Staining—General Observations

When alabaster, marble, and other stones  are coloured, and the stain is required to be deep, it should be poured on boiling hot, and brushed equally over every part, if made with water; if with spirit, it should be applied cold, otherwise the evaporation, being too rapid, would leave the colouring matter on the surface, without any, or very little, being able to penetrate. In greyish or brownish stones, the stain will be wanting in brightness, because the natural colour combines with the stain; therefore, if the stone be a pure colour, the result will be a combination of the colour and stain.

In staining bone  or ivory , the colours will take better before than after polishing; and if any dark spots appear, they should be rubbed with chalk, and the article dyed again, to produce uniformity of shade. On removal from the boiling hot dye-bath, the bone should be immediately plunged into cold water, to prevent cracks from the heat.

If paper  or parchment  is stained, a broad varnish brush should be employed, to lay the colouring on evenly.

When the stains for wood  are required to be very strong, it is better to soak and not  brush them; therefore, if for inlaying or fine work, the wood should be previously split or sawn into proper thicknesses; and when it is necessary to brush the wood several times over with the stains, it should be allowed to dry between each coating.

When it is wished to render any of the stains more durable and beautiful, the work should be well rubbed with Dutch or common rushes after it is coloured, and then varnished with seed-lac varnish, or if a better appearance is desired, with three coats of the same, or shell-lac varnish. Common work only requires frequent rubbing with linseed oil and woollen rags. The remainder, with the exception of glass , will be treated in the following sections: 

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