THE beauty of wood is marred or enhanced by its treatment. What is more universally admired than properly finished wood, whether in furniture, woodwork, or floors ? With such wonderful variety of grain, almost magically treated with modern stains and finishes, its natural beauty stands revealed. Each kind, with its peculiar characteristics, requires special treatment; in order to bring out this true beauty, not only the kind of finish but also the color must receive careful consideration by the home builder.

So much depends upon the woodwork treatment in successful home decorating. Some woods are best adapted to stained effects, some especially suited to white enameling, while the greatest degree of beauty is brought out in others by the natural varnished finish. Only the expert finisher can have a full knowledge of wood and its proper treatment; nevertheless, every home builder can, and should, be familiar with the kind of finish adaptable to the most widely used woods.

In Chapter IV (The Importance Of The Standing Woodwork) this subject, in its relation to home building and decorating, was treated in a general way and only the simple laws and principles were defined. This chapter contains the more detailed information, and is designed to assist the home builder in the proper application of these principles. The most popular woods used in modern building are described, their important characteristics outlined, and the most artistic and practical method of treating them explained in detail. Frequent reference is made to the complete working specifications in Chapter XXI (The Importance Of Working Specifications). By confining these specifications to one chapter, they will be found most accessible and at the same time easily associated with the following descriptions of the different woods.