Now that the aqueous phase of varnishing is complete, it is time to prepare the ground. The purpose of the ground is to provide a smooth base for the colored varnish and to prevent the varnish from penetrating the wood.
The first step is to mix some pumice powder into some clear varnish. This is applied to the violin and then rubbed off. This is done twice with some curing time between coats. This step fills the pores of the wood and seals the surface.
Next a thin coat of clear varnish is applied. After it cures, the violin is rubbed down. The ground is now finished.
Next we apply the first color coat.