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.
Stenciled Inlay. Having prepared the stencil, thoroughly clean the panel by wiping it with wash leather to remove any grease, etc. from contact with the distemper now to be used. The panels should have been previously varnished. If the inlay is to imitate walnut, take equal parts of Vandyke brown, burnt sienna, and a sufficient quantity of lake to impart warmth of color. These must be ground in water, and used with sufficient stale beer to render the color workable. Coat the panel entirely, and with a hog's-hair mottler vary the tints by taking out some portion before it dries, softening the whole with a badger-hair brush. When thoroughly dry, the panel is ready for the stencil.
The center of the panel and the margin may be marked out in chalk, lines being struck in the ordinary manner by holding a piece of twine or strong cotton, on which chalk has been previously rubbed, from the marked points, then snapping the line by pulling it from the surface of the panel, it will leave its impress on the work.
This method is better than lining with the straightedge.
The pattern should next be stenciled on with Japan gold size, slightly reduced with turpentine, taking care to use it as sparingly as possible to prevent spreading or the formation of a ragged edge on the design. Having, in this manner, stenciled the top, bottom, and center scrolls, they should be connected by drawing the lines in the same medium, using for the purpose an angle fitch and the straightedge. In about an hour the panel will be ready to bear washing off, which should be done with a soft sponge, carefully removing the whole of the distemper and drying the panel with a chamois leather, leaving the pattern as defined by the gold size.
This is usually sufficient for all ordinary purposes, but an additional effect is imparted by penciling around the scroll with a cream color tint, as shown in Fig. 30. This latter, it. will be noticed, effectually removes the necessity of taking out ties, uniting the parts as in a real inlay. Tulip wood may be represented between this line and the molding, by-using damp lake (with beer as heretofore) and carefully cutting into the line with Japan gold size, washing off the surplus color when the size is quite hard. The moldings, architraves, etc. may be darkened with the walnut color to correspond with the panels.
Where more than one kind of wood is to be imitated, it is necessary to omit the gold size on those parts where the different imitations are required. After washing off the size, coat the parts with water color of the proper tint and proceed as before, repeating the process with every fresh color. In this way, tulip, walnut, mahogany, pollard oak, cedar, rose, cherry, or, in fact, the required imitation of any wood, may be introduced at the designer's discretion.
The greatest care must be taken in the process of imitating inlaid decoration, that the varnish be thoroughly hardened on the grained surface before any attempt is made to coat the work with the distemper colors. The least tackiness in the varnish will arrest the progress of the operation, as the dark pigments used for the representation of walnut, etc. would inevitably make an ugly stain, removable only by the exercise of a large amount of care and patience. An interval of at least two or three days in dry summer weather, and of a week in the humid atmospheric conditions peculiar to winter, should be allowed between the varnishing of the grained panels and the addition of the decorations. If time permits a second coat of varnish, let the work by all means receive it, before beginning the inlaying operations.