Graining is a simulated wood finish achieved using paints and glazes. It is usually used over a cheaper wood such as pine, but can be used on plaster.
Generally a pink base is used. When this is dry, a glaze containing a mixture of burnt sienna, crimson and burnt umber is painted over in a variety of designs. The 'flame' was a popular effect for door panels. Deeper colours are applied in the centre with perhaps a few flashes of deeper colour at the edges. A wide brush called a mottler is used rather in the manner of an italic pen to imitate the tapering shape of a flame. The design is blended in with a softening brush or overgrainer made either of hog hair or badger hair. Finally, a very thin coloured glaze is painted over the panel using both mottlers and overgrainers.
A deep beige made up of white, burnt umber and yellow ochre forms the base colour. Over this a glaze of burnt umber and ochre is painted, giving darker and lighter streaks. A coarse, long-haired flogging brush and combs with variously spaced teeth are pulled down over the work to show the base colour underneath. The whole work is then flogged by hitting the brush against the surface all the way up the panel. This process breaks the previously straight lines into short splinters.
The base is made up of white, raw sienna and a little raw umber. When a thin glaze of raw sienna and a little raw umber has been added, a folded rag is taken loosely in the hand and pulled down over the work with a waving but irregular motion. The areas which are not touched by the rag are stippled over with a fitch brush, made of polecat hair, and knots are put in using a number of different short-haired fitches so as to obtain different-sized knots. To obtain this effect, the brush is held in one position, perpendicular to the work, and twisted.
An orangey red colour can be the base for this wood effect. It is made by adding burnt sienna and raw sienna to white eggshell paint. For a deeper colour burnt umber may be added. The glaze uses the same colours as the base coat except for the white. When it has been painted on, a ragging brush and combs are drawn down in long and slightly wavering movements in one direction, then back again in the opposite direction to soften the work.