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There are a couple ways to go about this. First of all some people would have you believe that this can only be accomplished by some soooper secret method, not true! Anybody with mild wood refinishing skills can accomplish it, but they need to take their time!

For you Chemical Engineer types out there......

The Varnish formula is as follows:
Russian Gun Stock Varnish


Spar Varnish 98.920
Bayer Macrlolex Yellow 6G 0.800
Finos Red 693 0.125
Finos Blue 1402 0.155

Heat to 150-180F for 2 hours. Shake or shear contents for 10 minutes. Filter when cooled to room temp through 100 micron bag.

This isn't too much help for those of us who are not Chemical Engineers, or access to a full chemical lab. There is however another way for the common man to accomplish this feat. Here is an example of what can be done with some simple products and some time

For the Homebrew types........

Required materails
Rit Dye
#42 Golden Yellow
#25 Dark Brown
#16 Tan
#5 Scarlet
Isopropyl Alcohol
Yellow Varnish
0000 Steel Wool
mixing cups
cheese cloth(I have used coffee filters also)

Start off by putting a few teaspoons of the yellow dye in the filter materail, then pour a cup of alcohol thru it. The reason is we want the color, but not the salts. After it has filtered thru once then pour it thru again and again until you have a bright yellow mixture. (Side note: if you wanted to duplicate the light Chinese wood finish you would stop here) Now get another filter this time do this with the scarlet. Then depending on the "brown hue" you want either the the tan or the dark brown. (you won't need much of this mixture).

Now, slowly add some red to the yellow making an orangish (Iodine) colored mixture. Find a piece or a spot of the wood that is not so noticable, and "stain it" using some of your rag materail. Adjust color to suit mixing in more red, yellow, brown, etc.

I usually put on about 3 coats of this lightly buffing in between with 0000 steel wool. Next with your wood "tinted" Open your Yellow Varnish. DO NOT SHAKE!!!!!, this will cause bubbles in your finish. Slowly stir with a wooded stick. Using a brush to apply. Apply light coats, again AFTER each coat has had time to dry lightly buff with 0000 steel wool. I do not buff after the final coat as you want very light brush marks to remain.
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