Lacquer serves on metal the same purpose that varnish does on wood; that is, preserves the color and the finish. The commercial lacquers are rather expensive and are not always easy to obtain.
No. 1. Banana oil, sometimes called bronzing liquid, makes a fairly good lacquer for our purpose, and it has the decided advantage of being obtainable in almost any drug store.
No. 2. A fair lacquer can be made from white shellac and grain alcohol mixed together in the proportion of 5 ounces of white shellac to 2 quarts of grain alcohol. Allow the mixture to stand for about 48 hours, then strain thru a double thickness of cheese cloth, and it is ready for use.
No. 3. Another lacquer is made up of the following: alcohol, 2 quarts; seed-lac, 5 ounces; gum copal, 1/2 ounce. Allow the mixture to stand, stirring occasionally until the seed-lac and the gum are dissolved, then strain thru cheese cloth.
No. 4. Collodion thinned down with grain alcohol also makes a good lacquer.
No. 5. A gold colored lacquer for brass only is made of the following: spirits of wine, 2 quarts; tumeric, 6 ounces; gamboge, 1/2 ounce; sandarac resin, 12 ounces; shellac, 4 ounces; turpentine resin, 5 ounces. Allow the ingredients to dissolve and strain.
No. 6. Another good lacquer for brass or copper: 1 part of spirits of wine; mastic resin, 8 ounces; gum camphor, 6 ounces; sandarac resin, 1 pound; white shellac, 1 pound. Allow the mixture to dissolve and strain.
The best method of wax finishing is to heat the article hot enough just to melt the wax as it is applied with a cloth, then lightly and rapidly apply the wax to the metal. Allow it to get perfectly cold, then polish lightly with a soft cloth. The best wax to use is Johnson's black furniture wax, altho a good wax can be made by melting together equal amounts of beeswax and turpentine. Naptha may be used in place of the turpentine.
Metal articles may be refinished by applying a thin coat of any of the above waxes applied cold.