VARNISHING JAPAN WORK.
Varnishing is the last and the finishing process in japanning. It consists in (1) applying, and (2) polishing the outer coats of varnish, which are equally necessary whether the plain japan ground be painted on or not. This is best done in a general way with common seed-lac varnish, except on those occasions where other methods have been shown to be more expedient, and the same reasons, which decide as to the propriety of using the different varnishes as regards the colours of the ground, hold equally with those of the painting, for where brightness is a material point and a tinge of yellow would injure it, seed-lac must give way to the whiter resins; but where hardness and tenacity are essential it must be adhered to, and where both are necessary a mixed varnish must be used. This mixed varnish should be made from the picked seed-lac as directed in the case of the white japan grounds. The common seed-lac varnish may be made thus: Take 1-1/2 lb. of seed-lac and wash it well in several waters, then dry it and powder it coarsely and put it with a gallon of methylated spirits into a Bohemian glass flask so that it be not more than two-thirds full. Shake the mixture well together and place the flask in a gentle heat till the seed-lac appears to be dissolved, the shaking being in the meantime repeated as often as may be convenient; then pour off all the clear and strain the remainder through a coarse cloth. The varnish so prepared must be kept for use in a well-corked glass vessel. The whiter seed-lac varnishes are used in the same