Green japan grounds are produced by mixing Prussian blue or distilled verdigris with orpiment, and the effect is said to be extremely brilliant by applying them on a ground of leaf gold. Any of them may be used with good seed-lac varnish, for reasons already given. Equal parts by weight of rosin, precipitated rosinate of copper, and coal-tar solvent naphtha will give a varnish which, when suitably thinned and the coats stoved at a heat below 212 deg. F., will give a green japan second to none as a finishing coat as regards purity of tone at least. To harden it and render it more elastic half of the rosin might be replaced by equal weights of a copal soluble in solvent naphtha and boiled linseed oil, so that the mixture would stand thus: rosinate of copper 1 lb., rosin 1/2 lb., boiled oil 1/4 lb., hard resin (copal) 1/4 lb., solvent naphtha 1 lb. When heated to a high temperature this rosinate of copper varnish yields a magnificent ruby bronze coloration, especially on glass. Verdigris dissolves in turpentine, and successful attempts might be made to make a green japan varnish from it on the lines indicated for rosinate of copper.
Orange-coloured grounds may be formed by mixing vermilion or red lead with King’s yellow, or orange lake or red orpiment (? realgar) will make a brighter orange ground than can be produced by any mixture.
Purple grounds may be produced by the admixture of lake or vermilion with Prussian blue. They may be treated as the other coloured grounds as regards the varnish vehicle.
Black grounds may be formed either from lamp black or ivory black, but ivory black is preferable to lamp black, and possibly carbon black or gas black to either. These may be always applied with the shellac varnish as a vehicle, and their upper or polishing coats may consist of common seed-lac varnish. But the best quality of ivory black ground in the best super black japan yields, after suitable stoving, a very excellent black indeed, the purity of tone of which may be improved by adding a little blue in the grinding.
Common black japan grounds on metal by means of heat are procured in the following manner: The surface to be japanned must be coated over with drying oil, and when it is moderately dry must be put into a stove of such heat as will change the oil black without burning it. The stove should not be too hot when the oil is put into it nor the heat increased too fast, either which error would make it blister, but the slower the heat is increased and the longer it is continued, provided it be restrained within a due degree, the harder will be the coat of japan. This kind of japan requires no polish, having received from the heat, when properly regulated, a sufficiently bright surface.