Spinning a Cocoon
The paint medium used to render wood grain over the base coat is called a glaze, which is simply a thin paint film that enables a substrate color to pass through it. Glazing mediums are available in oil or water base. Typically, the grainer will thin the glazing medium and tint it to grain colors reflected in the target wood sample. The tints can be universal tinting colors, artist tube oils, or the settled pigments from non-penetrating stains. The important characteristic of the finished glaze is a viscosity that is thin enough to be translucent, while having enough body to respond and submit to the control of the artist's tools.

Beauty Emerges
Of all the tools of the painting trade, graining tools are the most bizarre! Long-bristled floggers, badger hair softeners, mottlers, steel and rubber combs, check rollers, and, would you believe, plastic scouring pads? Yes, even the kitchen sink! But all have specific purposes and effects, and when the tools meet the medium on a work surface, magic happens and paint becomes wood. Guided by a trained eye and in the hands of a skilled artisan there is literally not a wood species on earth that cannot be rendered. And lest the artisan get too cocky, there exists this humbling irony: the eyes of the beholders of the grainer's art won't know or appreciate that metamorphic skill. They'll think they're looking at real wood!
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