Corrugated rubber tools of various forms are used in graining. Some kinds of woods can be done complete with these tools, and again their main character laid out with them, which is afterward improved by hand work. They are great time savers and to the man who knows how to use them well, which can be easily learned by following the directions given which accompany the boxes the tools are packed in, anyone can quickly learn their use, and will find it of great help in doing their work quickly, which is an important item, especially where the graining has to be done cheap. They will be able to turn out very much better work than could be done by hand for the same money.
That fact alone if for no other reason (and there are other reasons also) entitles them to a welcome in the kit of progressive grainers who are not held in “awe” by precedents established when “grainers” were getting something for good work done by hand exclusively. While we are in the way of describing other methods of graining than that of graining done by hand, it is only right and proper that the transfer graining papers should be noticed. The graining upon many of these is very good. It has one disadvantage in that on large jobs there will be more repetition than is desirable; there is also an automatic indescribable look belonging to it, that grates upon an artistic taste, so that while the graining may be really much better than much hand work, yet hand or even that done with corrugated rubber tools will please the average man better than the more perfect automatic work done with the graining paper.
In graining with transfer paper, the paper to be used in the panels, stiles and rails should be cut into strips a trifle wider than desired for the actual space to be grained. The ground coat should be an appropriate one for the kind of wood to be imitated. The process of the transferring is similar to that used for all transfers; the paper is applied to its proper place, which it must cover fully, then the operator proceeds to wet the back of the transfer paper with a sponge which has been dipped in clean water. In a few moments after the wetting the paper can be pulled loose from the surface over which it is applied, laid aside flat to dry, and an exact replica of the graining printed upon the face of the paper will be left upon it. These transfer paper strips can be utilized several times before the design is dimmed too much for use. After the completion of the work it must be varnished in order to hold it on, as any other distemper work must be.
There is another form of graining paper which has just been patented in Germany, which is not a transfer paper really and which does excellent work. By some patent process the paper is made upon the face of the woods they represent; every pore and detail of the wood is perfectly represented. The ground color is covered over with oil graining color the same as for hand wiping. Then the graining paper, cut into proper sized strips, are placed over the surface and the back of the paper is rubbed over with a specially made brush all over, taking care that the hands do not touch it any where except upon the edge, which should extend over sufficiently for this purpose; then the paper is lifted off and can immediately be used again. It leaves the job as if it had been “wiped out,” but much better of course than 99 out of 100 men could possibly do it by hand. It is somewhat costly and outside of the samples which were given the author for testing he has never seen any. So far it has not been imported in this country in a regular way, but there is no doubt but that it will soon be.