Manufacturer and builder 12, 1872
The old way of darkening pale mahogany is to cover it with a wash of lime water, or milk of lime. This method is, however, open to the objection that some pores will become filled up with solid lime, and show, afterwards, white lines and white points, very difficult to remove. Other alkalies, like potash and soda, are not open to this objection, and will darken some kinds of wood more or less; a solution of bichromate of potash, in water, will also darken wood, but when the wood contains tannic or gallic acid, it will be blackened more or less. The best method is, perhaps, simply a stain made of a decoction of logwood in water, a tincture of dragon'sblood in alcohol, alkanet root in turpentine or oil; we often have used, with great success, burnt sienna, or Van Dyke brown, finely ground in linseed oil, and rubbed in with a flannel; the sienna gives a richer red-brown, the Van Dyke brown a darker brown. The latter method may be used to stain any kind of wood, and is in many cases preferable over stains put on by watery decoctions of dyewoods.