This section is from the "Henley's Twentieth Century Formulas Recipes Processes" encyclopedia, by Norman W. Henley and others.
Dissolve chlorate of potassium and blue vitriol, equal parts, in 36 times as much water, and allow the solution to cool. The parts to be blacked may be either dipped in the solution, or the solution may be flowed on and allowed to remain until the metal becomes black, after which the fixtures should be rinsed in clean water and allowed to dry. Those parts of the surface which show imperfections in the black should be recoated.
Bruise charcoal very finely and mix it with calcined borax in the proportion of 4 parts of charcoal to 1 of borax. Of this make a paste with water; apply this paste on the parts to be deadened; next expose the piece to the fire of well-lit coal until it acquires a cherry-red shade; allow to cool and then place it in water slightly acidulated with sulphuric acid. The bath must not be more than 5° Be. Leave the piece in the bath about 2 hours, then rinse off several times.
A white color for signs and articles exposed to the air is prepared as follows for the last coat: Thin so-called Dutch "stand" oil with oil of turpentine to working consistency, and grind in it equal parts of zinc white and white lead, not adding much siccative, as the white lead assists the drying considerably. If the paint is smoothed well with a badger brush, a very durable white color of great gloss is obtained. Linseed oil, or varnish which has thickened like "stand" oil by long open storing, will answer equally well.
Probably the best method to pursue will be to take an ordinary flannel rag and carefully rub it over the work previous to varnishing, striping, or painting. This simple operation will obviate the possibility of crawling.
In some instances, however, crawling may be traced to a defective varnish. The latter, after drying evenly on a well-prepared paint surface will at times crawl, leaving small pitmarks. For this, the simple remedy consists in purchasing varnish from a reputable manufacturer.