Leo, of Bensheim, Germany, recommends the following stains for oak, pine, beech, poplar, etc.
Wash over with a hot, concentrated solution of picric acid, and when dry, polish the wood.
One part of nitrate of silver dissolved in 50 parts of distilled water. Wash over twice; then with hydrochloric acid, and afterwards with water of ammonia. The wood is allowed to dry in the dark, and is then finished in oil and polished.
Dissolve one part of permanganate of potassium in 30 parts of pure water, and apply twice in succession; and after an interval of five minutes wash with clean water, and when dry oil and polish.
Same as for light walnut; but after the washing with water, the darker veins are made more prominent with a solution of acetate of iron.
Introduce into a bottle 15 grains alkanet root, 30 grains aloes, 30 grains powdered dragon's blood, and 500 grains 95 per cent alcohol, closing the mouth of the bottle with a piece of bladder, keeping it in a warm place for three or four days, with occasional shaking; then filtering the liquid. The wood is first mordanted with nitric acid; and when dry washed with the stain once or oftener, according to the desired shade; then the wood being dried, oiled, and polished.
Same as dark mahogany, but the stain being only applied once. The veins of true mahogany may be imitated by the use of acetate of iron skillfully applied.
A favorite recipe for staining wood a brilliant yellow-brown is nitric acid. When strong nitric acid is rubbed over any of the light-colored woods it at once produces a very rich color; and after washing the wood with water, and drying it, and oiling it with linseed-oil, the surface presents such a handsome appearance that the process has been strongly recommended, and the recipe will be found in many works on angling and recommended for fishing-rods. Where mere appearance is all that is needed, the process is a very good one; but where, as in fishing-rods, it is desirable to retain the full strength and elasticity of the material, nitric acid should never be used. Any one can prove, by simple and easy experiments, that the strength of a rod is greatly reduced by the action of the acid.