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Old 09-29-2013, 12:35 PM   #1
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"Matching" the viscosity of original paint


So... I bought this house about 13 years ago, and I'm in the process of repairing some of the painted moulding. The house was professionally painted by a man who is now 90 years old. (read, no longer assessable) We have cans of the paint that he used, with the color formulas on the tops. He used Dulamel, but the kicker is that there seems to have been an additive that was a leveler. I know this because the paint is still useful, so we can discern the difference. (hardly any brushmarks, originally a beautiful job) I am hoping to figure out what he might have used.

I have gotten the original colors mixed...there at least three shades of white in this house... but the flow properties are just not producing similar results. I have a very good painter working on this project who can "feel" the difference... with nice results, but being the perfectionist that I am, I'm looking for suggestions as to what might improve the leveling/flow qualities of this paint.

Thanks in advance for any ideas!

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Old 09-29-2013, 01:01 PM   #2
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"Matching" the viscosity of original paint


Penetrol is the only additive that I know of for alkyd enamel. It was pretty common for the old timers to use penetrol and a little bit of thinner to improve the workability and flow of oil paints.

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Old 09-29-2013, 03:54 PM   #3
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"Matching" the viscosity of original paint


Sorry to burst your bubble, but, there is now way to replicate what was done by another painter. What he added, how much, etc. is next to impossible to match, not to mention that paint chemistry has changed so much in just the last few year that asking your current painter to match, well, it's asking too much in my opinion. There are some great paints out there that produce buttery smooth results like SW's Cashmere. You may want to look at those types of paint to get the results you are after.
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Old 09-29-2013, 04:40 PM   #4
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"Matching" the viscosity of original paint


As already posted, trying to match a paint, let alone something that may have been added, 13 years ago? Impossible.
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Old 09-29-2013, 05:49 PM   #5
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"Matching" the viscosity of original paint


Oils usually level pretty good on their own.About the only way I know of to have no brush marks at all is to spray.If it's brushed there will be some.
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Old 09-29-2013, 06:23 PM   #6
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"Matching" the viscosity of original paint


Hi Lorelei,

I think the moldings end result is what you’re looking for rather than the viscosity of the coating. “Jmayspaint” suggestion is IMO is the correct one. Penetrol acts like minute ball bearings in the paint (assuming the paint is oil based) and if your painter is proficient with a brush he can reproduce the previous painter’s work by adding it to the trim enamel.
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Old 09-29-2013, 07:38 PM   #7
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"Matching" the viscosity of original paint


In my experience as a maintenance supervisor we used oil paint entirely when I got there either BM regal or Impervo what I found out with oil paint is you can go back the next day with the same can of paint because someone missed a spot (this person shall remain nameless) and the paint wouldn't match. The advantage to the paint was it lasted many years. Then we changed to latex and a year later you could match the paint but it didn't last as long.
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Old 09-30-2013, 12:06 PM   #8
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"Matching" the viscosity of original paint


Thanks to everyone who responded.

I will look into Penetrol a bit. I do realize that unless I procure a paint lab, I won't get the very same mix and therefore, results as the original painter, who..... BTW, does (he is still alive) keep his formulas to himself. I don't blame him!

The paint job on (and in) this 4000 sq. ft. house was about 200K, 15 years ago, I heard from credible sources. I am trying to maintain that as best I can.

I do (painfully so) realize that paints have been changed as well a great deal in that period of time. I live in a deteriorating rust belt town (in an old, grand neighborhood) that virtually everyone with ANY skill has left, and I feel very fortunate to have been able to use a painter of 35 years who now works just part time, and is good with brushwork! (not so much with paint chemistry!)

Again, I thank everyone who has given me the benefit of their skill and knowledge.

Lorelei
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Old 09-30-2013, 12:20 PM   #9
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"Matching" the viscosity of original paint


Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisn View Post
As already posted, trying to match a paint, let alone something that may have been added, 13 years ago? Impossible.
Actually, I have the actual liquid paint used 13 years ago, and it matches exactly, (and flows wonderfully.... careful storage on my part) so I have something to compare the currently mixed paint to.
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Old 09-30-2013, 03:16 PM   #10
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"Matching" the viscosity of original paint


I would like to add that I hope you can figure it all out. That would be great to match what was done before and what you like so well. Matching is so difficult because you put in a little of that, take out a little of this, well, you see where I'm going with this. It becomes so tedious that you have to ask yourself, "Is it worth it?" I think your answer would be "yes", but, to a painter......well, time is money. Best of luck.
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Old 09-30-2013, 03:37 PM   #11
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"Matching" the viscosity of original paint


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorelei Dubois View Post
Actually, I have the actual liquid paint used 13 years ago, and it matches exactly, (and flows wonderfully.... careful storage on my part) so I have something to compare the currently mixed paint to.
It's great to have that so you can at least match the same color. The problem is that there will be nothing left of that age to match up with the actual paint( most likely)

Good luck with it all

Ps, If I was 90 years old, I don't think I would be holding on to any secrets
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Old 09-30-2013, 04:45 PM   #12
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"Matching" the viscosity of original paint


With a lot of the grand old ladies you might be able to get some really good references from your local historical society. They to are generally pretty fussy.
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Old 09-30-2013, 07:12 PM   #13
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"Matching" the viscosity of original paint


Hi Lorelei,

I keep thinking about your dilemma and I just remembered when my father was contracting he would add Penetrol, but when he didn’t have Penetrol in his truck he would add a little pure gum turpentine to his enamel and that, like the Penetrol would allow the paint to flow out as if it were sprayed on. Pure turpentine is a by-product of trees and has a distinctive smell. Ask your painter if he detects the scent.
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:41 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by ToolSeeker View Post
With a lot of the grand old ladies you might be able to get some really good references from your local historical society. They to are generally pretty fussy.

I might be one of those!
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:49 PM   #15
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"Matching" the viscosity of original paint


Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisn View Post
It's great to have that so you can at least match the same color. The problem is that there will be nothing left of that age to match up with the actual paint( most likely)

Good luck with it all

Ps, If I was 90 years old, I don't think I would be holding on to any secrets
Interestingly, he has quite a few "apprentices" who worked a year or so to be able to say that they "trained" with him. He keeps stuff pretty close to the chest, for their sake I suppose. Few of the apprentices do the same work here because the housing market has tanked.

I'll keep plodding away at this, for the sake of the love of historical quality if nothing else. I truly appreciate your comments and help!

here is a link to some of his work. http://adgifa.com/index.php/artists/view/stefan_davidek


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