This section is from the book "Spons' Mechanics' Own Book: A Manual For Handicraftsmen And Amateurs", by Edward Spon. Also available from Amazon: Spons' Mechanics' Own Book.
Slaked lime, 1 to 4 of water, will do for some kinds of walnut; a weak solution of iron sulphate for others; and yet again for other kinds a weak solution of pearlash. Try each on the wood, and choose the one you like best.
(12) To give to walnut a dark colour resembling rosewood, Hirschberg uses a solution of 0.17 oz. potash bichromate in l.05oz. water. This solution is applied to the walnut with a sponge, and the wood is then pumiced and polished.
(13) By a simple staining, furniture of pine or birch wood can be easily made to appear as if it had been veneered with walnut veneer. For this a solution of 3.15 oz. potash manganate, and 3.15 oz. manganese sulphate in 5.25 qt. hot water, is made. This solution is applied to the wood with a brush, and must be repeated several times. The potash manganate is decomposed when it comes in contact with the woody fibre, and thus a beautiful and very durable walnut colour is obtained. If small wooden articles are to be stained in this manner, a very diluted bath is prepared; the articles are dipped into it, and kept there 1 to 9 minutes according as the colour is desired lighter or darker.
(1) Mordant with red liquor, and dye with bark liquor and turmeric.
(2) Turmeric dissolved in wood naphtha.
(3) Aqua regia (nitro-muriatic acid), diluted in 3 parts water, is a much-used though rather destructive yellow stain.
(5) Wash over with a hot concentrated solution of picric acid, and when dry, polish the wood.
(6) Orange-Yellow Tone To Oak Wood
According to Niedling, a beautiful orange-yellow tone, much admired in a chest at the Vienna Exhibition, may be imparted to oak-wood by rubbing it in a warm room with a certain mixture until it acquires a dull polish, and then coating it after an hour with thin polish, and repeating the coating of polish to improve the depth and brilliancy of the tone. The ingredients for the rubbing mixture are about 3 oz. tallow, 3/4 oz. wax, and 1 pint oil of turpentine, mixed by heating together and stirring.
(7) 0.5 oz. nitric acid (aquafortis) is compounded with 1.57 oz. rain-water, and the article to be stained is brushed over with this. Undiluted nitric acid gives a brownish-yellow colour.
(8) 2.l oz. finely-powdered turmeric are digested for several days in 17.5 oz. alcohol 80 per cent. strong, and then strained through a cloth. This solution is applied to the articles to be stained. When they have become entirely dry, they are burnished and varnished.
(9) l.57 oz. potash carbonate are dissolved in 4.2 oz. rain-water. This solution is poured over 0.52 oz. annatto, and this mixture is allowed to stand for 3 days in a warm place, being frequently shaken in the meanwhile. It is then filtered, and 0.175 oz. spirit of sal-ammoniac is added to it. The stain is now ready, and the articles to be stained will acquire a very beautiful bright yellow colour by placing them in it.
0.52 oz. finely-powdered madder is digested for 12 hours with 2.1 oz. diluted sulphuric acid, and then filtered through a cloth. The articles to be stained are allowed to remain in this fluid 3 to 4 days, when they will be stained through.