This historic grain-painted pine door was made around 1808, when the Federal style Stover House was built, and likely received this grain-painted treatment about 50 years later when the house passed to the next generation of Stovers. It is likely the rest of the trim in the room was also grained to match but has been painted over.
Decorative paint treatments, including faux finishes, were widely used in the Victorian era to mimic more expensive materials – mahogany and maple in this case. This finishes have often been painted over (like the trim in this room) but remain under to paint. Where such finishes can be documented, it is possible to have them recreated by a decorative painter, or a homeowner willing to learn the techniques required.
Paint graining can also be used to restore the character of wood that was originally stained and varnished but later painted over. Stripping the paint and refinishing the wood is not always possible but a talented decorative painter can make it look like you did.
Decorative paint finishes are discussed in Chapter 18 of Restoring Your Historic House, The Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners.
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