Oak In Oil

Vandyke brown and raw sienna for dark oak, or finely-ground burnt umber and raw sienna for a lighter tint, mixed with equal parts of turpentine and linseed oil. Add patent driers. Lay this colour on thinly and evenly with a large brush; it does not dry very rapidly. Care must be taken not to lay on too much colour, or it is liable to have a dirty appearance. Stipple with a dry dusting brush, so as to distribute the colour evenly over the work. As in real oak it is invariably found that one side of a slab is coarser than the other, this peculiarity of pattern must be imitated in the combing process. Take a cross-cut gutta-percha comb, and draw it down one side of the panel; use a finer comb to complete it. This operation produces straight lines of the grain from top to bottom. Next take a fine steel comb, and go over all the previous combing; in drawing the comb down, give it a short, quick, wavy motion, or move it diagonally across the first lines, thus imitating the pores of the real wood. Cork combs may also be used, and some grainers use a coarse steel comb, with a fold of thin rag placed over the teeth. By a skilful combination of the combs, and a tasteful variation in their use, the different kinds of oak may be most successfully imitated.

In graining joints of the various portions of a piece of work, it must be remembered that in the real wood some of the grain would necessarily have a perpendicular direction, and another part would run horizontally, and that one part would appear lighter than another, owing to the different angles in which it would receive the rays of light. After combing, the figure or veining must be wiped out before the colour is dry. Hold several thicknesses of fine rag, or a piece of clean wash-leather over the thumb nail, wipe down a few veins, then move the rag or leather slightly, so as to present a clean surface for the next wipe. A piece of thin gutta-percha, softened in warm water, and pressed to the shape of the thumb, may be used to preserve the nail, but cannot be relied on to remove the colour so cleanly as the nail covered with rag or leather; it is useful for common work, as it protects the nail from injury and wear. After having wiped the figures, they must be softened in appearance by still further wiping the grain away from their edges with a small roll of clean rag, so as to imitate the appearance of the wood, where the grain is always darker than the parts next to it.

When the oil colour is dry it must be overgrained.

Oak In Spirit Colour

This is less durable than oak graining in oil, and is not therefore so much used for outside work, but it does not require so long a time in its working, as it dries rapidly.

For the graining colour, rub up whiting in turpentine, add enough burnt umber and raw sienna, dilute with turps, a little boiled oil, and gold size. Strain carefully, and it is ready for use. In laying this on, cover only a small part of the work at a time before combing, as it dries very quickly, and be careful to spread it evenly and thinly over the work. The combs used are made of steel, horn, or leather. After combing the veins and removing any superfluous . graining colour from corners or small parts of the work, let it stand for a short time. The flower of the wood has next to be imitated, by removing some portions of the graining colour with a small veining fitch. The spirit graining colour when used for this purpose must have a little turpentine added to it; apply with the fitch where the flower is required, then rub the places quickly with a piece of old flannel, which will remove the graining colour and show the light ground underneath. The light veins and half-lights are also obtained by similar means, either removing the graining colour or merely smudging it aside over the veins.

The overgraining is performed in the manner described for the oak graining in oil.

Pollard Oak In Distemper

The ground is a mixture of vermilion, chrome yellow, and white-lead, to a rich buff. The graining -colours are Vandyke brown, a little raw and burnt sienna and lake, ground in ale. Fill a large tool, lay on an even coat, and soften with the badger-hair brush. Take a moistened sponge and dapple round and round in circles, then soften lightly, and draw a softener from one set of circles to the other while wet, to form a number of grains; finish the knots with a hair pencil. When dry, put the top grain on in a variety of directions, and then a coat of turpentine and gold size mixed. When this is dry, glaze with Vandyke brown mixed in beer.

Pollard Oak In Oil

Ground, the same as for pollard oak in distemper. Graining colours, equal portions of Vandyke brown and raw sienna, ground separately in boiled oil very stiff; mix them together, and thin the whole with spirit of turpentine. With a large brush lay on a thin coat, and, while wet, take the flat graining brush dipped in the colour, and dapple in various directions; then dip the brush into burnt umber thinned with spirit of turpentine, and form the knots. When the colours are set, dip a flat brush into a thin glaze of burnt umber, and put the grain on in a curly direction. Have enough oil in the colours to bind them, and finish only a small part of the surface at once, in order to keep it moist. For making the knots a cork should be held on to a patch of the dark colour, and twisted round between the thumb and finger. The heart of the wood should be taken out with a graining fitch.


Ground: chrome yellow, vermilion, and white-lead. For the graining colour, grind ivory black and burnt sienna very fine; mix, and lay on; then soften. When dry, put on the top grain in a curly figure, with a small graining brush well filled with ivory black. Shade up the knots with a camel-hair brush, and finish with a glaze of rose-pink.

Satin Wood

(A) Graining Colour

Equal parts of raw umber and raw sienna, a little whiting and burnt sienna, all ground in ale. Colour evenly, and soften; then mottle and feather same as for mahogany. Soften, and allow to dry; overgrain with the same colour.

(6) Grind raw sienna and whiting in ale very thin, and colour the surface. Soften whilst wet, and take out the lights with a mottling brush; when dry, overgrain with the same colour applied with a flat brush.


Ground, reddish yellow. For graining colour, grind equal parts of Vandyke brown and burnt sienna in ale, with a little raw sienna. Lay thi3 colour on evenly when the ground is dry, and soften. Cut a piece of cork to a tolerably sharp edge, rub it across the work, and soften the same way as the grain, as in curled maple. When dry, dab the work over with the graining colour on the tips of the fingers to form the knots; shade them underneath with a camel-hair brush. When dry, overgrain.