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Wallpaper Edging


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Distemper (normally coloured) was certainly in general use around our neck of the woods for bedroom walls, landings etc.

Downstairs rooms would be wallpapered and kitchen walls would be finished in gloss paint if you couldn't afford tiles.

Something else that was in vogue for kitchens was a sort of linoleum with a tile pattern that was stuck to the lower half of the wall.

HD

Well having said we lived in a prefab (no upstairs) and dad was a painter all our rooms were wallpapered and gloss painted.

Gloss paint was essential on the window frames in the prefabs as they were steel and quickly went rusty if not coated in an oil based covering, - emusion paint would have been useless.

{Steel window frames, single glazed windows, - wonder what the "carbon footprint brigade" would make of that for lack of insulation!}

We did have tiles in the kitchen and bathroom but these were the standard white tile.

In the toilet, bathroom and kitchen where walls were painted rather papered as hot steam and damp walls tended to bring the paper off the walls were painted in gloss paint.

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But the fun part was rolling the strips up (like a roll of selotape) quite tightly, then carefully pushing out the center, getting wider, a bit at a time, to make a long cone shape.

You had to try to get yours longer than the others before the whole thing came apart. Hours of free fun for us kids.

There was another, similar, game we used to play with those paper strips, - but you needed a lot of them! (So a relative in the trade came in handy)

You rolled the strip up tightly as in the previous game, - like a roll of selotape, but this time you kept it flat. When you got to the end of the strip you joined in another one and kept on going. The "join" was done by overlapping and pulling the outer layer tighter over the overlap, it was not glued or selotaped. You then added another roll and then another to build up to the biggest diameter roll that you could.

In my dads word, - "Seef da can mek it size 'or a dustbin lid".

We never did get one as big as a dustbin lid but the size of a plate, a saucer or a gramophone record was possible.

Just having the biggest diameter was not enough to win the game though.

You then had to pick it up with the edge at opposite ends of its diameter without the centre falling out under it's own weight. It had to stay flat, not become a cone and not just fall apart. This was only possible if you had coiled it up really tightly.

Having achieved this mum would them apply a dab of glue to the open end to tack it to the roll so that it couldn't come undone. You had to sit and wait for ages holding it until the glue dried.

You then had a paper disc.

We used some of them, with a cocktail stick through the centre as an axle, as wheels on model cars we had made from card.

Mum even used some as table mats to stand meals or hot plates and pans on so that they wouldn't leave heat marks on the wooden table top.

A practical use for an otherwise waste piece of paper.

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hilldweller

Emulsion paints were around in the 1950's but the early ones were not popular because they tended to dry out unevenly leaving a "patchy" finish in which the colour was not of an even tint so it looked worse than distemper.

It wasn't until the 1960's that good quality water based emulsion paints like those made by Crown, Dulux and Johnstone became available and their popularity took off.

Being water based instead of oil based like gloss paints was a big advantage.

Firstly, as the paint dried there was less oil to evaporate so the smell of it was much less overpowering (low odour paint)

Secondly, being water based, brushes could be washed out completely after use in warm soapy water. Unlike gloss oil based paints where the brushes had to be washed out with turpentine (turps) or some other spirit based substitute. It was difficult to get the brushes fully clean without using loads of the stuff and they still went stiff when they dried out. I'm sure the trick was to store brushes after using turps in a jar of solvent to stop them drying out and going hard.

Whiting in whitewash beared more of a connection to the stuff used to mark out sports fields than to paint. It went on very thick and if the poor quality wall it was on suffered from damp (as it frequently did) the whiting would start to peel off and big thick pieces.

However, on a poor quality unplastered wall it was excellent at hiding the problems and giving that nice clean finish. The whitwash acted as a "binder" for any muck and dust on the wall so that the wall appeared clean and free of loose particles.

Back in the seventies, the son of one of my workmates set up a small emulsion paint factory on the Isle of Anglesey. He'd been a chemist with a large paint manufacturer and he decided he could make a better product. He used china clay and larger quantities than normal of better quality pigments.

The paint went on like Devon Cream and invariably covered in one coat no-matter what colour you were covering. It lasted for years. I think he called the company Polymer Paints but I cannot find mention on the t'internet. His prices were comparable with well-known brands. It just goes to show that it is possible to make better paint.

HD

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Back in the seventies, the son of one of my workmates set up a small emulsion paint factory on the Isle of Anglesey. He'd been a chemist with a large paint manufacturer and he decided he could make a better product. He used china clay and larger quantities than normal of better quality pigments.

The paint went on like Devon Cream and invariably covered in one coat no-matter what colour you were covering. It lasted for years. I think he called the company Polymer Paints but I cannot find mention on the t'internet. His prices were comparable with well-known brands. It just goes to show that it is possible to make better paint.

HD

Are you sure these were emulsion paints?

The name "polymer paints" and the properties you describe the paint having seem to suggest that this may have been an acryllic type of paint. Acryllics came along after emulsion and did have a superior finish, coating ability and longevity.

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hilldweller

Are you sure these were emulsion paints?

The name "polymer paints" and the properties you describe the paint having seem to suggest that this may have been an acryllic type of paint. Acryllics came along after emulsion and did have a superior finish, coating ability and longevity.

They were definitely emulsion paints, labeled as such and brushes washed out in water. Apparently the difference was down to fine ground china clay instead of chalk and better pigments. My brother-in-law, a painter and decorator, used to order the stuff in bulk until I lost touch when I changed my job.

HD

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Apparently the difference was down to fine ground china clay instead of chalk and better pigments.

HD

Isn't fine ground china clay the stuff we call kaolin?

It's used to make lots of things, most notably fine porcelein.

It could easily be used in paints.

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We seem to be hitting the bottom with many of our topics nowadays. Perhaps we should be setting our sights higher and becoming more genteel. That's me done with posting then lol

HD

Steve was right though that kaolin is used in what we used to call "stomach medicine" for an upset stomach which was Kaolin and morphine.

The Kaolin was the white stuff that made a mess everywhere (especially around the top of the bottle) and the morphine gave it that distinctive "medicine" taste and smell that we were assured if it didn't smell or taste horrible then it wasn't doing you any good.

Morphine is of course a drug closely related to the opiate alkaoids like Heroin and Codeine.

Drugs in this category are usually highly restricted and categorised by law for obvious reasons.

So I find it quite amazing that you can still buy Kaolin and Morphine these days.

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