chairs and a card table and paintings that it needs.
There will be two chaise lounge type window seats at the front edge of the room. The idea is that this is a 'public' space in the house used for the occasional 'recital' so it needs to seat about a dozen people.
Penny pincher's footnote:
Most of my trims on the last couple of builds have come from a fabulous dollhouse (and trims/mouldings) maker - Doll House Cottage Workshop. My introduction to them was at a show when I was working on Chocolat and I asked if they could make me some treads for stairs to trim up some pretty ugly MDF ones. This was duly done at a great price and good speed. The wood used for his trims are of much better quality than those generally around the place and his prices are pretty much the same. What's not to love.
A couple of months before the York show I was ready to do the music room dado rails and I went to my box of wood to discover I only had one DHCW dado rail left. Being a cheapskate I decided to hold off and pick some others up at the show and save myself some postage.
I found three lots at the show and none were outstanding - eventually I settled on a vendor and bought eight pieces (to stock up a little). When I came to use them I discovered they weren't long enough for my room.
Good old DHCW trims are 18 inches long and these were only twelve and I didn't even really like the profile of them or wood quality....so I saved a lot of money there then .....not!
|my one good one alongside the 'good idea' ones|
Off to order from Chris and the following day I had dado rails (five for £4.50) and a strip of board for stair treads (99p) which I want to make windowsills out of
|lovely stair tread strip|
Apologies for an overlong and rather disparate post this week. I am trying to get back on track.