While of late years some paint makers have listed stains with fancy names in these two lines, the most popular are still those that imitate natural wood, as light and dark oak, cherry, mahogany, walnut, rosewood and, perhaps, ebony. When we speak of oil stains we do not refer to a stain made of oil and pigment only, as such a material would not penetrate into the wood fiber. It simply indicates that oil is the binder, while volatile thinners, such as turpentine, benzine, solvent naphtha or benzol furnish the penetrating agent. The colors forming the base should be ground very fine in raw or boiled linseed oil, and the stronger the color in staining power, the more effective the stain and the less color is required. It stands to reason that base material should not enter here, as it is useless and only tends to cloud the effect of the stain. The following formulas for oil stains are based on high-quality goods, where permanency of color is preferred to low first cost: - For 10 gallons of stain use as a base for light oak, five pounds each raw Italian sienna and French yellow ocher, ground in oil. For dark oak, use eight pounds raw Italian sienna, one pound burnt Italian sienna and one pound burnt umber, all ground in oil. For cherry use five pounds each burnt Italian sienna and French yellow ocher in oil. For mahogany, six pounds burnt Italian sienna and four pounds maroon lake or rose pink in oil. For dark walnut use five pounds each burnt Turkey umber and Vandyke brown in oil; if light walnut is desired, use 10 pounds burnt Turkey umber of reddish tone in oil. For rosewood use 10 pounds rose pink and five pounds burnt Italian sienna in oil. For ebony use Nigrosene B (fat aniline color that has been dissolved in turpentine by gentle heat on a sand or hot water bath), two and one-half pounds color will be sufficient for 10 gallons of stain, if dissolved in one gallon turpentine. To any of the above bases add gradually, while beating up in suitable mixer, three-quarters gallon strong liquid drier, seven gallons boiled linseed oil, and one and one-half gallons turpentine. To reduce the cost of manufacture the quantity of oil may be reduced by one-half and heavy benzine substituted for both the omitted oil and the turpentine, but in that case the liquid drier should be increased to one gallon. The bases given for oil stains will also answer for pigment Varnish Stains, using the same quantity as given above for every ten gallons produced. A quick and hard drying varnish is required and the oil colors in each case should be first broken up in part of the liquid drier, of which at least one-half gallon should be used before adding the varnish, of which about nine gallons is required. If the varnish is too heavy in body add some turpentine or benzine, in addition to the drier, to the color before mixing it with the varnish. Make the stain flow freely from the brush and strain the material well before putting it up in the containers. Ebony is not called for in varnish stain lists, but Bog Oak Green is, and to produce 10 gallons of this would suggest the following: - Four pounds chemically pure chrome green medium in oil, one pound burnt Turkey umber in oil, and three pounds French yellow ocher in oil, thinned with one-half gallon strong liquid drier and nine gallons varnish as above.
The varnish should be what is known to the trade as mixing varnish and should not powder, when after drying, it is rubbed with the tips of the fingers.
These stains are not made to imitate any natural wood, but are to give effects to harmonize with the general decorations or hangings in rooms of private residences or offices, etc. They are made to penetrate well into the woodwork, on which they are applied and with a dull effect, from which a luster may be brought out by different treatments, such as waxing, shellacking, varnishing and polishing. The better class of these are based on permanent pigments, similar to the oil and varnish stains just described, but while they are really oil stains, are made to dry more rapidly by using volatile thinners for the most part. They are applied with a brush, and before having had time to set, the surface is wiped with cloth in order to bring out the effect of the grain in the wood, the latter is filled with paste fillers as soon as the stain becomes dry, while close grained woods are treated by applying shellac or liquid filler over the stain or they are waxed, which latter makes the best finish on Southern pine, while shellac is best for soft pine, white-wood or maple. It would carry us too far to give any number of formulas for stains of this type, therefore we will confine ourselves to a few examples. For instance, a nut brown is desired. To produce 10 gallons of stain use 12 pounds drop black in oil, two pounds Venetian red in oil, and one pound medium chrome yellow in oil, one gallon strong japan drier, one gallon mixing varnish and seven gallons turpentine.
Break up the oil color in part of the drier before adding the other ingredients. For a forest green stain use two pounds Chinese blue in oil and 12 pounds Dutch pink in oil, beat up the colors in part of the one gallon strong drier and add mixing varnish and turpentine as above.
While the pigment stains are most permanent, aniline stains give clearer and more brilliant tones, and though most of them are prone to fade under exposure to strong light, they hold up fairly well when protected by varnish. The fat aniline colors, oil soluble, are very strong and it does not require a great deal of the color to produce a gallon of stain. The colors may be had in black, brown, blue, green, orange, several shades of red, and yellow. They are furnished in lump as well as in the powder form, the latter being most convenient. One to one and a quarter pounds of the stronger of these colors (red) dissolved in one gallon of turpentine will make the base for 10 gallons of oil stain; in the other colors, excepting brown, a little more color will be required. To the color dissolved in turps add, for oil stain, one gallon strong japan drier, three gallons of boiled linseed oil and five gallons more of turpentine or benzine, as desired.
To make Aniline Varnish Stains dissolve the fat aniline colors same as for oil stain in turpentine, using one gallon of the latter and adding nine gallons of mixing varnish of good body. If the latter is slow in drying, cut quantity to eight gallons and use one gallon good strong japan drier.
These can be readily produced by dissolving spirit or water soluble aniline colors in these liquids, but these preparations are not commercially profitable to the paint maker, as the consumers purchase the powders and do their own mixing.