This section is from the book "The Tinman's Manual And Builder's And Mechanic's Handbook", by Isaac Ridler Butt. Also available from Amazon: The Tinman's Manual And Builder's And Mechanic's Handbook.
Put into a clean four gallon tin, one pound of ground turmeric, one and a half ounces of gamboge, three and a half pounds of powdered gum sandarach, three quarters of a pound of shellac, and two gallons of spirits of wine. When shaken, dissolved, and strained, add one pint of turpentine varnish, well mixed.
Male exactly as the gold lacker with these ingredients: two gallons of spirits of wine, one pound of dragon's blood, three pounds of Spanish annotto, three and a quarter pounds of gum sandarach, and two pints of turpentine.
Two gallons of spirits of wine, one pound of fine pale shellac, three ounces of Cape aloes, cut small; one ounce of gamboge, cut small.
Any good lacker laid upon tin gives it the appearance of copper or brass. It is made by coloring lac-varnish with turmeric to impart the color of brass to it, and with annotto, to give it the color of copper. If a tin plate is dipped into molten brass, the latter metal will adhere to it in a coat.
A good lacker is made by coloring lac-varnish with turmeric and annotto. Add as much of these two coloring substances to the varnish as will give it the proper color; then squeeze the varnish through a cotton cloth, when it forms lacker.
Seed-lac three ounces, turmeric one ounce, dragon's blood one-fourth ounce, alcohol one pint; digest for a week, frequently shaking, decant and filter.
Lackers are used upon polished metals and wood to impart the appearance of gold. If yellow is required, use turmeric, aloes, saffron, or gamboge; for red, use annotto, or dragon's blood, to color. Turmeric, gamboge, and dragon's blood, generally afford a sufficient range of colors.
1. Seed-lac eight ounces, alcohol one quart; digest in a close vessel in a warm situation for three or four days, then decant and strain. 2. Substitute lac bleached by chlorine for seed-lac. Both are very tough, hard, and durable; the last almost colorless.