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Painting Faux Wood Grain: Tutorial

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Ever look at the wood-graining tool in the paint section and wonder how it worked?

Yep, me too. Big surprise it was very easy to use and gives brilliant results:

These were ordinary styrofoam coolers cut in half and given the faux wood-graining treatment. This is a quick tutorial to show how it's done.

First, please watch the video which is a great way to see the process in action:

Materials Needed:
Paint glaze:;view=17
Medium wood tone latex paint
(Optional) flat black latex paint

Tools Needed:
Item to be faux painted
Wood-graining tool:
Coarse 1 or 2" brush
Two jars to mix glaze in
Measuring cups
(Optional) thin brush

Paint Base Color: Paint your object a medium wood tone. Wood comes in all types and ages. It helps if you have an example of what wood you are trying to replicate. A piece of very old driftwood was used for these caskets. Overall tone was an extremely dull, lifeless brown. Use a brighter yellow tone if you wanted a fresher look to your wood. Let your prop dry after painting the base color.

Note: This prop was primed with Glidden Gripper prior to painting the wood color. The primer helped to seal up the cut side of the styrofoam (contain those little balls) and smooth up the texture a bit.

Make Glaze: Mix 1 part of your base color with 4 parts of the paint glaze. Then add enough flat black paint to darken the shade so it will be one or two tones darker than the base color.

Paint Striations: Paint an even coat of the glaze onto your prop. Immediately use a coarse brush (or the same brush) and drag it through the paint vertically so you are partially scraping off some of the glaze leaving striations behind. Let dry.

Wood Graining: Now the fun step! Make another glaze but darken it a lot further. Paint an even coat over the prop and use the wood-graining tool to make the wood-graining. Start at the top corner and slowly drag the tool down through the glaze at the same time slowly rocking the tool. Each version of your rocking creates a different wood grain pattern. Occasionally rock it ever so slightly and that will create more straight grains and not show a wood knot. Let dry.

Draw Planks (Optional): Paint lines to separate the wood into planks if you desire. Dip a thin brush into flat black paint and paint a line in between the wood grain patterns.

This technique is versatile. Nearly anything with fairly flat surface can be made to look like wood. Pictured above was a cardboard box. You can also change up the wood tones for different looks. This used a black glaze.

How the caskets looked in the graveyard.

That's it! Don't you love projects this simple?

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