Friday, October 15, 2010

Grain Painting

We get some interesting jobs at work.... Like this grain painting on antique automobile parts. The owner is restoring the vehicle and the original parts were grain painted but worn, so he came to us to get them redone. Grain painting is not something we ordinarily do, but this man is an old and loyal customer so we are willing to try just about anything for him.

First we photographed all the parts and got color matches for the background and glazing. Then we sandblasted the parts, primed them and painted them this ochre color. Here is the glove box door.

I don't have any fancy graining brushes so I cut V shaped chunks out of a throw away brush to make one. Then I mixed equal parts faux painting glaze and a very dark brown color. Here is the "graining" brush loaded with glaze.

Step one is to apply the glaze in slow steady strips across the piece. If the lines are a little wiggly it doesn't matter, but the thickness of the paint should be consistent.
Notice how the curved window frames are even more wiggly because it's harder to do irregular shapes. But seriously, it won't matter.

Step Two is to drag a soft dry brush across the grain. This is where consistent application of paint in the first step really shows its importance. If you applied too much, it just makes a big smear, if you applied too little, it won't pull out the horizontal marks.
This is how you want it to look.

Step three is to stipple the wettest areas with a stiff dry brush. Stipple means to tap the surface with the tip of the brush. Above is a window frame and below is the glove box door after stippling.

Step four is to drag the soft dry brush back over the wettest areas with the grain this time.
I repeated those four steps again and again as I worked my way around the six window frames, the dash, and the glove box door. And then I repeated them again and again and again for the second coat.
This is how it finally looked. So don't be intimidated by grain painting. It just takes some faux painting glaze, a few simple tools, and lots of patience.


Anonymous said...

you are so generous with your talents and info! thank you, and let us know how he likes the product, please. jkj

Unknown said...

Thanks for the tutorial.