This section is from the "Henley's Twentieth Century Formulas Recipes Processes" encyclopedia, by Norman W. Henley and others.
Throw a handful of permanganate potash crystals into a pail of boiling water, and apply the mixture as hot as possible to the floor with a large flat brush. If the stain produced is not dark enough, apply one or two more coats as desired, leaving each wash to dry thoroughly before applying another. If it is desired to polish the surface with beeswax, a coat of size should be applied to the boards before staining, as this gives depth and richness to the color. After 3 or 4 days, polish well with a mixture of turpentine and beeswax. A few cents will cover the cost of both size and permanganate of potash.
Potash............ 1 part
Water............. 4 parts
Yellow beeswax .... 5 parts
Hot water, a sufficient quantity.
Emulsify the wax by boiling it in the water in which the potash has been dissolved; stir the whole time. The exact amount of boiling is determined by the absence of any free water in the mass. Then remove the vessel from the fire, and gently pour in a little boiling water, and stir the mixture carefully. If a fatlike mass appears without traces of watery particles, one may know the mass is in a fit condition to be liquefied by the addition of more hot water without the water separating. Then put in the water to the extent of 200 to 225 parts, and reheat the compound for 5 to 10 minutes, without allowing it to reach the boiling point. Stir constantly until the mixture is cool, so as to prevent the separation of the wax, when a cream-like mass results which gives a quick and brilliant polish on woodwork, if applied in the usual way, on a piece of flannel rag, and polished by rubbing with another piece of flannel.