This section is from the book "A Treatise On Architecture And Building Construction Vol4: Plumbing And Gas-Fitting, Heating And Ventilation, Painting And Decorating, Estimating And Calculating Quantities", by The Colliery Engineer Co. Also available from Amazon: A Treatise On Architecture And Building Construction.
86. Stains are liquid preparations of different tints, applied to the carefully prepared surface of the cheaper woods, such as poplar, pine, etc., in order to give them the appearance of the more rare and expensive woods, such as rosewood, mahogany, walnut, etc. The process of staining consists, in the main, of laying on the stains in the form of mere washes, so as to change the shade of one wood to that of another which, in its natural grain, it resembles. The stain is applied with a sponge or large brush, the wood having been previously well rubbed with glass paper, and the dust resulting carefully removed. The stain should be sparingly applied and well rubbed in, the desired depth of color being obtained by several washes rather than by a dark and heavy one.
The preliminary operation of sizing requires some care. To be rapidly and evenly spread, the size must be applied with a large brush, and should be quite hot and very thin. Where convenient, the wood should likewise be warmed.
In the case of hard woods, the tinting colors should be added to the filler before staining.
87. Stains suitable for different kinds of woods may be prepared as follows:
Mahogany stain: A thin mixture of burnt sienna, ground in vinegar, may be used, and grained and shaded while wet with the same, thickened with more sienna.
Black walnut: The same as the preceding, but using burnt umber for burnt sienna.
Walnut stain: Boil together, for ten minutes, 1 quart of water, 1 1/2 ounces washing soda, 2 1/2 ounces Vandyke brown, 1/4 ounce bichromate of potash.
Oak stain: Dissolve 2 ounces of American potash, 2 ounces of pearlash in 1 quart of water; keep corked and for lighter tints dilute with water.
Black stain: Boil 1/2 pound logwood in 2 quarts of water; add 1 1/2 ounces verdigris, and 1/2 ounce copperas; strain; put in 1/2 pound rusty filings; apply two coats.
Red stain: Use a solution of dragon's blood in spirits of wine.