Distemper Paint: Types of Paint for Distempering
Sequence of Work:
The sequence of work of interior decorating depends on the extent of the work and the kinds of work to be done. The three main decorative finishes are classified as painting, distempering and paperhanging.
Where the room is to be distempered and painted the sequence of application is roughly the same in that the upper parts of the room should be treated before finishing the lower parts. With a combined distemper/painting job the first thing to tackle is the ceiling which should be cleaned off before the walls are prepared.
This is followed by preparation of the woodwork for painting and the next cycle of action is carried out in a slightly different sequence. The ceilings should again be treated first before painting, the final job being application of distemper to the walls. If paperhanging is also to be done the paper is hung after the ceiling has been dealt with and following the painting of the woodwork.
Types of Distemper Paint:
There are many different kinds of distemper paint with different trade names and these are variously described as colour washes, water paints, etc. Distemper paint is composed of a pigment which is bound with a medium which may be linseed oil,, or water. Most distempers are supplied ready prepared for use with the pigments mixed in the medium, but before use they require thinning with additives which may be water or petrifying fluid.
Distemper paint is also obtainable in dry-powder form, but this type of material is not often used in interior decorating, although it may be used for some exterior work. Prepared-for-use distempers are described as being ‘washable’, which simply means that they may be cleaned by washing them with water after application. The term `washable’ does not signify that distempers so described are completely waterproof and if washing is done too vigorously, some of the distemper will become loosened and wipe off from the surface.
The decorating area covered may vary slightly between different brands of distemper, but for estimating purposes it may be taken that the covering capacity of a 7-lb. tin of distemper is approximately 50 sq. yd.
This coverage refers to distempers that are properly thinned by the addition of water or a petrifying liquid — petrifying fluid is used instead of water where a particularly hard finish is required, such as for bathrooms, kitchens and passageways. Most types of distemper carry thinning instructions on the containers. It is bad practice to over-thin distemper by adding too much water or petrifying liquid. If this is done density will be reduced and it may be necessary to apply an extra coat to effect complete coverage. In most cases two coats of distemper should be sufficient but if the old surface is very dark in colour and it is to be changed to a very light colour, more than two coats may be required.
These are modern synthetic materials which are obtainable in a very wide range of shades of colour. They are excellent alternatives to distemper; they are applied to the same surfaces as those on which distemper is used and the same tools and methods of application are general to both types of material. Distempers or emulsion paints may be applied with a brush or roller. Emulsion paints are particularly suitable for use with rollers. As always with tools, the paint-roller or brush for applying emulsion paints should be of good quality to obtain the best results.
If the brush method of application is chosen, a reasonable size distemper brush – preferably one measuring 7 in. across the broadest part – should be used. An extra tool required for use with a large distemper brush, or a paint-roller, is a small brush, and this is used for edges and for neat cutting-in where it is necessary. Distemper brushes should be soaked in water before they are used and it is best to do this by leaving the brush to soak overnight. Paint-rollers do not require any preparation before use.