This section is from the "Henley's Twentieth Century Formulas Recipes Processes" encyclopedia, by Norman W. Henley and others.
Water-color stains do not penetrate deep enough into wood to make the effect strong enough, hence solutions of other material than color are being employed for the purpose. Aqua ammonia alone, applied with a rag or brush repeatedly, will darken the color of oak to a weathered effect, but it is not very desirable, because of its tendency to raise the grain. Bichromate of potash, dissolved in cold water, applied in a like manner, until the desired depth is obtained, will serve the purpose. These washes or solutions, however, do not give the dark, almost black, effect that is at the present time expected for weathered oak, and in order to produce this, 4 ounces of logwood chips and 3 ounces of green copperas should be boiled together in 2 quarts of water for 40 minutes and the solution applied hot. When this has dried it should be gone over with a wash made from 4 ounces steel filings and 1 pint of strong vinegar. The steel filings are previously put into the vinegar and allowed to stand for several days. This will penetrate into the wood deeply, and the stain will be permanent. Picture-frame manufacturers use a quick-drying stain, made from aniline blacks.
Dissolve 0.25 part of permanganate of potassium in 1,000 parts of cold water and paint the wood with the violet solution obtained. As soon as the solution comes in contact with the wood it decomposes in consequence of chemical action, and a handsome light - brown precipitate is produced in the wood. The brushes used must be washed out immediately, as the permanganate of potassium destroys animal bristles, but it is preferable to use sponges or brushes of glass threads for staining. Boil 2 parts of cutch in 6 parts of water for 1 hour, stir while boiling, so that the rosiniferous catechu cannot burn on the bottom of the vessel; strain the liquid as soon as the cutch is dissolved, through linen, and bring again to a boil. Now dissolve therein 1/5 part of alum, free from iron; apply the stain while hot, and cover after the drying, with a solution of 1 part of bichromate of potassium in 25 parts of water.
First procure 1/2 pound logwood, boiling it in 3 pints water. Continue the boiling until the liquid assumes a very dark color, at which point add 1 ounce salt of tartar. When at the boiling point stain your wood with 2 or 3 coats, but not in quick succession, as the latest coat must be nearly dry before the succeeding one is applied. The use of a fiat graining brush, deftly handled, will produce a very excellent imitation of dark rosewood.
This stain is prepared by dissolving 1 part of pyrogallic acid in 25 parts of warm water and the wood is coated with this. Allow this coating to dry and prepare, meanwhile, a solution of 2 parts of green vitriol in 50 parts of boiling water, with which the first coating is covered again to obtain the silver-gray shade.
Prepare a solution of 6 ounces of a solution of permanganate of potassium, and 6 ounces of sulphate of magnesia in 2 quarts of hot water. The solution is applied on the wood with a brush and the application should be repeated once. In contact with the wood the permanganate decomposes, and a handsome, lasting walnut color results. If small pieces of wood are to be thus stained, a very dilute bath is prepared
according to the above description, then the wooden pieces are immersed and left therein from 1 to 5 minutes, according to whether a lighter or darker coloring is desired.
One hundredweight Vandyke brown, ground fine in water, and 28 pounds of soda, dissolved in hot water, are mixed while the solutions are hot in a revolving mixer. The mixture is then dried in sheet-iron trays.
The wood is coated with a hot concentrated solution of picric acid, dried, and polished. (Picric acid is poisonous.)