Friday, July 24, 2009

History of false-graining

I wanted to write a little bit about the history of false-graining, as most of our frames are finished in this technique. Faux wood graining originated primarily in 17th century England and France, and became popular in America from the late 18th to early 19th century. During this time, faux finishing techniques were so refined, it was difficult to distinguish a false-grained piece from the real wood! These techniques were used on everything from furniture and boxes to wall panels and doors.

Faux painting emerged as a way to make inexpensive materials look like their much more valuable cousins. Woods such as pine were painted and finished to resemble oak, mahogany and cherry, and allowed people to furnish and decorate in a style much more lavish looking than they could afford. In our modern times, the supply of many hardwoods such as rosewood and burled woods are dwindling and have been protected by law, and false-grain finishing once again is emerging as a craft.

We finish our frames in two styles of graining - in some instances we try to simulate the look of a real wood grain. Other graining is fun and fanciful, with colors and designs to accentuate the framed piece.

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