Steps // How to Paint Easy Faux Wood Grain
1 ×

Essential Tools for Faux Wood Grain Finish

 
Step One // How to Paint Easy Faux Wood Grain

Essential Tools for Faux Wood Grain Finish

essential tools for faux wood grain finish
Photo by Wendell T. Webber

A three-piece wood-graining kit (about $4; ) makes the job easy and allows you to vary the pattern of your "planks."

 
2 ×

Prep the Surface

 
Step Two // How to Paint Easy Faux Wood Grain

Prep the Surface

prep the Surface for faux wood grain painting
Photo by Wendell T. Webber

If using an MDF panel, prime both sides to prevent warping. Apply two coats of satin-finish paint (here, 's Brown Horse). Once it dries, mix equal parts clear acrylic glaze and white latex paint. Apply with a roller, glazing and faux-graining a portion at a time.

 
3 ×

Cut in the Edge

 
Step Three // How to Paint Easy Faux Wood Grain

Cut in the Edge

cut in the edge for faux wood grain painting
Photo by Wendell T. Webber

Holding a paint comb at a 45-degree angle to the surface, cut in along the top of the panel. Pull the tool through the glaze in one uninterrupted motion to create veins running the panel's width. Now you don't have to worry about lining up the graining rocker with the edge on your first pass.

 
4 ×

Create the "Planks"

 
Step Four // How to Paint Easy Faux Wood Grain

Create the "Planks"

create the 'planks' for faux wood grain painting
Photo by Wendell T. Webber

Overlapping the grain, set the heel of the rocker on the panel's far edge. In one smooth motion, pull the tool toward you to drag the full pattern on the curved rocker through the glaze. If it doesn't look right, reglaze that area and try again. To run the grain in the opposite direction, flip the handle.

 
5 ×

Vary the Grain

 
Step Five // How to Paint Easy Faux Wood Grain

Vary the Grain

vary the grain for faux wood grain painting
Photo by Wendell T. Webber

Every so often, comb along the edge of a section you've just completed to vary the look of your planks. Mix up how you use the rocker and comb—twisting the tool to introduce some waves in the grain for a more natural pattern, for instance.

 

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