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Paint a family tree and seal with Polyvine decorator varnish

Listed under Blog Posted Oct 09 2012

A while ago I was asked by genealogist and DIY painter Jill, how to protect a family tree that she was planning to paint on a wall in her house. She just finished the painting.

I used an acrylic for the tree and normal emulsion paint for the leaves, and a permanent black pen for the writing.

OK, so Jill isn’t a signwriter or muralist, but Polyvine Decorator Varnish is the answer to preserve her labour of love for posterity. (As far as I can tell, Jill’s work dates a relative back to 1855.)

Polyvine Acrylic varnish won’t yellow and with 3 coats of the dead flat finish, the tree will stay intact ad survive the attention of all future generations’ grubby mitts.

Give yourself a head start when varnishing a wall

1 – Use a good roller system.

Wooster kit is the business. If painting a single wall, use a short pile (1/4″) microfibre roller sleeve on a 9″ roller frame. Larger jobs, the 14″ is a super fast roller. To ensure your edges are beautiful, a good synthetic brush – 2.5 inch is about the right size, maybe 3″ – a Picasso, or Wooster Silver Tip would be great for this varnish and to perfect the technique, I’d suggest you have a mini roller with the same pile sleeve as your big roller.

2 – To eradicate all chance of orange peel

You have the kit right, now make sure you have the varnish working in your favour. Add up to 10% Floetrol to the varnish. Some critics say that this paint conditioner is an expensive addition to paint costs, but what they forget, as Ron Taylor gleefully points out, if you add 10% conditioner, you are actually creating an extra 10% usable paint, so it is not exactly going to waste is it! And the advantages are many.

3 – Work methodically.

The paint conditioner keeps the wet edge going longer and levels paint out. You have the best roller kit, don’t blow it and forget to work systematically.

Run a piece of 2″ medium tack masking tape along the top of the skirting. Cut in with the brush 2 metres along the top, down the right side edge and 2m along the bottom, then use the mini roller to remove the brush marks. Roller the main body of wall in vertical (not “W”) sections… move along systematically, rinse and repeat.

A job done well has no overlaps, all same texture.

Odd items you have painted

I have never painted a family tree, but throughout the site are references to specialist painting projects. Recycled furniture, a painted dobby loom, a boat, there is an article on a guitar repaint coming soon, a cigar box… What can you add to the list. Leave a comment, preferably with a link to a picture attached!

Also, if you have any questions, leave a comment, or for more varied responses, use the forum. Thanks.

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