How to Make Faux Birch Bark


Birch trees are known for having a unique and versatile bark that people have used in the making of many arts and crafts for years. However, a more environmentally friendly way to achieve the naturally pretty appearance of birch bark without harming any trees exists. With a few painting techniques, you can use a faux birch bark finish to transform the look of such items as picture frames, purse handles or fishing rods.

Things You'll Need

  • Stiff bristle paint brush
  • Black acrylic paint
  • White school glue
  • White acrylic gesso
  • Brown acrylic paint
  • Paper towel
  • Acrylic sealer
  • Use a stiff bristle paint brush to entirely paint the item that you are transforming into faux birch bark with black acrylic paint. Allow the paint to dry completely.

  • Cover the item with a thick coat of white school glue. Give the glue enough time to partially dry.

  • Dab the paint brush with white acrylic gesso and a small amount of black acrylic paint. Paint long, horizontal strokes across the item. Avoid overlapping the paint strokes in order to create a more authentic birch bark cracked appearance. Allow the paint to completely dry once you have painted the entire item.

  • Dip the paint brush in brown acrylic paint and then wipe 95 percent of the paint off the paint brush with a paper towel. Lightly swipe the almost-dry paint brush back and forth over the entire item in a dusting motion. Allow the paint to dry once more.

  • Highlight portions of the item with white acrylic gesso to create small areas of unblemished white birch bark. Let the item dry completely.

  • Apply a coat of acrylic sealer to the entire item to protect the faux birch bark that you have created.

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