How to Make a Faux Wood Grain Finish

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How to Make a Faux Wood Grain Finish. Use paint and vinegar to make plain wood look exotic.

Things You'll Need

  • Flat Paintbrushes
  • Clean Rags
  • Turpentine
  • White Vinegar
  • Dishes
  • Toothpicks
  • Awl
  • Sandpaper

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Make sure the wood has been sanded smooth and all of the dust wiped off.

Put down a base coat of mustard or ocher yellow acrylic paint and let it dry.

Mix 1 part white vinegar with 6 parts burnt umber or raw sienna from an artist's tube of watercolor paint. The mixture, called glaze, should be smooth and thick.

Paint a coat of glaze on the wood surface with a wide, flat brush.

Use any of the following techniques to achieve a fancy grain look while the glaze is wet.

Use an awl to poke holes in the flat end of a cork. Stamp the cork on the glaze, dabbing it on a clean rag every fourth stamp to keep the glaze from building up on it.

Stutter an index finger in diagonal patterns across the glaze.

Wet a small piece of natural sponge and dab lightly at the glaze. Pat the sponge on a clean cloth occasionally to keep the glaze from building up on it.

Use the same paintbrush you used to apply the glaze and twist it in circles to form swirls.

Let the glaze coat dry and apply a coat of oil-based varnish. Let it dry and finish the piece with a second coat.

Tips & Warnings

  • Change colors for different effects.
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