graining, process of painting by which natural wood grain is imitated. It was common practice in the late 19th cent. to grain cheap, soft woods to give them the appearance of rare, expensive ones. A light general tone with the brush was followed by darker streaks applied with a comb and wiped with a rag. This art is rarely practiced today except in matching old work. The term is also applied to mechanical methods for producing an artificial texture of any kind, as in bookbinding, and refers to a process of artificially coarsening the smooth metal sheets to be used as plates in offset printing.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.