How to Paint Faux Logs on a Wall

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Reference photos of logs make it easier to copy the wood grain.
Reference photos of logs make it easier to copy the wood grain. (Image: log image by SemA from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

Mimic the color and grain of actual wood to paint faux logs on a wall that have a realistic look. A wall mural of faux logs gives a room a rustic log cabin feel. The abstract appearance of natural wood makes it possible for even a novice painter to develop a free-hand technique that leads to faster coverage. Paint a wall with the faux log effect to bring a little of the outdoors into the home.

Things You'll Need

  • Pictures of logs
  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Drop cloth
  • Masking tape (1/2 inch)
  • 2 paint trays
  • Dark brown oil paint
  • Paint thinner
  • Glazing liquid (oil-based)
  • White oil paint
  • 2 paint sticks
  • 2 small washcloths
  • 3 corks (various diameters)
  • Small natural bristle paintbrush
  • Sponge

Look at photos of real logs as you sketch out a few logs with details that include a knot or two. Try different kinds of logs until you are pleased with the look you are achieving.

Move all furniture away from the wall and use a drop cloth to cover objects that cannot be moved. Open windows or doors so that the room has ventilation for paint fumes to escape.

Attach the masking tape to the wall in horizontal stripes that are between 6 and 8 inches apart. Lines between the faux logs that are not perfectly parallel will give the wall a more natural appearance.

Pour equal parts of the dark brown paint, paint thinner and glazing liquid into one of the paint pans and equal parts white paint, paint thinner and glazing liquid into the other pan. Stir the two colored glazes with separate paint sticks.

Bunch the small washcloth in your hand and brush it over the surface of the brown glaze to pick up a light load. Run the washcloth in a horizontal motion across the wall to copy the wood grain of a log.

Use the same technique with a second washcloth loaded with white glaze to give the logs a layered textural look. The white glaze can be applied while the brown glaze is still drying to blend the colors in some areas. Wipe and smear the glazes with the washcloths until you are satisfied with the look of the logs.

Dip the various corks into the dark-brown glaze and press them to the wall in a few of the darker areas to create the appearance of knots. Add minor details to the knots and the rest of the logs by using a small paintbrush dipped into the colored glazes.

Peel away the masking tape when you are finished applying glaze. Use a sponge dipped in paint thinner to remove the glaze from unwanted areas.

Tips & Warnings

  • Choose logs that naturally occur in the local area to use as models for the faux log wall. This gives the wall a more believable look to people who know woods.

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