French Polish

The simplest and probably the best is made by dissolving 11/2 lb. of shellac in 1 gallon spirits of wine without heat.

Other gums are sometimes used, and the polish may be darkened by adding benzine, or it may be coloured with dragon's blood.

It is used chiefly for mahogany work, in joinery, hand-rails, etc., and is applied by rubbing it well into the surface of the wood, which has been previously made smooth with sandpaper, etc.

Hardwood Lacquer is made by dissolving 2 lbs. shellac in 1 gallon spirits of wine. It is generally used for turned articles, being applied to them with a rag while they are on the lathe.

Lacquer For Brass

The simplest and best lacquer for work not requiring to be coloured is made by dissolving with agitation 1/2 lb. of the best pale shellac in 1 gallon cold spirits of wine. The mixture is allowed to stand, filtered, and kept out of the influence of light, which would make it darker.

Turpentine Varnishes

Turpentine Varnish consists of 4 lbs. of common (or bleached) resin dissolved in 1 gallon of oil of turpentine, under slight warmth.

1 Spon. 2 Holtzapffel. 3 Painter, Paperhanger, and Decorator's Assistant

4 Mr. Manders' Circular.

It is used for indoor painted work, and also to add to other varnishes to give them greater body, hardness, brilliancy.1

Black Varnish For Metal Work

Fuse 3 lbs. of Egyptian asphaltum; when it is liquid add 1/2 lb. shellac and 1 gallon turpentine. 1

Brunswick Black

Boil 45 lbs. asphaltum for 6 hours over a slow fire. During the same time boil 6 gallons oil which has been previously boiled, introducing litharge gradually until stringy, then pour the oil into the boiling asphaltum. Boil the mixture until it can be rolled into hard pills, let it cool, and then mix with 25 gallons turpentine, or as much as will give it proper consistency.2

Varnish For Iron Work

The following is recommended by Mr. Matheson as very effective : - 30 gallons of coal tar, fresh, with all its naphtha retained; 6 lbs. tallow; 11/2 lb. resin; 3 lbs. lampblack; 30 lbs. fresh slaked lime, finely sifted - mixed intimately and applied hot. "When hard, this varnish can be painted on by ordinary oil paint if desired."

Crystal Varnish, consists of melted Canada balsam thoroughly mixed with an equal quantity of oil of turpentine. A coating of it will convert good thin paper into tracing paper.

Water Varnish.. - Light Coloured. - Mix 16 oz. ordinary water of ammonia with 7 pints water, 2 oz. pale (or white) shellac, and 4 oz. gum arabic.


Mix 6 oz. borax, 2 lb. shellac, and 4 oz. gum arabic with 1 gallon water.

Varnish, for Paper consists of 4 lbs. of dammar dissolved in 1 gallon of turpentine, with moderate agitation or gentle heat. It is suitable for paperhangings and similar purposes. l

Japanning consists in applying successive coats of japan, i.e. ordinary lead paint, ground in oil and mixed with copal or anime' varnish. Each coat is dried in turn at the highest temperature it will bear without melting. The surface is then treated with from two to six coats of the best copal or amine" varnish without driers.

Common so-called japanned work is not dried by heat, but merely painted and varnished.

Proper japanning will stand a very high temperature, and may therefore be used for baths and other metal work subject to considerable heat.

Stains are liquid preparations of different tints applied to the carefully-prepared smooth unpainted surface of common light-coloured wood, such as fir, in order to give it the appearance of more rare and highly coloured woods, such as rosewood, mahogany, walnut, etc.

Liquid Stains are prepared in all colours to imitate different woods, such as rosewood, walnut, ebony, oak, maple, etc., and sold in powder, or in the liquid state ready for immediate application.

The powder is dissolved in hot water before use.

The liquid stain or the solution from the powder is laid on plentifully with a brush or sponge in one or two coats according to depth of tint required.

When the wood is thoroughly dry it must be twice sized with a very strong solution of size, and then varnished.

1 Holtzapffel.

2 Ure.

When stains ready prepared are not procurable, they may be made without much difficulty.

The following are a few receipts : -

Mahogany Stain

A thin mixture of burnt sienna ground in vinegar may be used, grained and shaded while wet with the same, thickened with more sienna.1

Black Walnut

Same as above, but using burnt umber.1

Walnut Stain

Boil together for ten minutes 1 quart water, 11/2 oz. washing soda, 21/2 oz. Vandyke brown, 1/4 oz. bichromate potash.2

Oak Stain

Dissolve 2 oz. of American potash, 2 oz. pearlash, in about a quart of water; keep corked, and dilute with water for lighter tints.

Black Stain

Boil 1/2 lb. logwood in 2 quarts water, add 1 oz. pearlash, and apply hot; then boil 1/2 lb. logwood in 2 quarts water, add 1/2 oz. verdigris and 1/2 oz. copperas; strain, put in 1/2 lb. rusty filings; with this apply a second coat.

Red Stain

Use a solution of dragon's blood in spirits of wine.