Water Based Stain Preparations & Solutions

Water Based Stain Preparations & Solutions

How to prepare or make water based stain preparations and solutions for wood furniture and floor finishes.

Craftsman Style

Aniline & Coal Tar

¶ In the furniture industry considerable effort has been exerted to standardize colors of finishes to be used under certain names. Much progress has been made in this direction. For instance, standard formulas are now in use generally for Standard American Walnut, Standard American Mahogany, Standard Brown Mahogany, Standard Jacobean and Standard Fumed Oak. Definite formulas and colors are in use under these names. Many other names in use, however, designate finish colors quite similar but with some variation as made by different manufacturers.

¶ The wood trim in houses and public buildings has always been finished to a considerable extent, at least, to accord with the furniture finishes. To gain complete harmony in interior decoration it is welt that this tendency should increase until both the furniture and building industries are working on standard colors and names for colors. Individual preferences for color effects will always demand something a bit different than the standard, but if there is a standard to work by it will always be easier to produce the special color effects wanted.

¶ The success of any formula depends absolutely upon the use of color ingredients which are of the same coloring strength as those used in producing the formulas and preparations used. When using the aniline and other coal tar dye stains little difficulty will be experienced in getting color matches true to name and formula, because such colors have been pretty well standardized as to character and strength, although some differences do exist between brands of the same colors put out by different manufacturers. The cheaper grades do not, of course, possess the same color value or tinting strength as the higher quality stains. Formulas are usually based on high quality stains. It is not difficult to check colors, however, since one usually has a pretty fair idea of the color he ought to get before staining is done. He usually knows, for instance, that it is a brown with a certain hue and other characteristics which should be produced under a certain name. If not, the finisher had better get a finished wood panel sample showing the color from stain manufacturers. Or, he may study the finish by the name wanted as produced upon correct period furniture made of the kind of wood for which the finish was originally designed.

¶ To illustrate this point further, if you are not certain just what kind of a brown, is correct for fumed oak color, study that color as produced by the real fuming process, not by stain, and on oak. Fumed oak color finish is done on many kinds of wood. All such colors resemble the original finish by the fuming process on real oak, but there are some differences. Better start right by making a study of the real thing on fine furniture.

¶ Some finishers customarily add caustic soda or lye to all aniline colors to set the color and make them "take" on the wood. It is far better except where a standard formula calls for lye to use bichromate of potash, 1 ounce to a gallon of water. The bichromate of potash forms a natural mordant, especially on mahogany wood, and it has color-giving ability which is beneficial.

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