Deal and other common woods are stained to imitate polished walnut in various ways. (1) One method is, after careful rubbing with glasspaper, to go over the surface with a preparation of Cassel brown boiled in a lye of soft soap and soda. After drying, the surface is rubbed over with pumice and oil, and polished with shellac. The Cassel brown will not take equally well on all kinds of wood, so that if not laid on thick it sometimes comes off under the subsequent pumicing; whilst on the other hand this same thickness conceals, more or leas, the grain on the wood beneath, giving it the appearance of having been painted.

(2) Others use instead a decoction of green walnut-shells, dried and boiled in the same lye, or in soft water to which soda has been added. The decoction of walnut-shells is apt to come off on the clothes as a yellowish adhesive substance.

(3) Others, again, employ catechu and chromate of potash in equal parts, boiled separately and afterwards mixed. The mixture of catechu and chromate of potash leaves a reddish-brown deposit on the surface of the wood, very unlike real walnut.

(4) The following is said to be a very superior method for staining any kind of wood in imitation of walnut, while it is also cheap and simple in its manipulation. The wood, previously thoroughly dried and warmed, is coated once or twice with a stain composed of 1 oz. extract of walnut peel dissolved in 6 oz. soft water by heating it to boiling, and stirring. The wood thus treated, when half dry, is brushed with a solution of 1 oz. bichromate of potash in 5 oz. boiling water, and is then allowed to dry thoroughly, and is to be rubbed and polished as usual. Red beech and alder, under this treatment, assume a most deceptive resemblance to American walnut. The colour is fixed in the wood to a depth of one or two lines.

(5) Mix dragon's blood and lampblack in methylated spirits till you get the colour required, and rub it well into the grain of the wood.

(6) Light Walnut

Dissolve 1 part permanganate of potassium in 30 of pure water, and apply twice in succession; after an interval of 5 minutes, wash with clean water, and when dry, oil and polish.

(7) Dark Walnut

Same as for light walnut, but after the washing with water the dark veins are made more prominent with a solution of acetate of iron.

(8) In the winter season get some privet berries (black), which grow in most gardens and put 2 oz. in 1/2 pint solution of liquid ammonia. This, applied to pine varnished or polished, cannot be detected from real walnut itself.

(9) Take 1 gal. very thin sized shellac; add 1 lb. dry burnt umber, 1 lb. dry burnt sienna, and 1/4 lb. lampblack. Put these articles into a jug and shake frequently until they are mixed. Apply one coat with a brush. When the work is dry, rub down with fine paper,' and apply one coat of shellac or cheap varnish. It will then be a good imitation of solid walnut, and will be adapted for the back boards of mirror-frames, for the back and inside of casework, and for similar work.

(10) Take 1 gal. strong vinegar, 1 lb. dry burnt umber, 1/2 lb. tine rose-pink, 1/2 lb. dry burnt vandyke brown. Put into a jug and mix well; let the mixture stand one day, and it will then be ready for use. Apply this stain to the sap with a piece of fine sponge, it will dry in 1/2 hour. The whole piece is then ready for the filling process. When the work is completed, the stained part cannot be detected even by those who have performed the job. By means of this recipe, wood of poor quality and mostly of sap can be used with good effect.

(11) Darkening Walnut

Slaked lime, 1 to 4 of water, will do for some kinds of walnut; a weak solution of sulphate of iron for others; and yet again for other kinds a weak solution of pearl-ash. 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. bichromate of potash in 1.05 oz. 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. manganate of potash, and 3.15 oz. sulphate of manganese 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 manganate of potash 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.

(4) Nitric acid gives a fine permanent yellow, which is converted into dark brown by subsequent application of tincture of iodine.

(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. rainwater, and the article to be stained is brushed over with this. Undiluted nitric acid gives a brownish - yellow colour.

(8) 2.1 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) 1.57 oz. carbonate of potash 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.

(10) Bright Golden Yellow

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.