Stain Finishes & Colors

Stain Finishes & Colors

The main types of factory prepared stain finishes and stain colors for furniture and floors.

Craftsman Style

¶ Most of the stain used today in the building trade is of the factory-prepared type. Oil stains and spirit stains probably are used to a greater extent than water stains, although the latter are greatly preferred for very high class work. The oil stains are not pigment stains but rather are made with many coloring substances in addition to the oil-soluble aniline and other coal tar dyes. The spirit stains are practically all colored with the coal tar dyes, although there are some exceptions.

¶ A busy wood finisher finds considerable advantage in using the factory-prepared stain. He usually uses several brands until he finds a line which suits his needs well and then confines himself to those stains. He secures finished wood panel samples from the manufacturers and soon becomes familiar with the working qualities of these stains and learns how to vary them to get different effects on all the commonly used woods. When he is given a color to match and a specification which is very different from the ordinary standard finishes he finds the manufacturer's service department willing to make up special stain for the purpose, or to direct his mixing of standard colors to produce the match needed.

¶ With a set of wood sample panels showing all of the common or standard colors on the various kinds of woods the finisher is in position to expedite his customers' selection greatly. Then if he has pasted a label on the back of each sample showing the name or number of the stain used, the kind of wood, the finishing method as to filler, gloss, polish, rubbed, flat varnish or wax, he loses no time dealing with customers or giving out his shop orders when a large amount of work is being done.

¶ When a finisher selects a brand of stains made by one of the larger and long-established manufacturers he finds much advantage in the fact that the colors are standardized in shade and working qualities. The fact that these characteristics remain unchanged year after year saves time for the finisher when matching colors, mixing and tempering his stains and in the brushing and wiping qualities. In other words, when his stain for walnut, for instance, is always the same color exactly and always the same strength, he has eliminated two variables and he has less trouble in matching samples. He soon learns exactly what that stain will do on each kind of wood. Then to change the color he adds other colors or more liquid to it, or he may in some cases spread one stain over another to gain the final color wanted.

¶ The variety of stains offered by manufacturers is ample for all practical needs. For instance, here is the list of standard colors offered for the ordinary run of wood finishing in homes and public buildings:

Oil Stains : Fumed Oak, Early English, Dark Oak, Brown Mahogany, Golden Oak, Red Mahogany, Mission Oak, Cherry, Light Oak, Rosewood, Weathered Oak, Malachite, Gray Jacobean, Brown Flemish, Antique Mahogany, Walnut.

Spirit Stains : Brown Oak, Dark Mahogany, Bog Oak, Flemish Oak, Light Mahogany, Moss Green

Dry Aniline and Coal Tar Stains : Mahogany Fast Red, water soluble,
Mahogany Fast Brown, water soluble,
Walnut, water soluble,
Walnut R, alcohol soluble,
Golden Oak, alcohol soluble,
Bismarck Brown, water or alcohol soluble,
Black Nigrosine J., water soluble,
Black Nigrosine WN., alcohol soluble,
Yellow Acid HM., water soluble,
Orange Y., water soluble,
Scarlet 2 R. B., water soluble,
Green M X, water or alcohol soluble,
Methylene Blue 2B, water and alcohol soluble,
Fuehine Magenta RT water and alcohol soluble,
Violet 3 BPN, water and alcohol soluble.

¶ There are hundreds of other colors of this class available, but the use of these and by mixing two or more colors together they will serve most purposes. Sold by the ounce and pound.

Period Stain Finishes : The following are all Acid (water) stains.
Brown Hepplewhite, Chippendale, Sheraton, Baronial Oak, Cathedral Oak, Hungarian Oak, Butler Oak, Old English, Kaiser Gray, Fumed Oak, Flemish Oak, Colonial Mahogany, Antique Mahogany, Austrian Oak, Adam Brown Mahogany.
The next group are all Oil Stains: Early English, Weathered Oak, Flanders Oak, Antwerp Oak, American Walnut, Jacobean, William and Mary, Louis XVI, Mission Stains Queen Anne.

¶ The prepared stains are sold in pints, quarts, half-gallons, gallons and barrels.

Next Page: Water Based Finishes & Stains.



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