Front Doors Faux Graining

Posted on November 6, 2008 by

According to Betsy Greene of Betsy Greene Decorative Painting, the front doors of Lloyd Street Synagogue are probably pine. They would have been originally grained to resemble a more expensive wood like oak. Because of this, the doors are now receiving a makeover to return them to the faux graining they had in the 19th century. Since I’ve been at the JMM, they have been painted white, so it came as a bit of a shock to see them changed.

The doors first received a base coat of a pale yellow. (see top part of the door)

Next, the doors receive a layer of glaze that is combed to resemble the pore structure of oak. (see bottom part of the door).

The doors are then hand-painted to resemble figure graining. The paint is waterbased oil paint mixed with glazing liquid. The work is combed to break up the lines.


Next is the toning layer. Subtle nuances are given to each board to create variation.

Finally, the doors are clear coated with spar varnish, which protects them from the sun and elements. This is the same kind of varnish used on boats and other outside objects.

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