The Manufacturer and Builder 8, 1877
Staining, if well done, is incomparably finer and richer than paint, which always gives a coarse look, especially to panel work, as it obliterates the sharp edges and more or less fills up the in-springing angles. Paint always looks cheap, especially a coat of black paint; you can never make paint as smooth as the surface of well-finished wood-work. Piano-makers, for instance, would not think of painting and graining carved piano legs in imitation of rose-wood; they make them of cherry, or, what is better, of pear, stain them, and then give them a few coats of varnish, (solid rosewood heavy enough for carved piano legs is not to be had.) There is another objection to paint, it is easily scratched off, and is sometimes difficult to repair well, except by an entire new coat; while stained wood without paint can be easily re-stored in case of accident, or a new spot of stain and varnish can be polished down with fine sand-paper, and be treated as cabinet-makers treat old furniture. Any kind of varnish will do to mix with the bronze powder, and you may put any kind of varnish over it, provided it is not dark. Bronze powder can be obtained in most large paint stores. We do not know where it is the cheapest, as we never used it in such large quantities as to make it an object to find this out.