How to Make Painted Ceiling Beams Look Like Wood

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Things You'll Need

  • Sanding pad, fine-grit

  • Tack cloth

  • Interior paint, light color for base

  • Paintbrush

  • Interior paint, dark color for grain

  • Cheesecloth

  • Wood grain tool

Simulate the look of wood ceiling beams with a simple faux finishing technique.

Take advantage of the ceiling beams in your room by making them a focal point. Make your painted beams look like wood using a faux finishing technique. Wood beams can add warmth to a room and accent the architectural features of the room. A wood grain tool allows you to paint a wood grain on your beams to simulate the look of the wood. Select a lighter color for the base color of the beams and apply a darker color for the wood grain to create the natural appearance of wood on your beams.


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Step 1

Sand the painted beams lightly with a fine-grit sanding pad to remove the sheen. This enables the paint to adhere to the surface. Wipe off any dust left from sanding with a tack cloth.

Step 2

Apply an even coat of the light color of interior paint to the beams using a paintbrush. Allow the paint to dry for at least 24 hours.


Step 3

Brush on a coat of the dark color paint over each of the beams with a paintbrush. Wipe the surface of the beams from one end to the other with a cheesecloth to streak the paint.

Step 4

Rock a wood grain tool across the surface of each beam from one end to the other to make the wood grain onto the beams. Do this slowly and with purpose.

Step 5

Allow to dry for 24 hours.


You can simulate the look of any wood. Experiment with different colors on a scrap board until you have found the best combination to complement your room.


Wear eye and face protection when sanding wood. Apply paint in a well-ventilated room.


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