ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How To Faux Grain Wood

Updated on February 4, 2013
Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet-White is an internationally known food writer, food editor for Texas Living, cookbook author, and food blogger.

When we first saw our house it was a mess. It had been abandoned. It had been updated by people with no concern for the historic value of a building. It was, in a phrase, 4300 square feet of potential.

As I worked on the house I realized that the wood had, at one time, been stained mahogany, a very common treatment for wood trim in 1910 when this house was built. I was determined to strip every bit of wood in the place and restore the old girl to her original charm and beauty.

What I had not counted on was the fact that down the line a lot of the wood had been replaced with cheap pine. Not all of it, mind you, but enough to make stripping and refinishing an impossibility. I can still remember the shock and frustration I felt as I stripped off paint to find knot hole filled pine from Home Depot. I had a decision to make. Should I forget about the beautiful mahogany stained trim that once graced the house or should I replace all the trim with quality trim and stain it at a small fortune?

I chose answer C, none of the above.

Faux Grain, An Inexpensive Alternative

In the picture above, not only is the wood faux grained but the wallpaper is actually stencilled on the wall! People never notice that it isn't real!

Faux graining has been around a long, long time and it is much easier than most people think. Depending on the colors of undercoat that you use, and the color of stain that you use you can emulate any type of wood. I started out using a graining tool but I found that I got a much better and easier effect with just an old brush and some creative strokes.

Wood graining became very popular in the 19th century. Only the wealthy could afford the beautiful hardwoods for trim and the rising middle class ebgan to use soft woods use graining techniques to make them appear to be the higher quality trim.

Definitely you want to research this. You need to read up on technique and supplies, and maybe check out a book or two at the local library. Practice on scrap wood to find the best undercoat color for the effect that you want to create. Look at different pictures of wood trim to see what appeals to you the most and goes with the style of your house. If you are doing a restoration check what would be appropriate for the time period. Take a deep breath...and move on to the next step.

Before
Before
after
after
close up of faux grain
close up of faux grain

Actually Painting the Trim

You will need a basecoat in the flat color of your choice. I used a color called Cider Toddy for mine because I wanted the undercoat to subtly match the color in my walls. Next you need to decide on a gel-stain color. Gel-stain is easy to use, it's texture is gloppy, a bit like finger paint. Do not get regular wood stain, make sure it is gel. Aqua resin company has a low VOC stain that I am interested trying. Always try to get low or ) VOC paints for your health and that of your environment!

For my home I chose red mahogany because it matched the original wood stain. You will also need a topcoat to seal it. I chose an amber shellac for mine because it gave the wood a warm, vintage look and this was important to me.

Other supplies you need are:

1. brushes

2. Rags

3. painter's plastic to protect floors

4. painter's tape (masking tape)

5. Brush cleaner

Be sure and tape off the trim by running a length of tape along the wood. This will catch any slips you make and the wall will not get splotched. Paint a coat of your basecoat color and let it dry. Now go back and brush the gel color on, not too thick. It will stay wet awhile so you can experiment with different strokes for different wood effects. When it is almost dry go back with a soft brush and softly blend the strokes until they look more natural. Let dry completely, I usually give it a week, and then shellac.

It really IS that easy.

With Practice

You can come up with a lot of variations on this. You can do a door, for example, with birdseye maple insets. Maybe you would like a door with tortiseshell insets, or malachite...it is all possible with faux painting techniques. Floors, walls, cabinets, nearly anything can be faux finished with beautiful results. An added bonus is that when everyone sees what you have done you might find a source of another income as they ask you to do the same things in their own homes!

I have been very pleased with my work. It has held up well. The problem is that when it gets nicked during the course of life, white spots show through. I remedy this quickly and easily with a permanent marker or a bit of leftover gel. I suggest completing you first project in a room where you will have the freedom to make mistakes. My first room was our reception parlour and, while the mistakes are obvious only to me, they ARE obvious!

Most of all, enjoy what you do.

How To Faux Grain Wood

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      tammy 6 years ago

      @ dora delon

      you mighnt think its the best looking

      it mighnt be the best

      but you dont have to give off negative comments

      they post this video as a example

      like it watch it

      dont like it dont watch it then

    • profile image

      Dora Delon 7 years ago

      This is the ugliest wood door I've ever seen. Looks like a bad painting job.

    • Marye Audet profile image
      Author

      Marye Audet 7 years ago from Lancaster, Texas

      Tony I cant choose between A and D altho I lean toward A.

    • profile image

      Tony 7 years ago

      Hi

      My name Tony and I am a Painting and decorating student in Canada.

      I will go to the exam soon and I have a question that I can't find right answer for it because every book is explaining different procedure for creating wood grain

      I need your opinion for this question which it is one of the exam questions with 4 answer.

      please tell me which answer is the most correct one?

      I thank you in advance for reading this and your help

      Here is the question and answers:

      How is a graining finish prepared for a metal door?

      A-Match ground coat to lightest color in wood sample and mix graining coat to match darkest color in wood sample

      B-Match ground coat to darkest color in wood sample and mix graining coat to match lightest color in wood sample

      C-Match ground coat to darkest color in wood sample and mix glazing coat to match lightest color in wood sample

      D-Match glazing coat to lightest color in wood sample and mix graining coat to match darkest color in wood sample

      Thanks Again

      Tony

    • werebear profile image

      werebear 8 years ago from UK

      I will give it a try on an old blanket box i have.

      Thanks for the tips.

    • Marye Audet profile image
      Author

      Marye Audet 10 years ago from Lancaster, Texas

      sorry. That was the best video I could find that was compatible with hubpages. It is very easy to do, once you actually are moving the brush through the gel stain you will understand exactly how to do it. :)

    • profile image

      Deborah 10 years ago

      Just wanted to compliment you on your hub. I would have liked to see a little more detail in the video about how to actually do the graining strokes, but all in all, very informative.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)