Walnut husk stain – chapter 2
The Walnuts (in their husks) soaked in the household ammonia for eight days. The Walnuts turned very black. The ammonia fluid was about the same color as Guinness Stout, so it was time for a test.
I picked four samples from the scrap box; White Oak, Red Oak, Walnut and Cherry. I applied a liberal coat of the fluid and allowed it to dry. Later I applied a second coat at the right side of each sample. There was little, if any, difference in color when the second coat was applied.
The color on the White Oak is very similar to that of many Craftsman pieces. This should come as no surprise, as many pieces in that style were fumed with ammonia. The stain turned the Red Oak sample a very attractive reddish brown. On Walnut, the stain deepens the color and might be used to “balance” stock that is “streaky”. The color on the Cherry sample was a very nice warm brown.
After the stain had dried, I “slapped on” (with little or no attention paid to technique) a coat of Garnet Shellac, just to see what it would look like.
I believe that the colors created by the Walnut Husk stain are very similar to those produced by the application of dilute potassium permangenate (commonly available in crystalline form at hardware stores and plumbing supply houses for use in water filtration equipment). Care should be taken when using chemical dyes as they are, at least, an irritant and can be dangerous (skin contact and inhalation). Do your reading.
Well, I think I’ll put a fresh batch of Walnuts back in the jar to see if I can actually manage to darken the stain a little. To see what “Van Dyck” Walnut stain (commercially available crystalline dye made from Walnuts) looks like on Elm, take a look at the Irish Elm Dressing Table on Mr. Jack Plane’s blog, Pegs and Tails.
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