I bought an old house that is finished in an arts and crafts style. All
of the woodwork has a interesting stain on it that the previous owner
described to me as "applejack". Apparently it was a popular color back
in the day, but I sure can't find it now. She had told me that you can
make it by mixing some other modern stains together. Does anyone know
how to create this color?
It is a dark stain that I would describe as very dark purplish brown.
The thing we started to love about it is that in areas of wear (around
doorknobs and stair railings for example), the purple nature of the
stain really shows up and gives the house some nice character.
Duplicating it may be difficult, especially the wear feature. Different
wood will take a stain different and any new wood with new stain is not
going to match any old wood-stain.
I suggest you shop around at some of the old paint stores or hardware
stores in your area. With luck one of them will have the old master who
remembers the formula. Next best is someone who knows the art and can do a
good job of matching the old stain. Neither is likely to be a perfect
match, but they may be good.
The purple color sounds a bit like an old formula that results
from vinegar with nails thrown in. Let the vinegar (acid) eat the
nails, several weeks.
As with any stain work, try on scrap of the same species.
Report back if this seems to give you what you are looking for.
Keep the whole world singing . . . .
DanG (remove the sevens)
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