(See also Paint, Polishes, Waxes, and Wood.)

Oil Stains for Hard Floors


Burnt sienna, slate brown, or wine black, is ground with strong oil varnish in the paint mill. The glazing color obtained is thinned with a mixture of oil of turpentine and applied with a brush on the respective object. The superfluous stain is at once wiped away with a rag, so that only the absorbed stain remains in the wood. If this is uneven, go over the light places again with dark stain. In a similar manner all otherwise tinted and colored oil stains are produced by merely grinding the respective color with the corresponding addition of oil. Thus, green, red, and even blue and violet shades on wood can be obtained, it being necessary only to make a previous experiment with the stains on a piece of suitable wood. In the case of soft wood, however, it is advisable to stain the whole previously with ordinary nut stain (not too dark), and only after drying to coat with oil stain, because the autumn rings of the wood take no color, and would appear too light, and, therefore, disturb the effect.'


Boil 25 parts, by weight, of fustic and 12 parts of Brazil wood with 2,400 parts of soapmakers' lye and 12 parts of potash, until the liquid measures about 12 quarts. Dissolve in it, while warm, 30 parts of annatto and 75 of wax, and stir until cold. There will be a sufficient quantity of the brownish-red stain to keep the floor of a large room in good order for a year. The floor should be swept with a brush broom daily, and wiped up twice a week with a damp cloth, applying the stain, when necessary, to places where there is much wear, and rubbing it in with a hard brush. Every 6 weeks put the stain all over the floor, and brush it in well.


Neatsfoot oil....... 1 part

Cottonseed oil...... 1 part

Petroleum oil...... 1 part


Beeswax........... 8 parts

Water............. 56 parts

Potassium carbonate 4 parts

Dissolve the potash in 12 parts of water; heat together the wax and the remaining water till the wax is liquefied; then mix the two and boil together until a perfect emulsion is effected. Color, if desired, with a solution of annatto.


Paraffine oil........ 8 parts

Kerosene.......... 1 part

Limewater........ 1 part

Mix thoroughly. A coat of the mixture is applied to the floor with a mop.

Paraffining of Floors

The cracks and joints of the parquet floor are filled with a putty consisting of Spanish white, 540 parts; glue, 180 parts; sienna, 150 parts; umber, 110 parts; and calcareous earth, 20 parts. After 48 hours apply the paraffine, which is previously dissolved in petroleum, or preferably employed in a boiling condition, in which case it will enter slightly into the floor. When solidification sets in, the superfluous paraffine is scratched off and an even, smooth surface of glossy color results, which withstands acids and alkalies.

Ball-Room Floor Powder

Hard paraffine....... 1 pound

Powdered boric acid.. 7 pounds

Oil lavender......... 1 drachm

Oil neroli........... 20 minims

Melt the paraffine and add the boric acid and the perfumes. Mix well, and sift through a 1/16 mesh sieve.

Renovating Old Parquet Floors

Caustic soda lye, prepared by boiling for 45 minutes with 1 part calcined soda, and 1 part slaked lime with 15 parts water, in a cast-iron pot, is applied to the parquet to be renovated by means of a cloth attached to a stick. After a while rub off the floor with a stiff brush, fine sand, and a sufficient quantity of water, to remove the dirt and old wax. Spread a mixture of concentrated sulphuric acid and water in the proportion of 1 to 8 on the floor. The sulphuric acid will remove the particles of dirt and wax which have entered the floor and enliven the color of the wood. Finally, wax the parquet after it has been washed off with water and dried completely,