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Discovering the Nearly-Lost Art of Hand-Painted Faux Woodgrain

There are few things that inspire the descriptions “luxury”, “classic” and “classic luxury” than the natural warmth and richness of wood.

While fine and exotic woods, often in the form of veneers, were popular among the British marquees, wood – of course – has several drawbacks, such as stability over time as humidity and exposure affect the cells of the wood, finishes that wear or dry out in sun, and the safety in an impact.

But mostly, it was the expense.

On this side of the pond, faux finishes were more common. But in the days before plastics, vinyls and photo-embossing, the wood grain finishes we saw in theses golden oldies were hand-painted by skilled craftsmen.

“Wood graining goes back thousands of years, to ancient India and Egypt. It remained a highly regarded skill through the centuries. You can find examples of it everywhere from the Palace of Versailles to Colonial-era American homes.”

Ken Gross recently published an article on this (nearly) lost art in Road & Track magazine. Click here to read this article.

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