Wednesday, 26 June 2013
Friday, 17 February 2012
As mentioned in my previous blog i was apprenticed to an old fashioned decorating firm old techniques and habits being the order of the day.
for instance to paint a ceiling we would have to set up a scaffold type access which sounds grand but merely involved a pair of wooden stepladders either side of the room with a batten or plank spanning the space, after applying the paint generously "cos you aint payin for it lad" the whole apparatus would be moved one man either side to paint the next "shift".
It all sounds very complicated and believe me it was! it was also the only way it was to be done. UNTIL!!!!
Myself and fellow apprentice shane were sent to a building site to first or mist coat a bungalow, it was a new build by a local building firm notorious for their luxuriously long tea breaks, five or six men would troop religiously into a shed containing a gas stove and a collection of cronky chairs to break, it was my first experience of seeing just how childish grown men could be! after being at school i thought i had truly seen it all as far as bad behaviour was concerned.
These blokes builders, joiners,plumbers etc could make us laugh so hard we could barely breathe.
Any way before i start telling bawdy tales and get x rated back to roller poles.
we were left to paint the spacious bungalow with the before mentioned scaffold and despite asking our boss to get us a roller pole he point blank refused!
Not to be outdone we pinched two sweeping brush handles and whittled the ends so we could with effort screw the poles into the roller frames and away we went.
We were due to be picked up at 4.30 that afternoon and presented the boss with the whole bungalow coated, to say he was stunned was an understatement we explained how we had done it, by the next day the trestles and steps were ditched in favour of the new fangled pole
Thursday, 16 February 2012
The brushes i used as an apprentice were pure bristle and to my shame i don't recall the various brands we used! i do however remember cleaning them dozens at a time, they were stored in water filled buckets, white brushes separated from coloured by a small piece of plywood, to use a brush we selected our weapon and shook out the excess water more often than not the stocks would be filled with water and you had to hold the brush upside down to drain out the liquid! if the stock was not watertight then we were told to rub some putty into the join where the handle was attached to the metal ferrule to prevent water re entering the stock.
Not ideal i know and now I'm glad we have the vapour box storage systems, this brings me to synthetic brushes i must admit i was never a quick convert to these until recent developments in acrylic paints means care full brush selection is essential for the modern decorator, my own preference is for the Wooster chinex range for acrylic gloss and satin application, the proform picasso 2" for emulsion paints along with the firm action Wooster extra firm range.
My first foray into synthetic tools was the purchase of the Purdy 2" dale elite i was as they say an instant convert and managed to wear this brush to a stub, still got it but it looks a little weathered.
As for pure bristle they still have a place in my tool kit and i prefer the absolute quality of the Hamilton perfection range i use them for oil based paints and they store for months without any problems in my vapour box no water filled buckets any more!
Thursday, 26 January 2012
I was reading a forum and some one was asking how he could store old paint?
Well this got me thinking about what my first boss mr hubbard who used to get us to re use our old paint scraps or leftovers if you like!
He had a large wooden shed which stored all the paint equipment all very orderly and organised it was too, rows of shelves groaning with tins of all sizes brand names long gone like Valspar, berger, ring a bell with anyone?
on a quiet day we were instructed to brush out all the remains of oil based paints into a gallon tin as they were then.
we had to carefully remove the skins from the tins and some of these skins were crusty with age and the remaining paint was gloopy but surprised to still liquid!
once a gallon tin was full we had to stir the mixture of colours together it was always pink for some reason.
After hammering on the lid and brushing the lid top with a sample of the resulting colour we had produced and labelling the atrocious mixture "smudge"
Smudge was used for painting the inside of cast iron guttering and downpipes which was one of the jobs us young uns were assigned to do.
Hubbards painting and decorating was by no means a modern company it was a family business based on old fashioned values, trust, honesty, and above all high quality i miss those old days and loved my first job and intend to write about them and some of the old techniques in detail.
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