An Old Fashioned Craft – Wood Graining


I did a bid in a very nice home today, in River Oaks.  The previous owners had a somewhat contemporary style, and the new owners are taking the home back to a more traditional style. 

The kitchen cabinetry and island had originally been painted a sort of rosy–mauve, and the new owners want a wood tone.    So they had a faux finisher come in and repaint the cabinets.  She did a fabulous job!  Unless you get really close and know what to look for, the cabinets now look like they are stained wood, not paint.  There was a lot of cabinetry in that room – it must have taken her weeks!

In our family wallpaper & paint store, like many small businesses that operated out of the same location for decades, there were scads of Oldies but Goldies in the basement – rolls of wallpaper dating to the 1930’s and 1940’s, a machine for cutting window shades (One employee years back had actually cut off a finger using that gadget!), and wood graining tools. 

The graining tools were very interesting – combs that were dragged through the top layer of stain (over a base coat) to simulate natural wood grain, and rubber rollers with imprints that you rocked back and forth at certain points to create what looked like knot holes and natural defects in the wood. 

A skilled artisan could make a plain board or wall look like real oak or maple or any type of wood you could want.  It’s a lost art these days, because there’s not much call for faux wood.  So I was thrilled to see the work of the faux finisher today, and know the craft is alive and well and appreciated.

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