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Traditional Painter
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All about quality painting and decorating
All about quality painting and decorating

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I was asked about the proportions of the ingredients that go into boat goop / boat soup. The answer is 50/50 BLO and turpentine, with a healthy dollop of Stockholm pine tar to kill the fungus.

That got me thinking about the hopeless advice I took from a so-say expert, who advised using bilge paint in the bilge. What complete crap, and now, with a bit of experience behind me, why would anyone add a product to protect the wettest part of a boat, with a paint with a tendency to flake when submerged underwater

The point is, sometimes painting a surface is a very good idea, other times not. Keep thinking.

The 4 reasons for painting are (quickly racking brains from college days)?

If you don't know, what are you doing painting? - no, only joking, sort of. But you should remember DIPS - Decoration, Information / Identification, Preservation, and Sanitation. Does applying a coating, tick any, and ideally some, of those boxes?

If you ever have the pleasure and the pain of working for any time on classic wooden boats, preservation is the key criterion to meet. And you have to think ahead - what ifs. So in the above bilge paint example, what if it fails and flakes? Well, those flakes could sink the boat!  I jest not.

And it doesn't take long to realise that most rot issues are caused by paint, at least modern paint. To be honest, issues abound wherever the use of many modern materials usurps traditional lo-tech potions that have stood the test of time. 

eg tar!  not great underfoot, especially in the sun, but your decks will be fine and easy to maintain - with more tar. Or you can install  teak decks and apply nothing but salt water to clean it down gently and maintain the amazing characteristics of teak until it is worn down by foot traffic alone. Or you can get all modern aesthetic and apply teak oil and varnishes to your teak and sand and remove in a couple of years, and replace. 

If you know what you are letting yourself in for, by going for modern decoration over traditional preservation, that is one thing, but if you don't think ahead ....you can end up with a monkey for your back, and a rapidly deteriorating deck that ends up as thin as a wispy veneer instead of a solid plank. And a hefty bill for new decks.

An experienced shipwright put speccing materials into perspective - basically, when someone says how great xyz new product is, ask them how long they have been using it, and have they sailed round Cape Horn 37 times, all the while their lives depending on this new product holding out?

A bit extreme for product testing, but you get the idea.

So back to the goop, great idea for protecting the timbers in that humid underbelly of a boat. Get a a smallish garden liquid fertiliser/ weed killer container with a hand pressure pump and top it up up with a couple of litres of BLO and turpentine and dollop of pine tar. 

The pine tar is poisonous, and the mixture is translucent and it smells gorgeous once the main fume fest has burnt off. So if timbers do  start to rot below , well, you can see it happening before your eyes. (Inspections are easier said than done, usually with your neck at 67 degrees, your arms by your ankles, a torch in your teeth, unable to move, your knees by your head, but at least you have something to see .)


Or if you have the chance, coat the hull with "proper" paint from new, ie lead based primer. That won't let go.  

Or you can "maintenance paint" the planking with some fancy modern coating that will hide all trace of rot beneath, until it is too late and at the inspection, your pencil goes through to the ocean and you are scrambling for a bag of sawdust to save the boat. Or in the repair yard, you are handing over thousands for new planking.

Traditional approach - this boat took on half a pint of water in a week when it was dropped in the water after a major refurb, where every plank was re-caulked with cotton and glorified putty mixed with bottom paint. You can spot repair on haul outs. 

The modern approach is various epoxy based gun fillers that will set rock hard, and some will flex with the wood too. But once they let go, they take the edge of the planks with them. Or you cant repair properly without removing way more than the offending leaky section.

Mix of traditional and modern -The Swedish putty left the exterior paintwork super smooth and the modern Epifanes paintwork worked well to survive a fire, where the boat next door caught fire and sunk like a stone. I heard that 3 years later in the water, the paint that had bubbled had gone back down and was still not letting go. That was luck, not judgement.

In the context of the interior and general decorating world, what this ramble is saying - if you are going to rave about new kit, put it in context, and don't forget your DIPS, and don't forget to think, what will happen  if this doesn't work…?


http://traditionalpainter.com/re-painting-34-wooden-boat
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good info Charlie and looks the business finished
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I'm pleased to announce Traditional Painter's weekend newsletter. Tomorrow's will be the second one with all new info from the past week, in a different format to our 2 or 3-weekly blogs. More a signpost / overview of what TP are getting up to behind the scenes.

Take a look and if it is pants, please tell me and unsubscribe!

Might be worth hanging around though for the occasional offer

eepurl.com/xNjpD

btw  Mailchimp isn't bad at all, very convenient in fact, once you get your head around the process. Thanks to Darren Slaughter for that tip.
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I was thinking how we have been trialling a few painting products from Holland, namely from Hildering and Cling On! (not a made-up name, Jim) . Despite the close proximity to Holland, and the motivation to adopt good ideas from masters of their trade in different countries, we have encountered quite a cultural difference between UK and Holland. 

We read the bumf, saw it at the Trade Show in November, wanted it to work, but trialling the Clean and Go! initially, the Traditional Painters didn't really get the concept. You wipe excess paint off your brush and hang it in a pail with a grid in the bottom with an inch of water and leave it over night. So the story goes, the brush will then be clean enough for a complete colour change within a few seconds of wiping it clean?

OK!

It wasn't until Matt Evans persevered, coupled with instructions about another brushkeeper, this time from Cling On! in Holland, claiming the same quick change, that the penny dropped. This approach to brush cleaning and working with brushes in water based paint does work - if you let it.

So over the next few weeks, all being well, we will have evolved a little bit more, and our Dutch friends, who have been legally obliged to only use water based paint on interiors for the last TEN YEARS, can breathe a sigh of relief and say we told you so.

http://traditionalpainter.com/cling-on-paint-brushes-from-holland
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Chance meetings can work out very well. I met Scot Hindley a couple of years ago on a job in Alderley Edge. He popped by to pick my brains on the Mythic paint I was using. I think I helped clear up a few queries, but to be fair, I was very impressed by his knowledge and enthusiasm for painting and decorating. He had all the dust free sanding kit and was deep into trialling and researching the best brushes for water based woodwork paint, abrasives, masking kit and so on. 

When Traditional Painters are asked to hand paint kitchens, very often we are asked to "just paint the rest while you are here". We have all reached the high standard we are at off the back of years of general decorating experience, and we can work quickly and efficiently and dust free with the best of them, but with the way things are going, it makes a lot of sense to have a really good decorator like Scot to come in and focus on painting and wallpapering the rest of the kitchen, or the house, to the same standard as we would. 

So now I am really happy to have Scot onboard as a TP Associate Painter and Decorator for Cheshire and we recommend him to our customers in Cheshire looking for an independent "TP standard" painter and decorator,  without paying a specialist kitchen painter rate. 

In the near future, I expect Scot to be involved with hand painting kitchens too for Traditional Painter, he is definitely good enough, but in the meantime, the link to the page below is a breath of fresh air, I think, with Scot showing what can be done if a professional decorator puts their mind to offering value and high standards, despite the trend for dropping prices and cutting corners just to get in the door. 
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Back to school!
another detailed account of restoring furniture from traditional painter Adam of Joseph & Son
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