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Auckland is "getting its face lifted?* Drab old buildings in Queen Street and elsewhere in the city, which were the last word in elegance in the gay nineties but have collected the dust and grime of a generation, are at last feeling the painter's brush. Facades from which the original colour faded before the Boer War are being refurbished. Commercial' frontages bearing legends long since half-obliterated are now shining with new paint. All this will make for a brighter Auckland. It only remains for the electric power crisis to end and the old town will be as bright at night as by day. The end of the war In Europe and appreciation among the business community of the fact that, even I with the Pacific war still unfinished, the country has already entered on the transition period, have been the stimulus for a rush of repairs anl maintenance work stultified only by lack of labour and materials. Jobs which have hung fire for many years arc- now competing for attention along with those which had been delayed only by the advent of war. There is plenty of money about and many firms are standing in the line for plumbers, painters, carpenters and bricklayers, realising at the same time that housing must have priority. A marked improvement in paint supplies as well as in the number of painters has made possible the present painting activity in and around the city. But the supplies are far from adequate for the demand, and paint and painters, especially the latter, are likely to be at a premium, for a long time. Almost all the paint used to-day is now manufactured within the Dominion from basic raw materials which are imported. The bulk of the linseed for linseed oil is now crushed in this country and brought up from Dunedin, but all the other ingredients come from the United Kingdom —zinc, lead and pigments. Because there is more paint about these days it must not be imagined it is plentiful. Most of the distributors receive only a certain amount each week or so and their customers have to be rationed out accordingly. Chrome oxide, which is the main constituent in green paints, has been off the market most of the war and people desiring roofs painted have to be content with red. An authority on building paints admitted that the quality of many paints had deteriorated during the war owing to lack of essential materials. The ideal paint was made, he said, with a combination of zinc and lead, and as these metals had been in short supply, manufacturers had used substitutes which had resulted in a poorer article. Many so-called stains and floor paints, in particular, to-day had a shorter life.

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Bibliographic details

BRIGHTER CITY, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 185, 7 August 1945

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BRIGHTER CITY Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 185, 7 August 1945

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