This section is from the book "A Treatise On Architecture And Building Construction Vol4: Plumbing And Gas-Fitting, Heating And Ventilation, Painting And Decorating, Estimating And Calculating Quantities", by The Colliery Engineer Co. Also available from Amazon: A Treatise On Architecture And Building Construction.
Walnut. The ground for walnut is mixed of Venetian red, yellow ocher, and a small quantity of burnt umber with white lead; the work is then to be cissed in with whiting and water. The graining color is Vandyke brown, mixed with water; to be rubbed in with a tool and mottler, then mottled in the manner described in the first process for maple, and afterwards well softened. When the color is quite dry, take a sponge dipped in beer, and wet the whole surface thoroughly. When this is dry, commence the over-graining. The color for this process is Vandyke brown and drop black, mixed with beer.
With a light tint of this mixture, just sufficient to show, and a hog's-hair overgrainer, sketch the general design of the grain and soften, when dry, with the same tools, the overgrainer being divided with a comb. With a darker shade of the same color, work up the graining to the required design, softening continually during work. After this, a good effect may be produced by dabbing the work with a damp piece of coarse sponge, then softening upwards, or in the direction taken by the grain. In superior work, varnish must be added. When dry, the whole is to be washed over with Vandyke brown, or burnt sienna and water, then mottled and well softened, and after this treatment varnished again.
Quartered Oak. The ground for quartered oak is yellow ocher and white lead, or Venetian red, yellow ocher, and white lead. The graining color is a mixture of turpentine, linseed oil, patent driers, and raw or burnt umber with black, according as the oak is required to be light or dark. The work is to be well rubbed in, even and clear; then with a gutta-percha comb pass over the parts required to be veined; and with a steel comb repeat the process with a wavy motion.
Next wrap a piece of soft rag over the thumb, or over the veining horn, and wipe out the light markings, taking care that no dark edges are left where the color is wiped away-a result achieved, by moving the doth over the thumb so as to secure a clean piece for each stroke. The overgraining is now to be commenced by damping the work well with a sponge dipped in fuller's earth, pipe clay, or whiting and water. The color to be then used is Vandyke brown, mixed with water and applied with a broad hog's-hair overgrainer, to be drawn straight down the figured work. On the stiles, etc. of doors, a mottler may be used to darken certain parts; after which the whole is well softened and subsequently varnished.
Rosewood. There is so great a variety of form and color of this most elegant wood, that it is almost impossible to find two specimens alike. This renders it all the more necessary that our counsel, to obtain various specimens of veneers, should be followed, that the general character of the curl may become thoroughly impressed on the mind. The student will, by this means, form his style upon the variety in nature, and, thus, more likely produce varied and truthful representations than if trusting to his own fancy to design the wood.
The ground is prepared with vermilion lake, and flake white, mixed in a rosy tint, partaking more of the pink than scarlet. When the ground is quite dry and smooth, take Vandyke brown, nearly opaque, and with a small tool spread the color in various directions over the ground. Then, with another dry tool, beat the color, while wet, against the grain -that is, in the opposite direction to that in which it was laid on. Before the color is dry, take a piece of wash leather, spread over the veining horn, and with great freedom take out the lighter veins; have ready the darkest tint of Vandyke brown, and with as able pencil, give free and strong touches under the parts, taken out with the leather, and in other parts where required; blend off the whole with a badger softener, and varnish when dry. Another method which will produce a finish of a more brilliant character is the following: The ground is composed of vermilion, lake, and white, which must be allowed to become uniformly dry before the work is proceeded with. The graining color is formed of Vandyke brown and rose pink, ground very finely in beer; this is laid on with a common tool, but not too thickly; then, taking a common quill, draw the feather in various directions over the wet color, giving the hand a tremulous motion in parts where it is desired to give a wavy appearance to the grain. Then take out the small, bright lights with the wash leather, or cloth, and afterwards blend the whole with the softener. When this is dry, which requires but a few minutes, give very dark touches under the light parts with Vandyke brown and rose pink, nearly opaque-the whole to be well varnished when dry.
In a third method of graining for rosewood, the ground is chrome yellow, vermilion, and white lead. The graining color is composed of ivory black with burnt sienna ground very fine, the whole being well softened after laying on. When dry, overgrain in a curly figure with a small graining brush and ivory black; shade up the knots with a camel's-hair brush, and finally glaze.