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Title: Graining and Marbling - A Series of Practical Treatises on Material, Tools and Appliances Used;
Author: Maire, Frederick
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                       (etext transcriber's note)

                              GRAINING AND

                    A Series of Practical Treatises


                     THE USE OF CRAYONS; REVIEW OF
                             IN ALL SHADES.

             Each Treatise is followed with Test Questions
                            for the Student

                              By F. MAIRE

                Author of "Modern Painter's Cyclopedia"
         "Exterior Painting," "Interior Painting" and "Colors."


                        [Illustration: colophon]

                      Frederick J. Drake & Company

                             COPYRIGHT 1910
                           FREDERICK J. DRAKE


This is the 4th Volume of the Red series manuals. It covers a field
which usually is or rather was made a separate branch of the painting
business. It has become of less importance however since the white pine
finishing of interiors has been replaced by that of hardwood. It is used
to a great extent nevertheless and while there is less demand for the
skill displayed by masters of the art of graining as existed in the
past, a good general workman is incomplete that cannot do a fair to good
job of graining today and all such should be able to do that much. A
journeyman who is able to turn his hand at graining or marbling will
usually be kept on the pay roll of the shop much longer than the man who
can do nothing but ordinary brushwork. Marbling has been associated with
graining because there is some few things that are in common between
the two; the grainer is better equipped for the doing of marbling
properly than painters who are not grainers--to say the least.




1. It has been the custom of the author in the past to give a synopsis
as it were of the manner in which the subject matter is to be treated at
the beginning of each of the volumes of the red series and as he sees no
reason in departing from the rule and on the contrary, very many good
ones for a continuation of the custom, below will be found a few
outlines of how the subject matter will be handled.

_First._ The tools and material required for the prosecution of the work
of graining and marbling. Neither the tools nor the materials needed are
very numerous, complicated nor costly.

_Second._ The preparing of various surfaces for graining in oil or water

_Third._ The preparing of material for the graining of various woods in
oil and water colors and the painting of the ground.

_Fourth._ The graining of the various woods in oil and water colors,
which includes the over-graining, stippling or glazing required to bring
the work to completion ready for varnishing.

_Fifth._ The varnishing and other methods required for the protection of
the graining.

_Sixth._ The above outlines will also suffice for the marbling section
of the manual.

Unlike general directions which can be given as to the painting of
surfaces of wood, iron or brick, each of the various woods will have to
be treated separately. These are a few operations which are common to
all kinds of grainings--these will be given in full before proceeding to
their special applications, suited to the various woods, as then the
student will be more familiar with what is meant by this preliminary
study of the methods used in doing "wiping" for instance or "veining" in
heart growths with a brush, etc.

_Seventh._ The varnishing is an important part of graining, which can be
done in various ways to suit the kind of graining done. In this regard
general directions will be given, but the kind of varnish to be used
must be such as will best agree with the character of the material used
in doing the graining so as to get good results from it.



2. The material used in graining is not numerous. The principal, as may
well be supposed, is white lead to be used as a base upon which to
prepare the ground tints upon which to grain.

3. The necessary colors to produce the tints required, which are:
Venetian red; French ochre; raw and burnt umber; raw and burnt siennas
and lamp black--all ground in oil.

4. For the preparing of graining colors all the above colors ground in
oil are used with the exception of ochre, Venetian red and lamp black,
and the following additional ones which are more transparent: Ivory
black and Vandyke brown. Of course this applies to the preparation of
colors for "graining in oil." To the above should be added ground
whiting in oil, but this can be prepared from dry whiting in the shop as
it is not usually sold in that shape.

5. For graining in water colors, all the above named colors are used,
but ground in water or distemper and all grainers should have a supply
of raw and burnt umber and siennas, Vandyke brown and Ivory black ground
in that medium. Some few grainers prefer to buy the dry ground colors
and to use them from the dry state.

6. Beeswax is also used in preparing graining colors used in oil
graining. Rotten stone is useful in preparing the oil graining colors,
and while not indispensable, it will be well to use it as it helps to
make the "_megilp_"--the technical name which is given by the old
English grainers to such oil graining combinations--work better and comb

7. For thinners: Raw linseed oil, boiled linseed oil, turpentine, drying
japan. Stale beer or vinegar for thinning distemper colors. Glycerine to
be used with the above in order to retard the drying of the color too
quickly at times.

8. All the colors named above are also used in marbling, with a few
additional ones such as Indian reds, Prussian blue, chrome yellows. In
fact any others which may come near to imitating some particular tone in
any marble specimen one may wish to imitate.

9. In giving out the above lists, no description is given of the several
colors mentioned for the reason that the student will find all these
colors sufficiently well described in Vol. III of the red series, which
he should procure; "Colors, what they are and what to expect from them,"
as it is entitled, will give him the necessary information more fully
than would be possible in this manual.


2. What is said about the material used in graining and of the base?

3. What colors ground in oil are required for preparing of tints for

4. What other colors ground in oil are required for preparing "graining
colors in oil?"

5. What are the colors that are needed in graining in water colors?

6. What other material is useful in grainings?

7. What are the thinners used in graining in oil or distemper?

8. What additional material is useful for marbling?

9. What is said about obtaining fuller descriptions of material?



10. _Brushes._ The brushes required for the laying on of the "ground
colors" are the same as would be used for similar work in interior
painting. A good oval 6-0 varnish makes a fine tool for the purpose.
Some prefer the flat brush for laying on color; any good 3-inch flat
brush that will lay color smoothly.

11. For "_rubbing_" in the graining colors in oil some use half
worn-out, flat brushes--others again prefer the round or oval, and again
some rubbers-in use a brush that has been well broke in but not worn
much. It is largely a question of habit. If the "megilp" is just right,
the rubber-in can take almost any kind of a brush and rub out well with
it, but the advice of using an old worn-out brush which is seen in some
of the old-time books on graining should not be followed too implicitly.
A half-worn brush will probably suit more "rubbers-in" than any other
extremes. None of the above need illustrating as these brushes are in
constant use in all paint shops. Besides a number of kinds are shown in
Vols. I and II of the red series.

[Illustration: FIG. 1]

[Illustration: FIG. 2]

12. _Walnut stipplers._ This tool is a thin, flat, long bristle brush
and Fig. 1 shows it to perfection. They run in width from 2½ inches up
to 4 inches. They are indispensable in graining such woods as black
walnut and others which show up a large number of coarse pores. It is
also known under the name of _flogger_, the latter seemingly the more
appropriate of the two.

13. The "Badger blender" is an indispensable tool used in _all_
distemper graining to a greater or lesser extent. It is also used in
marbling. Fig. 2 shows it. This is the best shape for it; it is set in
glue and has a bone head; the old form of it is also shown in A of Fig.

[Illustration: FIG. 3]

14. The "_fan overgrainer_" is a brush that cannot be dispensed with.
Every kit should have several sizes of them. Fig. 4 illustrates it well.
They run in sizes from 1 inch wide by half inches upward to 3½ inches.
Some grainers prefer to make them themselves, but little is gained
thereby. They usually have to have some of their bristles cut away to
suit the different purposes they are needed for. They can be clipped off
with scissors much quicker than the making of one out and out. They are
so cheap that one's time cannot be profitably employed in making a fan

[Illustration: FIG. 4]

[Illustration: FIG. 5]

15. In Fig 5 are shown a few mottlers and in Fig 4, also under letters
B, C, E, K, H and M, each varying in forms so as to meet the various
uses to which mottlers are adapted and to suit the various ideas of the

16. A few camel pencils of various sizes, flat and sharp pointed for
veining completes the list of brushes specially used for graining and
marbling, to which must be added also the varnish brushes to put on the
finishing varnish coats. These may be any of the numerous bristle
varnish brushes fully described in Vols. I and II. It is a matter of
choice and convenience, no special shape or build being necessary for


10. What kind of brushes are required for the laying on of ground

11. What brushes are used for "rubbing in" graining colors in oil?

12. What is a stippler or flogger?

13. What are the badger hair blenders used for?

14. What are fan overgrainers?

15. What are mottlers?

16. What other brushes are useful in graining and marbling?



17. The mechanical aids to graining are quite numerous and some are
valuable. For the graining of many kinds of woods the devices which are
shown below will finish the work completely, and in the graining of
others will partially do the work, which may afterward be improved by
hand work in the finishing. It is _not claimed_ for these tools that
they will do as good work nor as varied _as can be done_ by hand, but
that in the hands of one who is used to the proper handling of them they
will do _better work_ than the average hurried up hand work that is
usually seen, and which has probably had no small share in disgusting
people with graining.

[Illustration: FIG. 6]

18. Fig. 6 shows the three Davis rollers made of rubber. One is used in
the wiping out of heart growths; another for the wiping out of champs in
quartered oak and other woods, which when quartered present the same
peculiarities. The last has three graded sets of indentations and are
used as combs for any kind of combing where rubber combs are used.

In this lesson it is not the purpose to explain the use of the tools
enumerated; this will come under its proper heading when the _modus
operandi_ of graining, both by hand and by the use of other helping
tools will be fully detailed.

[Illustration: FIG. 7]

19. Fig. 7 shows another rubber device, patented by the Ridgely Trimmer
Co. The corrugations, as will be seen, are in halves and are made so
that by proper pressure upon the handles curves them, enabling the
operator to follow indentations, and which also produces many variations
upon plain surfaces.

[Illustration: FIG. 8]

[Illustration: FIG. 9]

20. Figs. 8 and 9 are handled corrugated quarter-round rubber grainers.
These are especially handy in graining floors, also in getting into
corners where the others cannot readily be made to fit up to the
jointing of the two corners. These are also made by the above-named
firm; as well as the following:

[Illustration: FIG. 10]

21. Fig. 10 shows a rubber graining comb with graduated sized teeth,
which is frequently desirable as the work shows a more natural lessening
of the width of the veining from the heart outward.

22. Fig. 11 shows graduated widths steel combs in three sizes of teeth,
fine, medium and coarse. These are used in plain oak combings, etc.

[Illustration: FIG. 11]

23_a_. An artificial rubber thumb made from a piece of rubber about ½ an
inch wide at the end, which is then bevelled to a sharp edge, and is
frequently used by men who have never been able to use their natural
thumb in wiping out.

23_b_. The check roller shown in Fig. 12 is a series of notched metal
disks which are joined together. The projecting parts of the disks are
brushed over with distemper color and the roller revolved over such
parts of the work where the operator desires to show weather checks,
which are so often seen in oak.

[Illustration: FIG. 12]

24. Last but not least, an abundant supply of soft cotton rags to use in
connection with wiping out and in cleaning up tools.


17. General remarks on tools used in graining.

18. What are rubber graining rollers used for in graining?

19. What is represented by Fig. 6?

20. What is represented by Fig. 7?

21. What do Figs. 8 and 9 represent?

22. What is represented by Fig. 10?

23_a_. What is said of the steel combs, Fig. 11?

23_b_. What is the check roller used for, Fig. 12?

24. What is an artificial rubber thumb?

25. What is said about the use of rags?



26. Graining, as it has been hinted at already, has many operations
which are common to the many kinds of wood imitated, the variations
being the result of the difference in their application. Therefore it is
well to give a general description of these, so that there will be no
need of repeating them each time that the particular graining of
different woods is presented. All that will be necessary will be to
refer to the general directions given here.

27. The first operation for all kinds of graining is the painting of the
_grounds_. In order that the superstructure should be lasting, the
foundation must be good and appropriate to the character of the work
being done or else trouble in the shape of cracking will be pretty sure
to follow. If the woodwork is new and has not been painted before, it
will be easy enough to lay this foundation rightly.

28. The wood should be well primed with raw linseed oil and white lead
after the covering over with shellac varnish of all resinous and sappy
parts in order to stop their coming through the paint coats. The second
coat should be made from white lead colored up to something near the
color of the finishing tint desired for the ground. This should be
thinned with half raw linseed oil and half turpentine; it should be put
on middling heavy after having first gone over the nail holes, cracks,
loose joints, etc., with putty. The last coat should be put on stout,
but well rubbed out and should be mixed from white lead tinted to the
exact shade wanted for the graining ground. It should be thinned with
one-fourth raw linseed oil and three-fourths turpentine. In cold weather
or damp, non-drying weather it may be well to add just a trifle of
drying japan, in order to insure the good drying of the several coats of
paint, and it will be hardly needed to add that no coat of paint shall
be placed upon the other until the former one has completed its drying.
Three coats usually suffice to give a good, solid ground for graining.

29. As much of the graining done is over old painted work, there is
always an element of uncertainty as to the results. If the woodwork has
been painted only a few times, it will be easy enough to bring it to a
good finish by the application of two good coats of ground color, where
turpentine predominates, so that it will not be too glossy. If the
woodwork has been painted a great number of times it will be useless to
try to paint grounds over it, as then it will be apt to blister. It will
be better to burn it off or get it off by using some of the paint
removers, after which the painting of the ground may proceed as directed
for new woodwork.

30. It also happens that graining is resorted to in order to hide the
dark effect produced on cheap varnishes by age in the natural finish
used over yellow pine, etc. It will be much safer to remove it with
varnish remover, if many coats have been applied over it, which is
usually the case. If it has only had three or four coats, the woodwork
should be gone over thoroughly to remove as much of it as possible with
steel wool, and afterward two good coats of ground color given it. The
first one should be a trifle thinner than would be given over old
painted work.

31. There is a rule for the proper tinting of ground which will always
give good results if followed up carefully. It is this: No matter what
wood one tries to imitate, either in its natural finish tone or in an
imitation of one which has been stained to an unnatural color, always
have the ground tint: _as light as the lightest part of the wood which
shows through_. This will be the right tint for the graining of that

32. It is refreshing sometimes to hear the discussions that take place
among grainers as to the proper ground tints for various woods. No cut
and dried rule can be given. The one given in paragraph 31 is as good or
better than any. There is so much variation in the natural specimens
themselves that no one nor two near-by tints would fill the bill. For
this reason no ground tints will be shown in this manual. Under the
several woods will be given the general tone of the ground by name only,
as, for instance, the general ground tone for graining oak is a light
buff, varying from a cream to a decided buff, according to the finished
effect wanted.


26. What is said of the general operations by which graining is done?

27. What preparations are necessary for the painting of grounds?

28. How is new wood to be grounded?

29. How is old painted work to be grounded?

30. How is old varnished work to be treated for grounding?

31. What is the general rule to be followed in preparing the ground work
for any given wood?

32. What else is said regarding tinting the ground colors?



33. Again here is another one of the many operations necessary for
graining upon which grainers are very far from being unanimous as to the
proper way that it should be done. It will be best to note what is
expected of a graining color, and afterwards to prepare them according
to these requirements, irrespective of any cut and dried formulas, as
when these requirements are complied with it does not matter so very
much about the material that is used in doing so. It will be well to say
that these graining colors are best known to old time English grainers
under the name of "_megilp_," in order that there may be no
misunderstanding as to the kind of graining color that is meant.

34. A good "megilp," or graining color, should possess the following

1st. It should be clear toned without muddiness.

2d. It should be very transparent.

3d. It should be heavy enough to brush out well, so that it may be
combed and its edges remain clean cut without running.

35. The first requisite of "clearness and richness" in the umbers,
siennas, ivory blacks and Vandyke browns ground in oil, which are used
to prepare the megilp, is not so very difficult to obtain when the goods
of well-known color firms are employed, but the second requisite, while
it belongs to a stronger or lesser degree to all the colors enumerated,
is far short of that which is required in a graining color.

36. To obtain the proper degree of thinness required, all the above
colors would have to be thinned with linseed oil and turpentine far
beyond that consistency which it is required to carry in order that it
may be wiped and combed with well defined edges which do not run or
blur. Therefore some perfectly transparent material must be added to it
in order to give it this consistency. The material used for this may be
rotten stone or whiting, or both, or china clay, or better, silicate
earths--any transparent earth with no coloring of its own. Some grainers
use putty thinned down with oil, but that is not so good as whiting, as
the putty may be made of anything and the oil used in preparing it may
be injurious to the durability of the graining.

37. Some of the old-time grainers used to prepare what may be called
"stock megilp," a portion of which they added to the oil colors as
needed. Wm. E. Wall says of it "that the formula is this: Take 8 ounces
of sugar of lead and 8 ounces of rotten stone, grind them together as
stiffly as possible in linseed oil; then take 16 ounces of white
beeswax, melt it gradually in an earthen pitkin, and when it is fluid
pour in 8 ounces of spirits of turpentine; mix this well with the wax,
and then pour the contents of the pitkin on the grinding stone to get
cold. When cold grind the rotten stone and sugar of lead with the wax
and turpentine and it will form an excellent megilp, which if kept in a
jar with a mouth wide enough to admit a palette knife and secured from
dust will keep almost any length of time."

This is well and good for professionals, but it will hardly appeal to
the ordinary grainer. He can grind up a little whiting and rotten stone
and melted beeswax in turpentine and add enough to his color to answer
his purpose.

With the present system of buying all colors as near ready for use as
possible, color manufacturers prepare special oil graining colors ready
for use by simply thinning. They come ready for all sorts of woods, and
where the color is not just the shade wanted, the operator can easily
add the one that is lacking to bring it to the right tone.


33. What is said in a general way about preparing graining colors, or

34. What are the requisites necessary to make a good graining color in

35. What is said about the transparency of the colors used in preparing
graining colors?

36. What substances may be added to colors to produce more transparency?

37. How may stock megilp be prepared for future use?



38. When the colors have been properly ground in water or in distemper,
as they are usually called, it is but little trouble to thin them out
for use with stale beer or vinegar. Many grainers prefer to use dry
colors when they have been finely dry ground, and they work as well as
the distemper colors. They are much more economical to use, and for that
reason will always be preferred if for no other. Some, however, are hard
to mix up dry and it is preferable to buy these ground in distemper, as,
for instance, Vandyke brown and ivory black.

39. It frequently happens during warm weather that the color dries so
fast that the operator cannot possibly finish his work while the color
is in a right condition, so he must resort to some means to prevent this
hasty drying. The addition of glycerine will retard it for a good while,
as glycerine is a good absorbent of water.

40. To prevent this rapid drying of graining colors in distemper many
means are used, some too complicated and really no better than the one
named in the preceding paragraph; wetting the wood with water into which
a little sugar has been dissolved is another means to the same end.
Afterward use the regular distemper mixture over it.


41. This is the name that is given to the operation of laying on the oil
megilped color previous to the graining. The professional grainer
usually has a helper who works ahead of him and "rubs in" the color,
while he follows him up with the wiping or combing. When the color is
mixed and thinned just right there is no difficulty in its application.
The brush should be any good, partly worn, or at least well broke in
oval, or flat paint brush. In the flat the 3-inch size will be found the
most convenient.

42. It was said in the preceding paragraph that the application of the
rubbing-in coat presented no difficulties, but the proviso inserted
relative to the color being properly mixed means what it says, for if it
is not, trouble will surely follow. If the color is too thin and oily
the operator will find it hard work to smooth it evenly. If it has been
made more transparent by the proper megilping, the color will brush out
evenly, and a full brush of color can be carried to the work. The
operator should run over the mouldings of the upper panels, and if he
has enough color on his brush, also the lower ones, then he should brush
out the panels themselves, helping himself to the surplus color on the
mouldings; then the short middle stiles, then the lock rail, upper and
lower rails, then the end stiles, finishing up with the door edges last.

43. What a "rubber in" should not do is to try to _skin_ his color on.
Many are afraid to carry more than half an inch of color from the pot to
the work, seemingly afraid they can't manage it with a full brush, but
that is a very poor way and if pains are taken to distribute the color
along the panel mouldings first, its distribution will be much more even
than if put on by _skinning_. It will take only about two dippings to do
the side of an ordinary door, and it will be in just the shape that the
grainer wants it. On the other hand again, he must not put it on too
heavy, as the edges will not wipe clean, and if too oily will even run
and show up ragged at the edges.


38. How should graining colors be mixed for distemper work?

39. What may be added to the thinner to prevent the color drying too

40. What else is useful in retarding the drying of the distemper
graining color?

41. What is meant by the operation of rubbing in?

42. How is the graining color applied?

43. What is it that the "rubber in" should not attempt to do?




44. A good-sized brush may be used for the laying of the distemper
colors, but they are not absolutely necessary. A sponge is even more
frequently used, especially when the character of the wood is to be
shaped by the use of the sponge as the color is being laid on. It is
hardly worth while to say that the man who does the graining must be his
own "rubber in" in distemper work. The name itself is dropped for this
class of work; the person applying it must be able to do the shaping as
he goes along, excepting for "stippled" woods, when it may be well to
have some one to help, especially if the color dries fast; he can then
follow the helper closely and then there will be no trouble from that

45. The color itself may be thickly or thinly thinned--it will all
depend upon the kind of surface one is working upon, and also upon the
kind of graining being done. Some grainers must have stale beer for a
thinner, but others will do as good work who never use any, and such use
vinegar somewhat diluted for that purpose. The proper thing is to have
the color of the right working condition for the particular job. The
kind of thinner does not matter so much so that it has tack enough to
hold the color, so the colors will not run together when brushed over in
the varnishing afterward.

46. The use of the _check roller_ usually is the first operation done in
graining woods which show weather checks. The proper way to use them is
to fill a 3-inch fan overgrainer with the distemper color which comes
nearest to the ideas of the grainer in showing up what he desires to
produce. This fan overgrainer is laid upon the face of the check roller
flat, and a few turns are given in order to spread, when it is ready to
do its duty. Checks while they look all right in some oak work, are
usually rather scarce in nature, and it is an easy thing to overdo them
in the imitation. A few in well-chosen locations will look infinitely
better than an oversupply. As overdoing nature is a fault which applies
in all the other operations used in graining, it will be well to guard
the student against this defect right at the beginning. Let him bear in
mind that all graining will look better _underdone_ than _overdone_, no
matter what wood one tries to imitate.

47. _Stippling_ is another operation which is used chiefly upon open
grained woods or woods which show fine or coarse pores all over their
surfaces, such, for instance, as black walnut in the dark woods and
chestnut in the lighter ones. Some pretty effects are also made by
partial very fine stipplings over certain parts of woods. As the
particular graining of each wood will be related these effects will be
noticed under their proper headings. The application of the distemper
color (the only proper one) has already been noted. The operator doing
the stippling must hurry his work with the flogger or stippler (see Fig.
1) before the color commences to dry, or the stippling will not be
uniform. He at no time must let the brush rest upon the work, but must
hit the surface and let it rebound back, and be ready to strike again,
being careful that the stippling proceeds evenly, and that the
porousness indicated be as near equal all over as possible. It is not a
very difficult operation, but one minute of actual work with the flogger
will teach more to the student as to how it should be done than an hour
of description will.


44. How should the distemper colors be put on?

45. What is said of the thinners used in distemper work?

46. How should the check roller be used?

47. How is the stippling done?



48. _Wiping out_ is the name given to the operation in graining whereby
some of the color is removed, as in champs or flakes in quartered oak,
for instance, or else where the veining in heart growth is also removed
and the remaining dark color not removed forms the veining. This
operation is mainly used in graining oak in oil, but is not confined to
that alone by any means, nor to oil graining alone, either. Many
grainers who know "how" wipe out water or distemper work and it looks
well, too.

49. To do the "wiping" the operator takes some soft cotton rags, folding
a couple of thicknesses together, and using the thumb inside of it he
draws it gently wherever he desires to remove any of the color; by
drawing gently on the cloth it will wipe out the color cleanly, and
always present a clean face to the fresh color. Under no consideration
should the grainer permit himself to keep on using a soiled part of the
cloth, as it is sure to show up streaky and dirty. Many persons for good
reasons sometimes cannot use their thumbs in wiping, and such resort to
the artificial one described in paragraph 23. While this has not the
sensitiveness of the natural organ, by practice one can use it to do
very good work.

50. _Combing._ The operation known as "combing" may be performed by the
use of combs of various material, such as steel combs; leather combs,
which are simply sole leather upon the ends of which have been cut out
with a knife square teeth of such size as is desired; rubber combs,
which are somewhat upon the same order and which can be bought ready
made, each fitted into a wooden handle as shown in Fig 10. This,
however, shows one with graduated teeth which is very useful for many
purposes. Any of the above are better adapted for certain kinds of work
than are any of the others. Practice will soon show the grainers which
ones to use.

51. The combing proper requires more care than skill, but the latter
always counts in this as well as any of the other operations in
graining. The operator should be provided with clean, soft cotton rags
to wipe the combs every time that they are used. Never be tempted to
draw it over the work a second time. "Get the habit" and it will stay
with you so it will become _automatic_. Many an otherwise good job of
graining has been ruined in looks by the slovenly habit of using dirty
combs. Clean cut edges count many points in good graining. When nearing
joints it is a good plan to cover an already grained or combed part with
a small sheet of tin, which will prevent the comb from trespassing over
into forbidden ground. Do not hold the tin flat over the grained or
combed work, as it might mar it, but let it touch just at the joint, the
hand holding it at an angle off the face of it.

52. Combing is not confined to oil work only, although by far most of
the combing done is in that medium, but it is frequently resorted to in
distemper work. The steel combs are seldom used for this kind of work,
the rubber ones being infinitely superior. It is more difficult,
however, and it must be done very quickly, as the color will otherwise
be dry, when it will be impossible to do anything with it, and the part
being combed will have to be washed off and another application of
distemper color given it. Quickness, therefore, is an important
consideration in combing distemper colors; cleanliness is just as
essential as was stated in the preceding paragraph for oil combing, only
a little more so if possible. The operator should make up his mind as to
what he is going to do before he touches a tool and then stick to it to
the end, giving all his thoughts to his work.


48. Describe what is meant by "wiping out"?

49. What is needed for this operation and how done?

50. What are the tools needed in "combing"?

51. How is the combing done in oil graining?

52. How is combing done in distemper work?



53. In water color work the heart growth of veins, some of the flaking,
knots, burls, etc., are done by pencilling the same with a camel's hair
brush. Some is left just as the outlines made by the brush leaves it,
but only in such outlinings as those of knots or in the imitating of
defects and in some burls.

54. The "_pencilling_" requires a steady hand with a perfect control of
the freedom of movement of the hand doing the work. To insure this it
will be found much the best way is to use a mahl stick for a rest. It
will insure against unsteadiness and will enable the operator to do his
work just as he wants it and where he wants it. It will enable him to
give the heaviest part of the stroke at the center of the heart growth,
where it ought to be, and to gradually lessen its width toward the
sides, where it is not so full nor heavy.

55. The operator should be careful while executing his veining that the
blender is used while the color of the veining put on is _still wet_, as
otherwise it will not blend and the chances are that the work will be
spoiled, or at least greatly inferior in quality. (Fig. 2 shows the
blender.) The blending itself is the drawing of the soft hair over the
wet color, which softens it and divides its stiff outlines in serrated,
uneven, pore-like, outlines. While the operation is not a difficult one,
good blending requires an intimate knowledge of what will be the effects
produced by the use of the tool, as the blending can be overdone as well
as underdone. A little practical experience will soon teach the
operator its proper use.

56. _Fan overgrainers_, as shown in Fig. 4, come in various widths. It
was said in paragraph 14 describing them, that many grainers preferred
to make them themselves. This no doubt is due to the reason that in
preparing them themselves they are able to arrange the hair so that they
can get various effects from them, such as graduated lines, and again
thick or thin lines, etc. But one can easily obtain the same results by
buying a dozen or two of the ready made ones. They usually are made with
a surplus of hair, and with a pair of sharp scissors the operator can
easily cut out all the superfluous hair from the parts desired. With a
good supply of overgrainers thus prepared before hand, he will be
prepared to do an endless variety of veinings in lines equidistant, or
graduated to suit.

57. The fan overgrainers are used for many purposes, not only in
_overgraining_, as their name would seem to indicate, but also in laying
out the veining adjacent to heart growths wherever a succession of fine
lines are required, and which in water color work corresponds to combing
in oil work. The brush is dipped into the distemper color, then it is
run through the teeth of a coarse horn comb such as is used in hair
combing. This will separate the hairs into lines, when the operator can
use it on his work by drawing it along the outer edge of his pencilled
out heart growth, and continue it to the outer edge of the panel. In
overgraining proper it is used in many other ways, and by the proper
motion of the hand many forms and variations suitable to the character
of the woods being imitated can be done. In this proper use of the
overgrainer the skill of the operator will be shown. It will be well to
say that these lines made by the overgrainer are to be blended for most
woods, and the student is referred to what was said regarding how it
should be done in paragraph 55.


53. What is said of the "pencilling in" of veins, etc., in distemper

54. How are the veins pencilled in?

55. How is the "blending" done?

56. What is said of the fan overgrainers?

57. How are the fan overgrainers used?



58. As stated in paragraphs 18 to 21, describing Figs. 6, 7, 8 and 9,
corrugated rubber tools of various forms are used in graining. Some
kinds of woods can be done complete with these tools, and again their
main character laid out with them, which is afterward improved by hand
work. They are great time savers and to the man who knows how to use
them well, which can be easily learned by following the directions
given which accompany the boxes the tools are packed in, anyone can
quickly learn their use, and will find it of great help in doing their
work _quickly_, which is an important item, especially where the
graining has to be done cheap. They will be able to turn out very much
better work than could be done by hand for the same money. That fact
alone if for no other reason (and there are other reasons also) entitles
them to a welcome in the kit of progressive grainers who are not held in
"awe" by precedents established when "grainers" were _getting something_
for good work done by hand exclusively.

59. While we are in the way of describing other methods of graining than
that of graining done by hand, it is only right and proper that the
transfer graining papers should be noticed. The graining upon many of
these is very good. It has one disadvantage in that on large jobs there
will be more repetition than is desirable; there is also an automatic
indescribable look belonging to it, that grates upon an artistic taste,
so that while the graining may be really much better than much hand
work, yet hand or even that done with corrugated rubber tools will
please the average man better than the more perfect automatic work done
with the graining paper.

60. In graining with transfer paper, the paper to be used in the panels,
stiles and rails should be cut into strips a trifle wider than desired
for the actual space to be grained. The ground coat should be an
appropriate one for the kind of wood to be imitated. The process of the
transferring is similar to that used for all transfers; the paper is
applied to its proper place, which it must cover fully, then the
operator proceeds to wet the back of the transfer paper with a sponge
which has been dipped in clean water. In a few moments after the wetting
the paper can be pulled loose from the surface over which it is
applied, laid aside flat to dry, and an exact replica of the graining
printed upon the face of the paper will be left upon it. These transfer
paper strips can be utilized several times before the design is dimmed
too much for use.

After the completion of the work it must be varnished in order to hold
it on, as any other distemper work must be.

61. There is another form of graining paper which has just been patented
in Germany, which is not a transfer paper really and which _does_
excellent work. By some patent process the paper is made upon the face
of the woods they represent; every pore and detail of the wood is
perfectly represented. The ground color is covered over with oil
graining color the same as for hand wiping. Then the graining paper, cut
into proper sized strips, are placed over the surface and the back of
the paper is rubbed over with a specially made brush all over, taking
care that the hands do not touch it any where except upon the edge,
which should extend over sufficiently for this purpose; then the paper
is lifted off and can immediately be used again. It leaves the job as if
it had been "wiped out," but much better of course than 99 out of 100
men could possibly do it by hand. It is somewhat costly and outside of
the samples which were given the author for testing he has never seen
any. So far it has not been imported in this country in a regular way,
but there is no doubt but that it will soon be.


58. What is said of the use of corrugated rubber graining tools?

59. What is said of "transfer graining paper"?

60. How is transfer graining done?

61. What is said of a new "wiping out" paper?



62. In such woods as maple, cherry, etc., the veining consists of very
fine lines which show no blending in the natural woods. They are so fine
that it would be very difficult to put them in with a camel's hair brush
or pencil. Heretofore it has been the practice of grainers to take
colors such as they wished, and by mixing with china clay and gum arabic
mucilage compound these into a mass which they rolled out and cut into
strips in order to make crayons out of them. The process is not very
difficult, but the proper blending and sizing must be carefully done or
the crayon may be so hard that it will not mark on the wood, or so soft
that the varnish will rub up the color. These crayons in wood may be
bought in many of the supply stores. One fault with most of them is that
they are not sufficiently sized to hold on the color while the varnish
is applied. This the manufacturers must supply or their goods will be
forced out of the market, in so far at least as the use that is made of
them by the graining trade is concerned.

63. The crayons are sharpened to a point, and the veinings, knotting and
burls are outlined by their means. They are used only where fine lines
are required that are sharp and unblended. They are used in the same
manner as ordinary graphite pencils are. Their use offers no difficulty
even to a beginner other than the skill shown in making the right
markings in the right place, which is a matter of study before using

64. _Mottling_ is an operation which greatly enhances the value of
graining in many woods. This mottling may be done by means of the
so-called mottling brushes, of which many are shown in Fig. 5, in either
oil or distemper graining. In the preceding sentence the words "may be
done" are used, because many very good grainers never use them, but
depend upon their rubbing in brushes, etc. Again the sponge in distemper
work is used and by the proper use of the badger blender beautiful
mottlings are made without the use of any brush at all.

65. The sponge is held in the hand and by pressure and release of the
same in going over the surface the color is unevenly distributed, which,
when properly blended, will form mottlings coarse or fine, long or
short, as wanted. It will require some practice in order to obtain a
good control of the sponge.

66. The sponge is an invaluable aid to the grainer in distemper work,
and the student should spare no pains in learning to master its use.
With it not only mottlings may be made, but the main features and
character of all the burled growths of walnut, oak roots, pollard oak,
bird's eye maple, sycamore, mahogany, etc., may be laid out; most of it
to be blended, and when dry overgrained and finished with either crayon
pencils, camel hair knottings and linings done with various distemper
colors or with the fan overgrainers, or by combinations of all the

67. The above comprises all the operations done in graining woods that
can be given a general description of. Each kind of wood will require
some of their use. Not all, however, must be given in the same manner,
but must be adapted to suit the particular woods one may be trying to
imitate. As occasion may require reference will be made to some of the
paragraphs giving the proper information as to "how to do it."


63. How are graining crayons made?

64. What is said about graining crayons?

65. How is graining done with sponges?

66. What is said of the use of sponges in burled graining?

67. What is said concerning the special use to be made of the various
operations in graining described in the previous lessons?



68. Woods may be divided into two general classes:

1st. Those that are close grained and which when sawed into boards show
very fine pores, or perhaps very little if any perceptible to the naked
eye, as "holly," for instance, and in a lesser degree in "satinwood."

2d. Those that are composed of long, coarse ligaments, which when sawed
into boards show a great number of pores, especially when the growth is
comparatively regular, as in chestnut, walnut, etc.; with a great
number which lie between the two extremes.

69. There might be added a third division for those woods which have a
jerky, crosswise fashion of growing, which to the unwary look as if
there was no system in their growth, as in sycamore, rosewood, etc., but
which they have as regular as any other just the same, as a kinky haired
American of African extraction could truthfully claim for his tangled up
specimen as against the rigid growth of that of the American Indian. As
with hair, it will be found that most of the woods which grow in a
tangled way are composed of very fine fibres, which grow closely
together and therefore can be classed in class 1.

70. Before commencing the descriptions of the graining of the various
woods it was thought best to examine some few general characteristics
which belong to each class, and the student will then be able to tell at
sight almost what may be the best manner in which the graining shall
proceed, either in oil or in distemper. Woods of class one, as a rule
being close grained, need no stippling, as few pores show up separately
as such, and it was shown that this is the main object of stippling.

On the other hand, nearly all woods that are classed in class two, but
more especially those which are on the extreme side of that class should
be stippled by all means, and the others are greatly helped by a partial
stippling at least.

Included in as stippling must be added the check roller work, as this
may be done in such a way as to replace the stippling done with the
flogger for certain woods, in the graining of some peculiar specimen of
quartered oak especially.

71. Before attempting to do any graining, the student is earnestly
advised to procure a number of small pieces of veneers of the various
woods; to glue them over smooth boards, fill them with a good hardwood
filler if open grained; if not shellac them over with two coats of
shellac, which he should also give to the open wood sample after having
filled them and smoothed them properly. Then give them one or two coats
of good varnish, when he will have object lessons which will prove
invaluable to him. Let him not confine himself to one, two or three
specimens of the same wood, but let him pick out as many as he can
afford to do, in order that he may study their variations and different
modes of growth, or he may get stuck into ruts and routine in his style
of graining which he must try to avoid as much as possible.

There is nor cannot be any better teacher than these samples will be.
They need not cost much either. Frequently they can be obtained for a
song at some of the furniture factories from ends that are too short for
use in their regular work.

72. As it is a matter of indifference at least in practicing studies as
to the colors that are used in doing graining, the student can paint a
ground color upon any convenient board or old door and practice upon it.
He had better have several; at least, he should have two--one for
practicing graining in oil and another for graining in distemper. With
plenty of rags and turpentine or benzine he can wipe out his work as
easily as upon a blackboard, and he can recommence it again and again
until he is ready to quit and then he can wipe it off, and it will be
ready for the next time. This advice is good, for it will not do for the
beginner to try his hand upon actual work until he is sufficiently sure
of his skill that he will not make a botch of it. He can try all the
various general operations mentioned above, and apply them as nearly as
he can to the particular needs of the wood he wishes to imitate,
referring first to the special details that are given under each of the
woods in subsequent chapters.

[Illustration: grained door]


68. How may all the various woods be classed?

69. What is said of woods of gnarled growths?

70. When do the wood imitations need stippling?

71. What is said regarding the preparation of various samples of veneers
for study?

72. What advice is given about preparing practice boards for graining



73. Oak graining has always been in the lead in the quantity of it that
is done, and it is no wonder. It offers so many variations, and in
either in its heart growths or in its quarter sawed condition an endless
number of forms can be indulged in which are all pleasing to look at. It
can be grained in oil or in distemper in both of its forms and in
combinations of the two.


74. _The ground_ for all oaks is _buff_. Light oak requires a cream tone
of it which can be deepened for the darker shades. For red and black oak
a trifle of red can be added to the buff, which is made from some good
ocher added to white lead. (See paragraphs 26 to 30 about preparing
grounds under various conditions.)

75. _The graining colors_ proper are prepared to suit the shade of wood
desired from raw sienna, raw umber and for very dark antique oak with a
little ivory black added. The color should be megilped in order to make
it comb and wipe clean. (See paragraphs 33 to 36.)

The wiping should be done as advised in paragraphs 48 and 49. Then
combed as stated in paragraphs 50 to 52.

76. The graining will be improved if the same is overgrained after the
wiping out and combing coat has become hardened. This must not be
overdone to look well. It consists simply in using some of the graining
color used before, and in touching up a few places on the grained work.
This darkens them some and these variations of color enriches it. The
student will notice it upon natural wood usually where the veining makes
a turn, etc. Study nature, but do not _overdo it_.

77. When the overgraining is dry the job is ready for varnishing. In
varnishing use an elastic varnish as much as possible, as both the
ground coats and the graining colors contain oil and a hard,
quick-drying varnish will not be so likely to give and accommodate
itself to these as an elastic one will. As the varnishing coats which
follow graining of all kinds are about the same for all woods it will
not be necessary to repeat each time what is said here.

78. In varnishing over distempered work a quicker and harder varnish
can be used than that named above. As many prefer a wax finish to
varnishing, this can be applied over the work. The ready prepared wax
finishes are best to use; they are easily applied with a brush or even a
rag and afterward polished over with a cloth or a hand polishing glove
made of lamb skin with the wool left on. It will soon polish up into a
soft-toned subdued gloss which is pleasing and imitates "rubbed work" in
hardwood finishing.


78. It will be well not to have the ground coats too oily for graining
in distemper, as it may be difficult to spread the distemper color over
it, especially in cool weather. On the other hand again, it must not be
too flat, as then the colors will sink into it and if from any cause one
desires to wash them off they will be indelibly marked out upon the
ground, and will at the least look dirty.

The check roller can be used to good advantage in putting in a few
checks here and there, and a little fine stippling on the side away from
where the main heart growth is to be pencilled in with the camel's hair
brush will help the looks of it. When dry proceed to put in the heart
growth, using the overgrainer wherever possible in doing the fine line
work over the stippling. It goes without the saying that all the
veining, both heart growth and fine lines, must be well blended with the
badger hair brush.


73. What is said of oak graining in general?

74. How are oak ground tints to be made?

75. How are the colors to be applied?

76. How is the graining overgrained?

77. How is the varnishing to be done?

78. How is wax polish finish applied?




79. There are a great number of ways of graining quartered oak and when
one says that it is imitated in oil graining, but very little more
information is conveyed than that the work is executed in that medium
instead of in distemper color. The manner of doing it may vary greatly,
as well as the growth itself, which is infinite almost. It is,
therefore, a matter upon which little more information can be given
without the actual showing than the rehearsing over of general
principles. If the student has provided himself with a number of samples
of quartered oak veneers and has practiced their reproduction in oil and
in distemper, he will have gained an experience that type and printing
ink cannot possibly teach him.

80. The grounds are to be the same as described in the heart growth
graining of oak. The graining color should be "rubbed in" very evenly,
but neither too thick nor too thin. In most of the work, and that is
naturally _that_ which one tries to describe in giving general
directions in graining a certain wood, the surface should be combed over
with rubber combs and afterward split up with a fine steel comb to break
up the vein lines. Some skill may be shown in this, for if done properly
and at the right angle the lines will appear as thickly studded pores,
but if not, anything but that.

81. The method of "wiping out" is described in paragraphs 48 and 49.
Remove all the flakes of the larger sorts first, which usually are to be
found in the center of the wood samples, keeping in mind a definite idea
of what the work is to represent; this lays out the general character of
the wood.

82. The subsequent wiping out is to be done in accordance with the main
flaking, gradually lessening the size of the secondary flakings to the
outer edge, where usually they are found much more numerous.

83. The graining may be much improved by softening the edges by using a
very soft clean cotton cloth very lightly upon their lower edge. The
proper doing of this requires some skill and usually is shunned by the
cheap fellow, as it takes some little time as well as skill.

84. Overgraining quartered oak may be the means of greatly improving its
looks, especially where a gnarly and knotty specimen is attempted. As
stated before, this is done by the application of the color in oil used
in the "rubbed in" coat to such parts which it is desired should look
darker than the rest.

85. Sometimes the graining is finished up in water colors. The graining
must, of course, be thoroughly dry in order that the distemper colors
may take hold over it. Most beautiful effects can be obtained by this
dual method of graining quartered oak. It requires skill in the
operator, but good judgment and experience the more, as it is an easy
matter to overdo it, when instead of a thing of beauty it becomes an eye

86. Varnishing is the final operation in all kinds of graining, but the
graining may also be waxed polished as noted in the preceding lesson.

Much more could be written as to the many various methods that are being
used in the graining of oak, especially of quartered oak, but the space
limit of this manual is too confined to attempt it. The directions given
will suffice to indicate to the student how to proceed and as he
progresses along, the variations in the manner of doing the work will
suggest themselves to him and he will grow into them naturally.


79. What is said in a general way on the graining of quarter sawed oak?

80. What is said of the rubbing in coat and combing?

81. How are the flakes and champs put in?

82. What is said of the wiping out?

83. How are the edges to be softened?

84. How is the overgraining done?

85. What is said of combination oil and distemper work?

86. How is the work finished?



87. There is a great deal of quartered oak graining that is done in
distemper in certain localities, especially where the grainers have come
into the knack of it. When it is well done it is fully as good as when
done in oil. The quality of the work is what counts, and it is just as
easy to produce an eye sore in the one as it is in the other.

[Illustration: grained door]

88. It is true that the operator has no time to take a nap and hardly to
bat his eyes, and that no doubt is the reason why so few grainers
attempt quartered oak in distemper. The colors do dry very quickly, so
the graining must be done without hesitation or waste of time. If it has
been practiced on the lesson boards mentioned in paragraph 72 no one who
has succeeded on them need be afraid of tackling it on door panels, etc.

89. Everything in the way of colors, sponges, rags, overgrainers,
blenders and tools being ready and within reach, the woodwork to be
grained should be washed over with water into which vinegar has been
poured. When it has become nearly but not quite dry, proceed to lay on
the color in streaks with the overgrainers, then with the rubber or fine
steel combs run through the lines in order to break them up and to
serrate them, and immediately proceed with the rag and thumb or the
rubber substitute for it to wipe out the champs and flakes in the way
and manner described in the wiping out of oak in oil graining; soften
the edges by using the soft cotton rag in the same way also. It is
needless to say that one panel at a time is all that should be colored
up, and even this will be found too much by many, but it can be done and
it is not so difficult as it looks to be; only, as said before, there is
no time to think of the "girl you left behind you" or anything else but
doing the work.

90. For a change dark flakings and other flaked veinings may be put in
instead of light ones. In this sort of quartered oak graining the whole
thing is reversed. The color is applied evenly but solidly over the
panel and immediately combed with rubber combs and split as related in
the preceding paragraph; then with the camel hair pencil brush proceed
to pencil on the flakes and champs as desired, slightly blending them
with the badger blender. This is not so difficult to execute as by
wiping out, because it does not matter about hurrying.

91. In either method the use of the check roller can be resorted to to
improve the looks of the graining, it is best to delay it until the
graining has been completed, as then it can be put only in such parts as
really require it, while if put on beforehand it may be that they may be
placed where they should not. They are not essential and, as stated
before, really a detriment when not used rightly. The expert who knows
where to use them, however, obtains a more natural finish by their use.

92. The overgraining ought to be done in oil colors and put on very
thinly, then with clean cotton rags wipe it off from such parts that are
required to be light, which will give the shading as if it had been done
in oil over oil graining with the difference that in shading the latter
the overgraining color is applied only where it is wanted and requires
no wiping out.

93. Where distemper graining is overgrained with oil colors it
practically becomes the same as oil graining and that alone will
usually protect it against accidents caused by water washing it off, but
as the finish does not look even, that must be supplied as in the
previous graining described, by either waxing or varnishing, or a
combination of the two as related in paragraph 77.


87. What is said of quartered oak graining in distemper?

88. Why are some grainers afraid to undertake graining it in distemper?

89. How is the wiping out done?

90. How is dark flake graining done?

91. How may the check roller be used?

92. How should distemper graining be overgrained?

93. How is distemper graining to be finished?



94. Ash graining is very similar to oak graining, and but that the
growth is somewhat coarser than that of oak, and that it is usually more
evenly veined, at least in the American species, the student would find
no need of further directions. It is somewhat more open, too, showing
considerable porousness in some of its growth, so much so that some
grainers stipple it as for walnut, but flog it finer and the color used
being more subdued these pores do not show up so prominently. This, of
course, relates to the graining it in water colors mainly, although it
works nicely in oil for wiping out also, especially when the color used
is for dark ash.

95. The ground should be very nearly that required for oak graining,
just a trifle darker than is required for light oak. This, as in oak, is
variable, and one must be guided by what finish is intended to be
given. Even the natural specimens vary greatly, and with the present
fashion of staining woods into all sorts of outlandish hues one must
take the cue as to what the ground shall be from the color used on the
finish as stated before.

If it is finished in the natural color belonging to ash, the color of
the ground can be made from ochre added to white lead as the base color,
using more or less of it as a lighter or darker shade is desired.

96. The graining of ash in oil is done in much the same manner as that
which is related for oil grain of oak in paragraphs 75 and 76. As the
growth in the American varieties is straighter grained than that of oak,
there will be no difficulty in wiping it out, only that the coarser
growth must be reproduced as naturally as possible. The colors and
megilp will be also about the same as for oak in the natural tone, and
such other coloring matter must be added as found necessary to produce
any of the stained effects wanted in others. If the ground is stippled
before the wiping out, it should be done with raw umber and raw sienna
in distemper; it will be well to reduce their strength by the addition
of whiting in order that the stippling may not appear too prominent.

97. The graining of ash in distemper is very easily acquired and
presents but little difficulty to one who has his mind imbued with the
main characteristics of its growth. The graining may be done with or
without stippling, but if the stippling is well done it will improve it.
The veining is done with the camel's hair brush, and the blending should
follow it up quickly so as to divide up the veining before it has had
time to set. This will enable the washing up of the stippling by the
pressure of the blender, and will leave a paler base for the veining,
which by the stronger contrast will appear more natural.

98. Ash is overgrained for the same purpose as related of oak. It shows
up the darker parts, or if they may be so called, the nerves of the
wood. This should not be overdone, however, as it will defeat the very
purpose for which it is done at all. It is better not to overgrain at
all than to overgrain too much, and the student had much better do too
little of it than to err upon the opposite side. The color used for
overgraining is oil colors, as related for oak graining in paragraph 92.

99. Hungarian ash is so very much different from the American species in
its growth that it might be well to cut it loose altogether from the ash
group and to give it a place by itself. It resembles somewhat the growth
sometimes seen in some yellow pine specimens. It is very wavy and the
saw cutting across them the veins appear contorted into all kinds of
circling growths, but with all this widening out suddenly of two lines
which nearly meet together, there is a system in it and none ever cross
over each other. The student must study a natural specimen of it in
order to understand this spiral and twisting system of growths, and when
he sees through it he will find no difficulty in reproducing it in water
colors, which is the only manner Hungarian ash is ever grained. It is
possible to grain it in oil, but the time required to wipe it out will
prevent grainers from ever attempting it the second time.


94. What is said about the graining of ash?

95. What is a proper ground for the graining of ash?

96. How is ash grained in oil?

97. How is ash grained in water colors?

98. How should ash be overgrained?

99. How is Hungarian ash grained?



100. The graining of chestnut presents no difficulty either to one who
has a good knowledge of the handling of graining tools. Its general
character is much the same as that of oak and ash. It differs from
either, however, and has a growth entirely its own. Its principal points
are: Coarseness of veining; its fibres being thick and when cut across
by the saw present numerous coarse pores which must be represented by
stippling coarsely and somewhat irregularly flogged on, as it shows only
a few in parts where the saw has not cut the fibres across either
squarely or slanting.

101. The graining of chestnut may be done in either oil by wiping or in
distemper. By either method it will be best to stipple it in the manner
stated in the previous paragraph--rather coarsely. The ground is a light
buff, just about such as described for oak or ash, and may vary to suit
the graining and grainer. It can be wiped out easily in oil, but much
the best way is to grain it in distemper, as it is easier and more
quickly done. The veining is put on with a camel's hair brush and
blended with the badger hair blender before the color sets. The veining
being coarse is easily put on. Its growth is not nearly as regular as
that of ash and presents much variation in its forms. The color used for
the stippling should be the same as given for ash stippling, but should
have but little whiting added to it, as the pores must appear coarse and
prominent. The colors used in either oil or distemper graining are raw
sienna deepened with raw and burnt umber to suit.


102. The graining of maple differs materially from that of the woods
described heretofore. In color it is on the same order, however, of a
light buff tone. It should be given a ground color just off the white by
the addition of a trifle of ochre to the white lead base. There is
considerable variation in this and if one is required to match or
imitate some aged maple the general tone will need to be much deeper,
and may require a ground as deep toned as that of oak or ash, as maple
darkens considerably by age.

103. Again as fashion has decreed that maple should be stained a light
gray one has to grain it in imitation of that and the ground must then
be made by the addition of lamp black to the white base sufficiently to
make a faint pearl gray. The veining proper is not very prominent in
maple. This consists of very fine lines with little if any feathering.
Maple is a very close wood and shows but little if any porousness,
therefore should never be stippled. The chief beauty of ordinary maple
lays in its mottlings and not in its veinings. Plain maple being what is
now under consideration, curled and bird's eye maple will be taken up in
a separate lesson.

104. Plain maple is never grained in oil as it would be too tedious to
imitate it by wiping. Therefore its graining by distemper work is the
only method worth the while to describe. To be able to grain it well the
student must have its character well made out--in his head at least. The
color if the wood is grained in its natural color is made from raw
sienna weakened down to suit by the addition of whiting. The character
of the wood is best produced by the application of the color with a
sponge. This should be blended at once and if the color has been
properly applied with the sponge, the mottlings produced by the blending
of the color will usually suffice and a few more of a deeper tone may be
added in the overgraining. As soon as dry, which requires but a few
minutes, the veining proper may be put in with the same color with a
camel's hair pencil, but should not be blended. This should be done with
a fine pointed brush as it should not be prominent. The better way to
vein maple is to use a light raw sienna toned crayon pencil and to draw
them out where desired. These produce an even stroked vein much easier
to obtain by their use than with a brush.

105. The overgraining of plain maple is done in oil and consists of a
few darker mottles made with a brush specially made for this purpose,
but which in reality is little better than a plain double thick varnish
flat brush, and the latter will be found good enough for this purpose.
If the color happens to be too thickly put on, it can be wiped out with
a clean rag and left only where it is desired. It should be made of raw
sienna darkened with raw and burnt umber and thinned with raw linseed
oil and turpentine, half and half. It has been supposed all along that
the maple graining was done in its natural color. If gray maple is to be
imitated the distemper color should be made from ivory black toned down
with whiting and the overgraining color from ivory black thinned
sufficiently to produce the tint wanted.


100. What is said in general of chestnut graining?

101. How should chestnut be grained?

102. What is said of maple graining in general?

103. How should gray maple ground be prepared?

104. How should plain maple be grained?

105. How should maple be overgrained?



106. This is the most elegant form of wood known and good specimens of
the wood are a sight that well repay for the trouble of looking them up,
as they will make a glad heart to the man who loves beautiful forms. To
imitate it well by graining requires some practice and a good knowledge
of what is required to produce the innumerable variations seen in it.
When its growth is well understood it is not so difficult to imitate it.
It may as well be stated here at the beginning that more bird's eye
maple graining is spoiled by overdoing than by not doing enough work
upon it. The beginner had better confine his efforts to but a very few
of the "_bird's eyes_" at first. The few will look well and modestly
nestled among their surrounding mottlings, but when this is overdone,
which at the beginning especially is a synonym for badly done--whew!
Better wash it off and try it over, with less of it next time, and the
chances are that it will bear looking at it.

107. The graining of bird's eye maple is always done in distemper, for
the same reasons that were given in describing the graining of plain
maple, and for a few additional ones of its own besides, so that all
that will be said in connection with it must be understood as
appertaining to distemper work.

108. The ground when the graining is done in imitation of the natural
color of the wood must be of a very light tone of cream color, or the
finished work will be too yellow. If it is to be finished in imitation
of the gray stained variety the ground must be made to correspond to
that shade and a faint pearl-gray ground must be put on as noted in
paragraph 103. The ground should not be too glossy, nor too flat,
either, for the distemper colors will not work at their best on either
extremes, but one should strive for an egg-shell gloss as near as

109. The graining proper proceeds very much as was described for the
imitation of plain maple. The same colors being used in either the
natural color imitation or the gray tone with a somewhat different
manner of laying on the color with the sponge, in order to produce
longer ridges of mottlings than is usually necessary in plain maple.
These mottlings must be running in one direction mainly, but in a
haphazard sort of way, and not uniformly as in ladder rungs. It requires
some experience and an intimate knowledge of bird's eye maple growth to
do this preliminary laying out of the work. It is not difficult, but it
must be done in the right manner in order to produce natural looking

110. The putting in of the bird's eyes is done in various ways--some
ways being better than others. One of the ways used by many is to use
the points of the fingers upon the still wet distemper color and to peck
it on usually upon the apex of the ridge of the mottles. It is far from
being the best way, but it is the quickest. In the natural wood the eyes
are very seldom found upon the darker mottles, but more frequently upon
secondary ridges between them, or even upon the valleys laying between
them. As there is not enough color left there to produce them by
peeking them on with the fingers, the operators by that method have to
confine their work to the aforesaid ridges, where they really do not

Much better and more natural ones can be put on with a fine pointed
artist's sable brush, and when one has become habituated to their use
they are very quickly made.

Again they may be put in with colored pencils of a tone deep enough to
suit the rest of the work. This is more quickly done than with the sable
brush, but the strokes cannot be varied as with that, and the more
artistic graining requires their use. There are a number of other more
or less mechanical processes used in producing the bird's eyes, but none
surpass the one's described.

The veining is done with colored pencils as related in paragraph 104 and
overgrained as described in paragraph 105.

In all cases where graining is done in distemper it is to be understood
that the graining is to be varnished or receive a protecting coat of
some kind or another, and as this is required in all cases of distemper
graining it will not be repeated hereafter.


106. What is said regarding the graining of bird's eye maple?

107. In what medium is bird's eye maple usually grained?

108. How are the grounds to be prepared?

109. How would you proceed to put on the mottling lay out?

110. How are the bird's eyes put on?



111. Sycamore is another wood which, like maple, shows but little pores.
Its growth, unlike maple, is an indescribable interlacing and twining of
its ligaments which when sawed produce an infinity of variations with
short, jerky, snappish terminations, and an infinity of short mottlings.
This very infinity at last produces a uniformity on account of their
smallness, as the eye cannot catch all their variations. Were it
possible to greatly increase these of such a size as those of maple,
sycamore would be one of the richest of our woods.

112. It is passably well imitated in distemper work and grained quickly.
The ground should be deeper than that of any of the woods previously
described, of a decided buff tone. The graining color should be made
from raw sienna and burnt umber in distemper. The graining should be
done with the sponge and immediately well blended. If the sponge is
pecked on to the surface to be grained, the blending will produce the
small mottles, and another pecking done in such places as needed and
blended will usually produce a very fair representation of the wood.
Another way is to put on the color evenly with either a sponge or a
brush and to rotate the rotary cylinder rubber roller graining tool upon
it and blend quickly. This gives a very fair imitation if well done.


113. Cherry graining presents no great difficulty, as it is a wood of
very plain growth, so much so that it looks rather tame and for that
reason it is very seldom imitated by graining. There are some of the
rooms in the old-time houses where the woodwork is cherry, and it
sometimes happens that repairs are done to it, and which have to be
grained in order to match the old work.

114. The ground color is made by tinting white lead with ochre, venetian
red and burnt umber. A very fine stipple of burnt umber much reduced
with whiting may be given it and the veining should be put in with a
pencil of the proper color, which should in no wise be very prominent
as in the natural wood it does not show much darker than the fine pores
or stipple work. Of course all of the work is done in water colors.


115. Satinwood, with the one exception of holly, is one of the easiest
of all woods to imitate. There is but few markings upon it and next to
nothing in veining. Mottlings of no great prominence by their depths of
coloring are the only markings. The wood varies somewhat in the depth of
its tone from a light to a medium tone of buff.

116. The ground will vary from a very light buff to a darker shade of
the same. As said before the graining consists of mottlings which are
not very prominent, therefore the graining color, which is made up from
raw sienna and burnt umber in distemper reduced to less intensity by
whiting, should be put on thinly with a sponge and blended so as to
show no feathering.


111. Relate what are the main characteristics of sycamore?

112. How is sycamore grained?

113. What is said of cherry graining?

114. How is cherry grained?

115. What is said regarding the characteristics of satinwood.

116. How is satinwood grained?



117. Mahogany is one of the most beautifully formed woods that nature
produces. In its plain form or in its most intricate featherings, it is
always pleasing to look at and its most profuse variations of form do
not cause any nausea nor does one become confused or tired of them. It
is found in many variations of color. New mahogany is very light
toned and seldom darker than a medium buff tone. It acquires a reddish
tone by age, which becomes a rich dark red in time. This redness is
usually artificially supplied in the natural wood by staining. In
graining it is the most usual to reproduce the rich red darker variety,
and that of the light varieties is only resorted to in order to match
some parts added to a room which has been finished in the light natural

[Illustration: grained door]

118. The ground for light mahogany should be a buff more or less dark,
according to the character of the finish wanted. A medium oak ground
made by the addition of ochre to white lead is the most usual for light
mahogany. For the darker mahogany imitations the ground should be rather
reddish and much darker in tone. To the white lead base should be added
yellow ochre and venetian red. For some specimens a trifle of burnt
umber should be added in order to darken it, but never sufficiently to
kill the red yellow tone.

119. The graining color for light mahogany is prepared by mixing raw
sienna and burnt umber in distemper; that used for graining dark
mahogany is made from burnt sienna and burnt umber, the manner of doing
the graining in either coloring being the same. Mahogany seldom shows
any regular veining, but soft tones of mottlings, rather coarse and
lengthy, but these usually are not numerous in what is known as plain
mahogany. The whole character can be put on in one operation and with
the sponge, which by the proper pressure will make out the broad
veinings, which when blended out to bring out the feathering usually
suffice to give the right character to the wood. The proper use of the
sponge should be practiced in order to make the color lay strong in
parts where it is wanted dark, and to wipe it out thin where but
little coloring is desired to show over the ground.

[Illustration: grained door]

In some specimens of plain mahogany many fine pores appear, and it may
be well to flog a few of the lines made by the sponge lightly before
blending. This must be quickly done, as otherwise it would become too
dry for blending. There will be enough porousness show after the
blending to make a more natural appearance than if the stippling had not
been resorted to.

120. Crotch and feathered mahogany should be well studied out in order
to reproduce it rightly. It is not very difficult to do the work, but as
said before the operator must have a good idea of what he is going to do
and should have the space to be grained all pictured out in his mind's
eye. The feathering is brought out by the proper use of the sponge and
the blending of it properly afterward has much to do in the making it
look natural, for if it is not done right it will make an otherwise
good piece of work look ridiculous. In the natural wood these fine
markings are very scarce, and never seen outside of veneers and are
costly, therefore hardly ever seen except upon high priced furniture,
but in the grained imitation the operator can indulge his wildest
fancies in reproducing the choicest specimens of the wood at a small

121. In the crotch mahogany veneers one will frequently notice a fine
set of veins which cross the mottlings or featherings in an opposite
direction. They are not nearly as prominent as these, but seem to be a
succession of fine paint lines. These when put in as they should be help
out the graining very much, and the putting of these in is the chief
object of overgraining. The coloring should be the same as that used for
the graining, only thinned a trifle more and sometimes just darkened a
bit more by the addition of a little ivory black in distemper. The fine
lines are put in with the fan overgraining brushes from which the hair
has been well thinned out, so they will separate by running through a
comb into a number of parallel fine lines.


117. What is said regarding the graining of mahogany?

118. How are the grounds of light and dark mahogany prepared?

119. How should plain mahogany be grained?

120. How is crotched and fancy feathered mahogany to be grained?

121. How is mahogany overgrained?



122. At one time when graining was at its height, walnut graining was
next to oak, the main wood which grainers had to imitate, and some of
them attained to such skill as entitled their work to be called _art_.
It is not used just now to near the same extent that it used to be, but
as the prevailing sorts of woods that are grained are subject to changes
caused by fashion, there is no telling how soon walnut graining may take
the lead among the dark wood imitations. The color of the various
specimens of walnut vary greatly. The general tone of American black
walnut is darker than that of the European species variously known as
English, Italian, etc., they all being the same. But aside of the fact
that American black walnut is darker, the degree of darkness varies
considerably in various specimens. Walnut, especially black walnut, is a
rather coarse, open-pored wood, with a heart growth which is well
defined and of pleasing forms. The veneers which are sawed from walnut
roots and forks of limbs, as in the crotch walnut, are very intricate
and beautiful when all the details are well brought out by polishing.

123. The ground for walnut graining, as may be well supposed, will vary
greatly, according to the desired finish. The average European walnut
ground is made from ochre, burnt umber and a trifle of venetian red
added to a white lead base, and will be deeper or lighter according to
the finish desired. It will be more yellow in tone than the ground that
is used for the darker American species. For the latter the same colors
are used in preparing the ground, only that it is made deeper on the
average, and that it should not be quite as yellow toned as the ground
used for the European variety.

124. The openness of the wood represented by the pores is easily
reproduced by the stippling it should receive before the heart growth is
either wiped out in oil graining or pencilled on in distemper. Some
grainers dispense with it in oil work, but the finished work suffers
from it. The stippling color is best made from some good Vandyke brown,
and it may also be made from burnt umber in distemper. It should be
flogged on evenly and rather coarse, as it will not look good if flogged
too fine.

125. After the stippling the graining may be done in oil by wiping out.
The color used for graining may be either Vandyke brown, which has been
made more drying by the addition of an extra quantity of good drying
Japan, or from burnt umber, to either of which enough megilp has been
added to keep them from running when sufficiently thinned out for

The easiest way of graining plain growth walnut of either the European
or American varieties is in distemper, and while it may not be as good
in the estimation of some, it is much more quickly performed, and when
well done will look fairly good and natural. For the graining of it in
distemper the same colors should be used in that medium as noted for oil
work, and the veining pencilled on the stippled surface and well blended
out while still wet.

126. The overgraining of plain walnut graining will add much to its
naturalness of looks. This consists mainly of the darkening of some of
the parts. It should be done with the oil color used in graining it in
oil for either oil or distemper work. In the latter case the color
should be sufficiently thinned and well rubbed out as to give it a coat
all over and afterward it should be wiped out from all parts where it is
not wanted with soft cotton rags.


122. What are the principal characteristics of walnut?

123. How are the grounds for European and American black walnut

124. How should walnut be stippled?

125. How is walnut grained in oil and distemper?

126. How is walnut overgrained?



127. The natural plain growth of walnut usually presents no riotousness
and is rather staid and well behaved, but with a sufficiency in
variation to suit the most fastidious. Not so with burled walnut or root
walnut of either the European or the American varieties. One would
hardly recognize them as relations of the former but by that they carry
some of the colors of the plain, besides many shades more and variations
of them of their own. The European varieties are usually lighter toned
than the American sort, and the contorted course of the veining is
somewhat more regular in appearance, otherwise the burling and knots are
very much the same. The same design executed in either European or
American walnut would look well if properly done. There is considerable
system in the seemingly wild growth of walnut burls. Their
representation requires considerable study in order to represent them
naturally, not that it is very hard to do, but in order rather that it
be not overdone. There is nothing that has a more vulgar look than an
overdone imitation of burled walnut.

128. The student should familiarize himself with the growth of many
specimens and besides he should carry an imprint in his mind of all the
various natural specimens he may come across. In these studies he will
no doubt have noted that the ground color or the lighter parts in the
natural wood does not run uniform as in the plain wood. Some parts will
require a much lighter ground than others, and good grainers take
advantage of that knowledge and prepare the grounds in various shades in
order to produce the effects desired. Some try to obtain these by
overgraining, but while that improves the graining it will not produce
the realistic effects possible by the varied colored grounds. This
demands good judgment and a full knowledge of the intended work so that
a boy cannot be sent ahead to do the grounding, but the grainer himself
must do it according to his own conception of the intended work.

129. The graining is always done in distemper. The colors used are raw
and burnt sienna, raw and burnt umber and ivory black. To these may be
added Vandyke brown. The lay out is first laid out with a sponge. A
different sponge should be used in each color. After all the principal
features have been put on and blended properly, the work proper of
putting in the details commences and is done with camel's hair pencils,
fan overgrainers, etc. It is presumed that the student has practiced
these before, as he will hardly care to expose his ignorance upon a door
panel where it would be very likely to put him to shame. Nothing but
practice makes one perfect at this work. Yet many who have practiced it
for years fail to do as good work sometimes as a novice would, because
they have a false conception of it and keep on in the old rut, which was
wrong from the beginning. It is not difficult of execution, but cannot
be done right in a haphazard manner any more than by making lines and
curves and expect to produce a good sign if not put in their proper

130. As hinted in paragraph 28, some grainers expect to do too much with
the overgraining. They try to correct a faulty ground work and to put in
many details which properly belong to the graining proper. It is
possible, of course, to help very much in the correction of many faults,
especially in those of bettering the mottlings, but if the graining has
not been laid out nor grained pretty near right, no amount of
overgraining will make it right, and more work that would have been
passable is rendered worthless by overdone overgraining than from any
other one cause.


127. What is said of burled and root walnut graining?

128. How should the grounds be prepared for it?

129. How is burled walnut grained?

130. How is burled walnut overgrained?



131. Rosewood has never been very extensively used in interior
finishing. Its dark, somber tone unfits it for most situations and its
great cost unfits most people from even thinking about its usage.
Therefore, while the last reason has not been a factor in discouraging
its graining, the first one given has sufficed to confine its use to
that of a few fancy articles of bric-a-brac or fancy pieces of
furniture, and in the latter it has been mainly in the stained form that
it is seen. As, however, it sometimes happens that a grainer is called
upon to produce it upon a fancy box or something else, he should know
how to do it.

132. The ground for rosewood should be compounded from venetian red
brightened up with vermillion and lightened with white lead, but not too
much. It should be of a decided red, and while but little of it usually
shows through the dark superstructure of veins, and that little in the
natural wood is always of a decided red tone, some grainers add ochre to
the red, but that only serves to muddy up the red tone and should never
be resorted to.

133. The main character of the wood should be put on with a sponge with
distemper color consisting chiefly of ivory black, to which a trifle of
umber may be added, but which is not necessary really. The main
character of the wood is laid out in long, wide stripes, which should
consist chiefly of a number of fine lines or veinings. The first laying
out should be put on rather thin and allowed to dry, when the fine line
work can be put on with the fan overgrainer, and the parts of the ground
which have not been covered with the first wide stripe lay out mentioned
should be gone over with the fan brush and a number of fine lines made
running into the dark straight ones. It is between these that a little
of the ground will show here and there only. The character of the wood
should be well understood in order to make a fair imitation, and no one
will attain that by being told "how it looks," for that is impossible,
rosewood being so unlike any other wood.

There is usually no overgraining necessary if the work has been properly
done. Nor should the fine line work done with the fan overgrainer be
blended, as the veining stands out sharp. As sometimes the beginner will
be apt to have it show too much of the red ground, it may be well to
give a glazing coat of ivory black in oil over the whole surface and to
wipe up a few of the parts where the red ground is desired to show
through. This will act as a protection to the work, too, and when dry a
coat of varnish can be given it which will usually suffice then.

134. Many more woods could be given, but of all the rest yellow pine is
the only one which is ever likely to be imitated, and very little of
that excepting in the matching of some repair work. There is no reason
for giving it a special description, as that given in paragraphs 94 to
99, and especially in 99, will come as near to it as it would be
possible to make it.


131. What are the principal characteristics of rosewood?

132. How are the grounds for rosewood to be prepared?

133. How is rosewood grained?

134. What else is said regarding the graining of yellow pine and other



135. The imitation of marbles and other stones of a variegated character
is much older than that of the imitation of woods by graining. This is
no doubt due to the universal custom of public buildings in the Roman
Empire being finished in stonework, marbles, jaspers, onyx and other
variegated stones. The patricians vied with each other in the lavish
decoration of their palaces, which were, of course, the real thing, but
many of the merchants and plebeians who could not afford these expensive
finishes, had recourse to an artificial representation of them, in their
principal chambers at least. The marble imitations found so far do not
speak very highly for the skill of the marblers of that period, and it
must take a rank far below that of other mural decorations done at the
same time presumably by a higher grade of artists.

136. The enormous use of marble and onyx in various decoration in this
country, which has been developed within the latter part of the past
fifty years, has been educating the people to the use of something
better than the miserable paper imitations which have paraded as marble,
or rather been a parody upon it. Such as these paper imitations have
been, it is no wonder that people of taste have tabooed them from their
homes, preferring a plain wall or washable varnished tile paper to those
ludicrous misrepresentations.

137. For many purposes marble imitations are beginning to be used much
more extensively than they were and good imitations always captivate the
attention of people of taste, with the consequence that when once
introduced in a neighborhood it soon happens that the man who is able to
do a good job is soon overrun with that kind of work. That it has not
become general is because, sad to say, it has almost become a lost art
from long disuse. The many cheaper halls, restaurants, etc., in public
and semi-public buildings where the real stone is too expensive; the
many private vestibules, halls and bathrooms, where their use is almost
imperatively demanded by good taste as the only permissible
embellishment to relieve the monotony of the walls, by at least a dado
imitation of good marble done _in oil_ and _washable_. An endless
variation in variously formed panels and cornices and surrounding
stiles, where contrasting colored varieties of marbles and onyxes can be
used, or their use in plain slabs as desired, will enable the artist who
does the marbling to produce an individuality of work on every job. The
good marbler is entitled to be called an artist, for it is only an
artist who can vary this infinity of forms properly. Not that the
execution of the work demands great ability in reproducing it--the
artist's skill is developed and shown in the proper arrangement and use
of coloring, and also in the proper tracing out of the work itself, but
that without the other will surely disappoint.

138. Many marbles resemble each other very closely excepting in their
coloring, and even in marbles of the same quarry there will be found
such variations in the forms of their veinings, agglomerations in those
of conglomerate form that really no well defined description can be
given of any of them. The general characteristics is all that can be
said of any of them and some general directions given under each which
will help the student to do his work upon right lines.

139. Marbles may be divided up into two great divisions, and even these
are somewhat interchangeable, and it will depend upon the angle that the
slabs have been sawed as to whether they should be placed in one or the
other division. These two divisions are the striated marbles, which
includes the veined and serpentine marbles, and the conglomerate, which
includes most of the onyxes and marbles which show but little veining.
As stated before this arbitrary division is sometimes misleading, as a
striated marble will show up in chunky formation if sawed in a certain
way, and again considerable veining will show in a conglomerate if sawed
at the right angle. The placing them in one or the other of the two
divisions applies only when they are sawed in the natural and customary
way--squarely through the block where they show their character more
fully. In some varieties, however, as in some of the onyxes, there is
little regularity of formation and serpentine forms will be found
bordered with large chunks of conglomerates, and the latter with more or
less of well defined serpentine formation intermingled with it. This
really is what makes the chief beauty of the onyxes. The students should
study the forms taken by marbles thoroughly as possible in order to
store up in their memory the innumerable variations of forms of all the
several sorts of marbles which they come across.


135. What is said relative to the imitation of marbles by ancient

136. What uses of marble imitations are made of today?

137. To what parts of interior decoration are they best adapted to?

138. What is said of the irregularity of form in marbles?

139. In how many divisions can marbles be placed in?



140. Under the name of marble are included all variegated stones, and
therefore the term "marbling," like that of "gilding," which is applied
to gold, silver and all metal leaves means considerably more than it
should. Truthfully speaking marbles are of lime formation, while
granites and jaspers and many others are not. The coloring of the
veinings are due to various causes; various substances being deposited
and enveloped in the lime formation, some by infiltration of metallic
ore beds above the lime formation, which found their way through some of
the softer fissures of the imperfectly formed limestone and deposited
there. Again, as in honeycomb limestone, substances which deposited
along with the lime, but which being more soluble have been washed out
of it, leaving the lime full of small holes, as the name indicates.
These being subsequently filled up with colored deposits.

141. General directions will be given in this and subsequent lessons as
to "how" the various operations used for imitating marbles are
performed, and the student will be referred to them when the special
description of the various well-known marbles and other stones are
given. The same operations being used in nearly all of them, being
varied to suit the peculiar needs of each as required.

[Illustration: grained door]

142. There is no need of special brushes or tools for any of the
operations about to be described, and the ones described as useful for
the imitation of wood by graining will more than suffice as but few
brushes are needed. For laying the grounds, some of the larger flat ones
and some smaller flat ones to lay in colors in smaller groups, and dry
ones to blend them. Some fitches or small bristle artists' brushes and
some camel's hair pencils with a few wing and tail feathers for putting
in some of the finer veins, and badger blenders are about all the tools

143. As to material, white lead and zinc white will form the bulk of it,
as it is used either as a base or by itself in all the marbles that will
be described, with, of course, the exception of the black marbles. As
there are so many colors used in imitating marbles, the whole list may
be of use at some time or other, and it will not be necessary to name
them all over at this time, as under each marble will be given the ones
needed. Light varnishes are required in order to give the finished
marble a uniform appearance and as a protection. This is the hardest
part of all to procure, as the stronger ones are not fit to use over
white or even upon some of the darker ones having white veins, turning
them yellowish. Damar varnish is forced upon the marbler, so there is
little wonder if many prefer to leave the work as it is without

All the above applies to oil color marbling only as work done in
distemper is never varnished. The colors needed in water color marbling
are the same as for oil work, only they must of course be in the dry

144. The walls of halls are sometimes done in imitation of marble slabs,
and one is then required to scaffold for it in order to reach them. As
directions were given how to reach the walls and ceilings in Vol. II, or
"Interior Painting," the student is referred to that for fuller details.
For most work good step ladders will be found best, as they permit the
work to be done with more comfort, the operator climbing up or down as
needed without having to reach up or bend down too much.


140. What is said regarding marble formation?

141. What of the general operation used in imitating marbles?

142. What are the tools needed in marbling?

143. What material is used in marbling?

144. What appliances are needed in wall work in order to reach their



145. The laying on of the proper colors for the ground is the first
operation in the order in which they occur in marbling, and it is a very
important one, too. It will be well to state here that the descriptions
which are given is for marbling in oil, as that is by far the best way
of imitating marble, therefore the proper allowance must be made for
water color work of quicker drying, and therefore it will require
considerable speed in conducting the marbling operations, giving the
operator but little time to do his work in he cannot possibly produce as
good work as he can in oil. Only rather plain figured marbles should be
attempted by the students in distemper work. The ground is usually put
on all over alike in oil, and usually it is put on with white lead.
While that is fresh, if a parti-colored ground is desired, a little of
the proper color is worked over it and blended more or less to suit.

146. If the imitation is striated, veined or serpentine marble, while
the ground is still wet the main body of color and veining should be put
in and blended. The blending in marbling constitutes a most important
part, as by means of it veins and lines are made to disappear as it were
into the ground gradually, which gives it transparency, and it will look
as if it came from the interior and gradually becoming stronger toned as
it reached the surface. These effects are all produced by proper

If the imitation is a conglomerate marble the chunks should be put on
with dabs of color suitable and of the right size, depending upon the
blender to soften them into a gradual disappearance into the ground.

147. While the ground is still wet in veined or striated marble the
deeper toned veins, or rather that portion of the veins which it is
desired should appear as having reached the surface by a gradual ascent
from below, should be touched with a little of the fresh color and left
unblended. This is done with camel's hair pointed pencils or with the
tip end of feathers for some of the finer lined ones.

In the conglomerate imitation the chunks can be touched with fresh color
left unblended at what is desired should show as their surface point, so
that the chunks will show as if they were gradually sinking away from
sight to the interior of the stone.

[Illustration: double panelled grained door]

148. It will be best after having formed all the character of the
veining and having touched up the bright parts to let the work dry
before attempting to put in the white veining and what may be called the
"high lights," or the lightest parts of the colored veins or chunks in
the conglomerates. If this was attempted upon the wet color and one
should; undertake to finish the whole work at the one time, he will find
that he cannot produce good white veins and that they mix up so much
with the others as to become anything but _white_. Where it is desired
to produce the impression of white veins disappearing into the rest of
the work, however, it will be well to put in some and to blend them in
to produce that effect, while the first color is still wet and when it
has dried to go over them at what is intended for their surface points
with some fresh color, which will greatly enhance their transparent
effect. Now the light veins are put in without fear of their tones being
destroyed by mingling with the wet ground colors, and all the finishing
touches should be put in. Defects, if any, can be corrected and when the
work is dry it may or may not be varnished.

149. The directions given above will suffice to give the student the
manner of producing any kind of marble or onyx desired. The spots
usually seen in granites are produced by striking a brush upon a stick
at some distance from the surface which it is intended should be
covered, the size of the dots being governed by this distance, and also
by the kind of brush used. A fine spraying with turpentine afterward
will cause them to spread sufficiently to run together at the edges and
to look more natural than if left without this operation.


145. How should the grounds be put on in marbling?

146. How is the veining and blending done in marbling?

147. How is the veining made to appear as if coming up to the surface
from the interior?

148. How are the finishing touches put on?

149. What is further said of marbles and how are granites imitated?




150. Agate is a variegated stone, a conglomerate, and according as it is
cut will sometimes show a number of veins usually circling around some
center. The ground is white lead, and the various colors may be put in
and blended over. This is followed up with touching certain parts with
fresh color, which is left unblended to give a sharp edge. The colors
vary very much in various specimens of agate, some being rather light
and others very dark, so the student has a good range to choose from,
from crimson lake, prussian blue and chrome yellow or ochre.


151. The ground for Brocatello is made from ochre and white lead, or it
may be put on with white lead and ochre brushed into it, leaving it
darker in patches than in others. Then put on a thin glaze over it when
dry made of raw and burnt sienna with enough whiting to make it rather
transparent. When the color has set sprinkle it over with turpentine by
striking a small brush over a stick it will cause it to spread the color
and to show the yellow ground through. Then shade the larger blotches
with a light yellow ochre to show the angular fragments and give it
depth. Then vein with color made of vermillion and Prussian blue, being
careful not to put in the dark lines through the blotches.


152. As the name indicates this marble's chief tone is black with
blotches of yellow. It is a conglomerate marble. The ground should be
put on with black paint and lightened up in parts by working in a little
white in spots, as it should not be uniform in tone, but the lightest
parts should be as dark as a dark slate. Dab on the yellow spots where
they belong and connect a few of them by veins, then blend to produce
transparency; then touch up with some of the light color, which should
not be blended. Let dry and put on a very few high lights on some of the
yellow and with ivory black used as a glaze correct any glaring mistakes
by covering them over which will then appear as belonging to the under


153. This marble is one of the easiest to imitate on the whole list. It
is a veined marble and chiefly a warm gray with white veining. The
ground should be made from white lead, lamp black and warmed up with a
little vermillion. Put in the white veins and blend; after blending
touch up parts of veins you will wish to show as coming to the surface,
but do not blend. When dry emphasize such parts as desired with white.


154. This is a conglomerate marble which presents many varied forms
according as it has been cut. Under certain cuttings it presents a mass
of crystalline matter of great beauty, and somewhat more difficult of
execution than the more ordinary forms of it do. By a little practice,
though, the student will find no great difficulty in representing it
correctly. It is a marble which presents in any of its forms a beautiful
appearance, and one which the operator is pretty sure to be called upon
to reproduce, therefore he should spare no pains to study it well and to
practice what he has learned in order to be ready for any emergency. The
ground is an invisible green made of black with a trifle of yellow
added. When dry put on a suitable green glaze, dabbing on here and there
the black masses and put in the green network of veining with a feather,
touching them up with a camel's hair pencil with the same color to give
it character and transparency. It will be noticed that according as it
is cut a mass of crystalline bodies seem to show through the
semi-transparent stone, and this will test the skill of the marbler to
reproduce naturally.


150. Give a description of the marbling of agate?

151. How is Brocatello marble imitated?

152. Describe how black and gold marble is imitated?

153. Give a description of how dove marble is done.

154. How is Egyptian green marble imitated?




155. Really this marble and the Italian scarlet marble are only
variations of sienna marble, and as the variation consists altogether in
the coloring of the marble and not at all in its veining and other
forms, there will be no need of telling "how" it should be done, as that
is related under the heading of sienna marble in the following
paragraph. For color venetian red lightened up to a pink with white lead
is used instead of that described, and in the scarlet variety vermillion
toned down with venetian red.


156. This marble is more extensively imitated than any of the others,
with the exception of white marble black veined, and there is no wonder
that it is so with its wealth of forms. No matter what one may fancy or
do it is pretty sure to look like some specimen of it has done before if
the same character is kept up to the end. It is true some forms are more
pleasant than are others, and that is true really in all marbles, so
that the student should not spend much time in trying to do something
which is considered an inferiority in the sienna marble itself. The most
pleasing forms are clumps of darker color overrun with veinings and
intervals of lighter tone also veined, but usually with much lighter
toned veins than the set occupying the darker clumps. But some of the
light as well as the darker ones usually trespass some upon each other's
ground, and in some specimens clumps of very fine dots extend over some
of the light areas instead of veins.

The ground should be put in with white and the larger clumps put in with
raw sienna and blended. Then some of the intervals may be connected with
lighter toned and smaller clumps, also made with the raw sienna upon
the still wet ground. Proceed afterward to put in darker broad veins
with the artist's bristle brushes and blending them. After the blending,
put in the white veining, which, of course, will mix with the still wet
ground, but that will give it the transparent effect if when the work
has dried they are touched up here and there with flake white to give
them their character. The darker veinings should also be touched up in
order to emphasize them and make them look transparent. Variations
galore will suggest themselves to the student who has made a study of
these marbles from natural specimens.


157. The ground for this marble is a neutral tone of red made with white
lead and Indian red. The veining should be put in with burnt umber and a
second set with burnt sienna, a few of each running in every direction
without any regularity. This veining must be done while the ground is
still wet in order that the ends may blend in with it and seem to
disappear into it. Sometimes the veining runs out of clumps and seems to
break forth, leaving some parts nearly free of veinings, and then
suddenly to spring up into a network as intricate as seen upon a nutmeg


158. This is an American marble. It is usually of a mauve or bluish
violet tone, and of a medium between dark and light, some specimens
being rather dark. As it is plentiful and cheap much of it does not show
up at its best, but there are some specimens which are very beautifully
marked. As all other marbles, it has an infinity of showings. Its
general character is an all-over veining. Some specimens, however,
showing a few patches of plain white of considerable extent, and in all
the better ones some large thick white veins with a number of smaller
ones running in a wild way radiating from them, but with a distinct
tendency to run in the same direction as the large white veins spoken
of. Then there is another set of smaller veining of the same tone as the
ground, but much deeper scattered nearly all over it. The ground should
be put on with white paint and color made from Indian red deepened with
Prussian blue, dabbed on nearly all over it and blended into the white,
leaving a few patches of white and the larger fissure veins where
desired, although these can be put on after the ground has become dry.
Much of the smaller veining should be put on before the ground is dry in
order to mix with it and give the transparent effect so much desired.
Afterward the stronger high light effects in the large white veins and
in some of the parts of the smaller ones should be touched up with flake
white, and the darker veins should be touched up here and there also
with the darkest color.


155. Describe how Italian pink and Italian scarlet marbles are imitated?

156. How is sienna marble imitated?

157. How is Florentine marble reproduced?

158. What is said concerning the imitation of Tennessee marble?




159. This marble is probably but a variation of the verd antique, which
it closely resembles in all its colorings. It contains more veinings
than the other, although it, too, shows up clumps of conglomerate very
much the same in formation; as a full description of verd antique is
given in the subsequent paragraph, the student can vary from the
directions given in so far as to introduce the veinings mentioned which
the other has but few of.


160. Verd antique marble is really a modified Egyptian, being somewhat
more blotchy than its cousin the Egyptian green marble. The ground
should be made from Prussian blue and yellow ochre to make a brownish
green, then dab some of each of the separate colors blue and yellow
where the blotches are desired; then connect them by veinings and blend,
touching up afterwards with fresh color parts which should show
prominently, but be careful not to overdo this, as but little of the
full tone of the yellow should show or it will make it look unnatural.



161. These two marbles are bracketed together, as with the exception of
the ground color and the reversing of the color used in the veining they
are so much alike that the same description will do for each of them.
They are veined marbles, and many specimens show fissures which for the
sake of naturalness and variety may be imitated but very sparingly, as
really it is a defect.

The ground for these marbles should be white lead; for the white veined
proceed to dab on patches of black with a small tool and blend the black
with the white all over, but have the ground darker in parts than in
others, varying from a gray to nearly true black, but of the latter
sparingly. A few white blotches and main white coarse veins are left,
and the white veins are put in with flake white, which will blend into
the ground and serve to give the proper transparency. When dry the pure
white veins must be touched in order to bring them out.

For the black-veined variety the white lead ground is gone over here and
there, but not too much of it, with a touch of black which must be
vigorously worked into the white to produce a few blotches of light,
faint gray not prominent at all. The veining is gray of a trifle darker
tone, which is called black by courtesy and as a contrast to the white
of the ground.

162. The above comprise about all the leading varieties of marbles.
There are many other varieties, chiefly of those described, and
differing from them chiefly in their coloring, their imitation being the
same excepting that.


163. Onyxes differ from those stones which are known as marbles chiefly
in that they are more transparent. The clumps or blotches of variously
colored component parts of the conglomerate are much more diversified
than can usually be seen in marbles and according to the angle at which
they are cut present an endless variation. Sometimes whole slabs show
the conglomeration cut across; again in others considerable blank space
is found in close proximity and again serpentine waves of veins looking
very transparent run around the clumps, etc. Nothing but a close study
of the natural stone can give one a perfect idea of their vagaries of
form. The general directions given in paragraphs 140 to 149 cover all
that could be said here as to the manner of imitating them and the
student who has carefully followed the descriptions which are specially
given under each marble will find no great difficulty in imitating the
variously colored onyxes.


164. All the above are closely related and may be bracketed together in
describing their imitation. According to their predominating colors they
are known as red, gray, white, etc., and have usually the name of the
countries from which they come given them in addition.

The ground color should consist of the leading or predominating color,
and the rest of the spots are put in by sprinkling or striking the brush
against a stick. When the colors have commenced to set, but before they
have dried and while still partly wet, turpentine should be sparingly
sprinkled upon the work, which will cause the spots to spread and run
into each other, but it must not be overdone or a mess will be the
result. A little fine flaked mica may be sprinkled upon the work after
it is finished, also before drying has been completed; this will give
more naturalness to the granite imitations; the porphyry and jasper do
not need it.


159. Describe the character of serpentine marble?

160. How is verd antique marble imitated?

161. How are white-veined black marble and black-veined white marble

162. What is said of other varieties of marbles?

163. How are onyxes imitated?

164. What is said regarding the imitation of granites, porphyries and



Agate marbling--how done                                             145

Applying the rubbing in colors in graining                            50

Ash graining--general remarks on                                      93

Ash graining--how grounds are made for                                93

Ash graining--how grained in distemper                                95

Ash graining--how grained in oil                                      94

Ash graining--how overgrained                                         95

Ash graining--Hungarian--how grained                                  96

Badger haired blenders--their uses                                    28

Bird's-eye maple--how grained                                        101

Black and gold marble--how imitated                                  145

Black veined white marble--how imitated                              150

Blending distemper graining                                           62

Brocatello marble--how imitated                                      145

Brushes used for laying grounds                                       25

Brushes used rubbing-in color                                         25

Burled growth of woods                                                75

Burled Walnut--how to grain                                          122

Burled Walnut--how to overgrain                                      123

Camel's hair pencils used in graining and marbling                    30

Champs--how wiped in quartered oak graining                           41

Check rollers--how to use                                             53

Chestnut graining--general remarks on                                156

Chestnut graining--how to grain it                                   157

Cherry graining--how to prepare grounds for                          109

Cherry graining--how to grain it                                     109

Colored crayons--used in fine veinings                                71

Colors used in preparing grounds in graining                          21

Colors used in graining in distemper                                  22

Colors used in graining in oil                                        23

Combination oil and distemper work in oak graining                    36

Curled maple--how grained                                            100

Davis rubber rollers used in graining                                 32

Description of material used in graining                              23

Dove marble--how imitated                                            147

Egyptian green marble--how done                                      149

Fan overgrainers--their uses                                          28

Flakes--how wiped in quartered oak graining                           85

Florence marble--how imitated                                        148

General remarks on Ash graining                                       92

General remarks on Bird's-eye maple graining                         100

General remarks on Chestnut graining                                  97

General remarks on Cherry graining                                   109

General remarks on Burled Walnut graining                            122

General remarks on graining operations                                38

General remarks on preparing grounds                                  41

General remarks on preparing megilps                                  43

General remarks on preparing graining grounds                         41

General remarks on preparing graining colors                          43

General remarks on Mahogany imitation                                112

General remarks on Maple (plain) imitation                            98

General remarks on marbles, imitation                                130

General remarks on Oak graining                                       79

General remarks on Quartered Oak graining                             84

General remarks on Rosewood graining                                 133

General remarks on Satinwood graining                                110

General remarks on Sycamore graining                                 104

General remarks on making tints                                       42

General remarks on tools used in graining                             31

Glycerine--to retard drying of distemper colors                       48

Graining colors for oak                                               80

Granites--how imitated                                               160

How to do the combing in distemper                                    58

How to do the combing in oil                                          58

How to blend distemper work                                           62

How to do the wiping with rags                                        57

How to grain Ash                                                      93

How to grain Ash (Hungarian)                                          95

How to grain Bird's-eye Maple                                         99

How to grain Curled Maple                                             99

How to grain Cherry                                                  100

How to grain Chestnut                                                 97

How to grain Mahogany                                                112

How to grain Maple (plain)                                            96

How to grain Rosewood                                                127

How to grain Walnut                                                  116

How to grain Walnut (curled)                                         118

How to grain Satinwood                                               113

How to grain Sycamore                                                108

How to marble Egyptian green marble                                  148

How to marble Florentine marble                                      152

How to marble Italian pink marble                                    150

How to marble Italian scarlet marble                                 150

How to marble Sienna marble                                          150

How to marble Serpentine marble                                      145

How to marble Tennessee marble                                       153

How to marble Verd antique marble                                    156

How to marble white veined and black veined marbles                  157

How to imitate Onyxes                                                158

How to imitate Granites                                              160

How to imitate Jaspers                                               160

How to imitate Porphyries                                            160

How to use the Davis graining rollers                                 65

How to use the Ridgely graining tools                                 65

How to use the colored crayons                                        72

How to use the wax in finishing                                       80

Italian pink marble--how imitated                                    148

Italian scarlet marble--how imitated                                 148

Jasper--how imitated                                                 160

Mahogany--how to prepare ground for                                  109

Mahogany--how to grain                                               112

Mahogany--how to make the featherings                                115

Maple, plain--how to prepare the ground                               99

Maple, plain--how to grain                                            99

Maple, bird's-eye--how to grain                                      101

Maple, bird's-eye--how to put in the eyes                            104

Marbling--general remarks on                                         130

Marbling--imitation of agate                                         145

Marbling--imitation of black and gold marble                         146

Marbling--imitation of Brocatello marble                             147

Marbling--imitation of Dove marble                                   148

Marbling--imitation of Egyptian green marble                         148

Marbling--imitation of Florence marble                               152

Marbling--imitation of Italian pink marble                           150

Marbling--imitation of Italian scarlet marble                        150

Marbling--imitation of Serpentine marble                             152

Marbling--imitation of Tennessee marble                              153

Marbling--imitation of Verd antique marble                           156

Marbling--imitation of white and black veined marble                 157

Marbling--imitation of Onyxes                                        158

Marbling--imitation of Granites                                      160

Marbling--imitation of Porphyries                                    160

Marbling--imitation of Jaspers                                       160

Material used in graining                                             21

Mottlers--their uses                                                  29

Mottling--how done in distemper                                       73

Oak graining--general remarks on                                      79

Oak graining--how to grain                                            84

Oak graining--how overgrained                                         86

Onyxes--how to imitate                                               160

Old varnished work--how to treat it for graining                      41

Old woodwork--how to treat for graining                               40

Overgraining--the use made of it                                      62

Overgraining--how to use the four overgrainers                        63

Pencilling the veining in distemper                                   61

Pencilling the veining--how done                                      61

Porphyries--how imitated                                             160

Practice boards--to study graining upon                               77

Quarter-sawed Oak--general remarks on                                 84

Quarter-sawed Oak--grained in distemper                               88

Quarter-sawed Oak--how the dark flakes are put on                     96

Quarter-sawed Oak--how the checkroller is used                        91

Quarter-sawed Oak--how overgrained                                    91

Quarter-sawed Oak--how wiped out                                      89

Quarter-sawed Oak--how finished                                       95

Rags--their use in graining                                           37

Ridgely rubber graining tools                                         34

Rosewood graining--general remarks on                                126

Rosewood graining--how to make the grounds                           127

Rosewood graining--how to grain it                                   128

Rosewood graining--how to overgrain it                               129

Rubber graining rollers (Davis)                                       32

Rubber graining combs                                                 35

Rubbing in color in oil in graining                                   49

Rubbing in color--how applied                                         52

Satinwood--how grained                                               100

Serpentine marble--how imitated                                      146

Sienna marble--how imitated                                          150

Stippler--its use in graining                                         27

Stippling--for walnut--how done                                      119

Stippling--general rules for                                       55-75

Sponges--their use in distemper                                       74

Steel graining combs                                                  35

Varnish brushes used in graining                                      30

Varnishing--how it should be done                                  81-87

Verd antique marble--how imitated                                    156

Walnut graining--general remarks on                                  116

Walnut graining--grounds for                                         118

Walnut graining--how to stipple for                                  119

Walnut graining--how grained in oil and distemper                    120

Walnut graining--how overgrained                                     121

Wax used in preparing megilp                                          22

Wax polish--how applied                                               82

Whiting--its uses in preparing megilps                                23

White veined marble--how imitated                                    149

Wiping out--what it means                                             56

Wiping out--how done                                                  57

Woods--how classed                                                    83

       *       *       *       *       *

Typographical errors corrected by the etext transcriber:

bevelled to a sharpe edge=> bevelled to a sharp edge {pg 36}

are two short for use=> are too short for use {pg 77}

no dofficulty=> no difficulty {pg 94}

is a synonim=> is a synonym {pg 104}

most fastiduous=> most fastidious {pg 122}

has sufficied to confine=> has sufficed to confine {pg 126}

prefering a plain wall=> preferring a plain wall {pg 131}

should be attemped=> should be attempted {pg 140}

General remarks on preparing meglips....43=> General remarks on
preparing megilps....43 {pg iv}

Marbling--imitation of Brocatella marble....147=> Marbling--imitation of
Brocatello marble....147 {pg vi}

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