How to Paint Faux Tree Bark

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Things You'll Need

  • Wax paper

  • Tape

  • Paint

  • Paintbrush

Tree bark is made up of a mixture of many colors.

Painting items from nature can be a rewarding task, particularly when you finish painting and discover what you have created with brushes and paints looks just like what you see out your window. Tree bark comes in many varieties and colors, from the near-white of birch bark to the dark browns and blacks of forest pines. Bark doesn't come in one color, each tree is made of differing combinations of many colors including white, gray, brown, black, yellow and red -- and you may use all of them in one bark painting.


Step 1

Paint your canvas or paper with the darkest color you will use for your bark. This can be black or a dark shade of brown. Let it dry.

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Step 2

Crumple up a piece of wax paper at least as large as the bark you wish to paint. Smooth out the paper and tape it down on all four sides. Paint the surface of the paper with the lightest shade of paint you will be using for your tree bark. Lay your canvas or paper face down on the painted wax paper. Lift. The paper will have formed a light bark pattern on the paper.

Step 3

Add more depth to your painting by repeating the procedure from Step 2 with various colors. Start with the second darkest color, press and let dry. Then use a lighter shade, press and let dry. Continue layering with lighter colors until you have the desired look for your bark. You can use two colors or six colors. It is up to you.


For larger paintings, you can crumple up the wax paper and dip the crumpled ball of paper into the paint and press it against the painting. Continue dipping the wax in the paint until the whole painting is covered. Add layers of increasingly lighter colors if desired.


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