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Historic usage of dyes vs pigments in shellac?

Posted: Thu Dec 10, 2020 10:21 am
by void7910
Hello all,

I am trying to match some trim I have reclaimed from a house built in the early 1900s (I think) here in Ontario. I know it's shellac because it wipes off really easily with some alcohol. It's definitely orange or garnet type of shellac based on the orange tones. The interesting bit is that there is also brown tones _in_ the shellac. I stripped about 5" or so off one piece of window casing that was too small for my use and the shellac that wiped off on the paper towel and dried was brown in colour, the wood looks natural. If I dry my 3lb cut garnet shellac on a paper towel it is distinctly orange-ish. I've been reading you can both tint shellac with dye or use pigments. My question to everyone here is this; for a house built in the early 1900s give or take a couple decades, would it have been more common to use pigments vs dyes? I am not even sure if alcohol based dyes would have existed then. Any other ways you all can think of to colour up the shellac?

Thanks in advance!