Monday, September 29, 2014

Grain Painting the Tool Chest

Step Two: the first layer of graining. I used burnt sienna pigment mixed in the same linseed oil mix.

After I got this far I was so tempted to do more layering of color. If I’ve learned anything from the little experience I have with grain painting, though, it’s very easy to do too much and muddle the whole thing up. Period examples are not usually very realistic… they’re more stylistic than anything. (And occasionally it seems that the painter had pretty strange ideasabout how wood grain grows.) The normal viewing distance is 5-10 feet away or so. You’re not supposed to look too close. (Not to say there aren’t incredible examples of grain painting, because there are.)

I didn’t want to smear the wet paint I have on there so I left that to dry. Maybe tomorrow I’ll be able to finish up the next layer of color to complete the graining. Then it’s the faux banding work. Come to think of it, I’m not going to be completing this in time for Leonard’s Mills this weekend. This linseed oil paint dries too slow to get all these layers on in time. Maybe the banding will have to wait until next week.


  1. Castle Tucker in Wiscasset has lots of period grain painting. One of the pantries has a counter top made of (probably) mahogany, grained like oak or ash.
    Your chest looks great.

  2. Thanks, Michael. I have not stopped by that one yet. I will make sure to put it higher on the list. Thanks!