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Painless Caning: A Tutorial by Craig Fraser


by Craig Fraser


Steve Chaszeyka, Wizard to you, had a customer who wanted the caning texture rendered on his Rolls Royce, and so he asked me to solve the problem. The rest is, at best, obscure history. I’ve performed this technique ever since, but primarily for show at Pinhead meets as gifts for friends. There is really no practical application for rendering caning, but I do it because it’s not only a neat effect, but it has served well to irritate and frustrate fellow pinstripes. And besides the obvious performance ingredients “brushes, paint and a decent surface” obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a must. Perhaps my only paying job for this effect was on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle tank (photo at right). I guess if you can brave and master this technique, you’ll be able to do anything in pinstriping.

Step 1:

step 1

With the protective tape still on the metal panel, I sketched my design with a white Stabillo pencil, and cut out the design.

Step 2:

step 2

Then, using a Mack Mike Lavalle pictorial brish, I blocked out the letters with 1-Shot lettering enamel for the optimal contrast, I added 5 – 10 percent of 1 Shot UV low temp reducer clear to ensure faster flash times. The normal paint drying time without reducer, and depending upon climatic conditions, is about 45 minutes to an hour.

Step 3:

step 3

With a MACK DC Flatliner size 0 brush “designed to make straight lines” and a shade of beige, I layed down a double row of vertical and horizontal caning lines. I use 3-M green masking tape as my spacer.

Step 4:


Here, I paint the single diagonal lines with the same color.

Step 5:


The protective tape is removed.

Step 6:


To shadow the intersections, I used a “Royal synthetic hair liner” which is to 2 drops of dark brown for a transparent glaze. This is great for shadows. I usually start in the center of the design.

Step 7:

step 7

I paint the first of two layers of highlights “the hot spots” for dimension and depth using a Mack 444 Virus size 1 script brush. The 1st highlight is a slight lighter shade of tan created by adding a touch of white. The highlights are applied onto the high spots where the cane crosses over the other pieces. Highlights are the fastest component of this image to produce.

Step 8:


The 2nd series of highlights are comprised of white with a hint of tan and is applied, in shorter lengths, onto the first series of highlights.

Step 9:


I outline the letter with a Mack 444 virus size 4 script brush. Time: 1 ½ hrs.



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