Faux Wood Grain Paint Technique

6 Materials
3 Hours

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Click on the links to get the materials:

- 2" Dry Brush

- 1.5" Dry Brush

- Base Coat Color Paint

- Wood Graining tool - this is the trick. It doesn't cost much at all, and it super fun to use.

- Clear Glaze

- Top Coat Color Paint (not pictured above)

- Old Rag

- Sandpaper

STEP 1: Sand down your piece of furniture

Grab whatever piece of furniture you want to paint and start sanding it down. Do this on every piece of furniture you want to paint, even if it's laminate; it preps the surface for painting.

STEP 2: Clean off the area

Wipe down any dust caused by sanding the item.

STEP 3: Paint a base coat (the grain color)

Here is where you can begin customizing your piece. First you will be laying down a base coat in the color of your choice. This will be the underlying color of the grain. You can use any color you want! Be sure to use a paint that has primer in it so that it adheres to the surface well.

STEP 4: Paint the top coat with glaze

Once the base coat has dried it is time to mix the top paint layer. You can also use whatever color you choose for the top coat. I decided to give a slightly white washed feel so I used white paint. First pour a bit of white paint into a cup or bowl.

Then mix in a clear glaze. You need a glaze top for the technique to work. Glaze takes longer to dry and gives you time to create the grain texture. Mix the paint and glaze at a ration of 1:4. (One part paint to 4 parts glaze).

I decided the white was too stark in contrast to the dark gray so I decided to add a bit of the original color to make a lighter gray as the top coat color.

STEP 5: Paint the furniture with the top coat

Brush a layer of your paint and glaze mix on top of the base coat. Do this with a dry bristle brush making sure it isn't super thick or saturated.

STEP 6: Use the wood graining tool

Grab your handy-dandy and awesome wood graining tool ( I got mine on Amazon, and it worked perfectly) and drag one side through the glaze/paint mix. This will really just create some lines through the paint.

Now is the fun part! Using your wood grain tool drag the curved edge through the glaze/paint mixture wobbling it back and forth as you go to create the grains. Don't wobble it too much or it will look unnatural. Once your done, and happy with how it looks, let it dry.

This  wood graining tool  also comes with a small piece that helps get in the smaller nooks and crannies of the drawer.

Here is a before and after of the piece I painted. The drawers on the right were not touched because I'm not going to use them.

Look at all that grain! I think I may have gone a bit overboard, but it is so fun to watch the grain come to life!

The wood graining tool I bought came with a small piece as well that helped to get in the smaller nooks and crannies of the drawer. I would highly suggest getting one that has the same.

This thing really looks like a stained piece of wood. It is actually a laminate covered particle board piece, so it's pretty impressive!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • KD Redlowske
    on Sep 3, 2017

    I love it! However, I don't see how you did those fancy swirls on the the top?
    • Jenny
      on Aug 24, 2020

      Just rock the grainer back and forth any where you fancy a 'knot'. It's very satisfying. I built a six door built-in wardrobe about forty years ago, and then ten years back I repainted it using this technique. It's very satisfying to do and hard-wearing.

  • Swe6182874
    on Jul 4, 2018

    Can this be done on kitchen cabinets ?

  • Patty
    on Jul 4, 2018

    could this also be done on the lower 1/2 of a wall to look like wains coating?

    • The Snarky Princess
      on Jul 11, 2018

      I would think the most important thing is to make sure you aren't using paint that is too thin it would drip since it is going to be painted while vertical. (Those darn walls not wanting to let you turn them on their side) that would look absolutely beautiful I bet!

Join the conversation

4 of 65 comments
  • Sherrie
    on Jan 30, 2019

    i did this to my garage floor because my daughter was getting married here and i told her husband i was going to make them a wood dance floor to dance on. it turned out beautiful

  • Marty Martha Allen Outlaw
    on Sep 12, 2019

    I did this to my storage room. Came out great. I love it. We are doing our porch now. It will resemble gray wood.

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