The quality and grain of the wood should be enriched and strengthened by staining. This is most important as there is not always the proper depth to the natural wood color. Very interesting effects can be worked out on open grain woods such as oak, cypress or birch by the use of a paste filler in connection with the stain. The purpose of the filler is not only to fill up the open pores of the wood but to bring out the pattern of the grain in a tone either slightly darker or lighter than the stain. In this way the natural beauty of the wood is enhanced. The final finish after the stain may be shellac and wax; or dull varnish. The steps in the proper finishing of natural woodwork are:
A priming coat of raw linseed oil and turpentine stain of color required.
When dry follow with careful sandpapering with the grain with No. 00 sandpaper.
Coat of white shellac.
Paste wax rubbed in, or After stain, two coats of interior varnish, preferably dull finish.
Varnish should be lightly rubbed with No. 00 sandpaper between coats.
The cost of labor and materials to-day makes it quite expensive to finish natural woodwork properly. In the attempt to economize many short cuts have been devised, most of which, while reducing cost, reduce quality also. Some specifications call for only two coats - the first of stain and filler, the second a flat drying varnish. These methods are rarely satisfactory.