The background of faux wood birds eye maple is a mixture of beige and vermilion mixed – the vermilion is used only to neutralize the blue tinge of the beige, but not to give it a pink tint. The base coat must be a satin or semi-gloss paint or the over graining will absorb into the under layers.
The graining color, consists of Vandyke Brown, or Raw Sienna and Vandyke Brown, or Raw Sienna and Indian Red according to the tint required, whether brown, yellow, or black maples.
With cheap chip brush (these are natural bristle paint brushes) lay down the first layer of colored glaze over the entire panel. Work it all over the panel in an even coat. Then take off some of the liquid glaze while it’s still wet by brushing with a dry chip brush. Work down the face of the work, in a waving direction, leaving the open space where the heart of the wood is intended to be introduced rather darker than the other parts.
Soften the whole panel with a badger softener, which is a broad flat brush, the hairs of which are set that they spread outward, and may be rapidly and lightly drawn over the work without leaving any brush marks! And… do try to work at the same time softening down the edges and otherwise smoothening the whole thing.
Next, with a thinner mottler work round the edges of the lights, giving a pointed tendency to their forms, at the same time filling in the finer work in the darker spaces.
When this has again been softened, take a hog’s hair dotter -a short round brush, with a somewhat pointed tip, and draw from the lights to the darker parts of the work.
This part of the process must be done very rapidly, as it must be completed while the glaze is wet; it’s pretty obvious that you should only work on a small portion of the panel at a time.
To create faux wood graining maple, the pressure of the hand must be regulated by the feel… It’s difficult to explain the exact pressure needed but – where the weight of the hand is withdrawn, dark shades are left.
The next process is that of over-graining. The heart, which is indicated by numerous fine lines, which spread over a portion of the work in graceful wavy curls, can be produced by a thin liner brush dipped into Venetian red, Indian red, or any other suitable color mixed with glaze.
The “eyes” are now to be added.
This is a really easy method for adding bird eyes: Roll a piece of paper towel, previously saturated with the over-graining colour, until a point is formed; this point must however be open, like the aperture in a funnel, but it must be semicircular in shape, and with this the impressions are to be made at the points marked by the dotter.
Or another way to form the birds eyes to maple is by placing the tips of the fingers upon the work while it’s still wet, after which it is well softened. A small circle is afterwards formed round the eyes.
The over-graining of maple should be done on the same day as the mottling. When the graining is quite dry, it needs to be sealed or varnished.