Mixing Mordants or Quantity Adjustments?

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Forum topic by Francis Coppage posted 03-23-2011 01:34 AM 1105 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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Francis Coppage

13 posts in 3779 days

03-23-2011 01:34 AM

Topic tags/keywords: mordant stain finishing 18th century question victorian

I’m looking at a 9 year old article in FWW (SEP/OCT 2002) by David Salisbury, a Colonial Williamsburg cabinetmaker, about “A Versatile 18th-century stain.” I have an early 1700’s ‘Corner Chair’ that a friend has asked me to restore (It was her great-grandmothers.) The article gives a couple Recipes for Red or Black. The recipes call for brazilwood extract for the stain and alum or copperas for the mordant. What I want is more of a “Dirty Red.”

Ok … you knew I’d get around ‘TUIT’.

So … Do I weaken the black (copperas) mordant or should I mix … say … an 90/10 mixture of alum/copperas.

Or … Is this a NO-NO … mixing mordants … as in an IED!

The actual color I’m looking for is a wee bit darker than his ‘finished’ example … Maybe even some sploches. G

Francis Coppage – Edwardsville, IL
“Junk is something you’ve kept for years and throw away three weeks before you need it.”

-- "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." ... Albert Einstein

1 reply so far

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3742 days

#1 posted 03-23-2011 01:47 AM

The mordant has to react to the stain chemical. Won’t work if you mix them. Best bet is to experiment on pieces of the same species of wood. Write down the mixtures that you use, so you do find the perfect color, then not remember how you got there.

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