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How to Create a Fake Wood Paint Finish

A wood-looking can provide a unique accent to run-of-the-mill furniture. You can create a fake wood grain finish with just a few simple tools.


  • Step 1: Create the appearance of straight grain between the knots by dragging the comb through the glaze, working from the surface's top toward the bottom.
  • Step 2: Continue applying glaze in sections, alternating knotted sections with straight grain until the surface is finished. Then allow the glaze to dry. When it's dry, you can apply a coat or 2 of clear polyurethane sealer to finish.
  • FACT: The grain of _lignum vitae_, a hardwood native to the West Indies, is so dense that the wood doesn't float in water.
  • Step 3: Make knots by dragging the wood-graining rocker through the glaze top coat from the surface's top edge to the bottom, rocking the tool from its top to its bottom one time before you get to the surface's bottom edge.
  • Step 4: Apply a thin coat of the glaze over the painted surface with a paintbrush, smoothing out any irregular areas as you go along. Work in small sections to prevent drying and sticking.
  • Step 5: Make the glaze by mixing 1 part of satin finish latex with 1 part of latex or acrylic glazing liquid and 2 parts of water.
  • TIP: If you're using oil paint, mix 1 part of paint with 1 part of oil glazing liquid and 1 part of mineral spirits.
  • Step 6: Paint the background of the piece you are finishing using a 9-inch roller with a 1/4-inch nap. Use latex paint and let it dry thoroughly.

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