Faux Finishing & Woodgrain Painting Resources

If you have suggestions or requests for resources, please send me a message via my contact form and I’ll try to help. 

Glazes for painting faux woodgrain

Caution! Latex glaze (McClosky, Valspar, Benjamin Moore, Martha Stewart, Ralph Lauren, Behr or ANY latex glaze) found in hardware and home stores is not formulated for graining.  

To create faux wood grain, we need pure acrylic glaze with long “open time” (time before it starts to set up). It’s necessary to use a high-quality, acrylic (NOT latex) glaze. 

The product I use and recommend is Golden Paintworks Glazing Medium (formerly known as Proceed Low Viscosity Painting & Glazing Medium).

Note: I don’t recommend Golden Paintworks “Sheer” medium as it can cause bubbling and other issues. 

Universal Tint Colorants or UTC’s for woodgrain painting 

Many wood grain methods have you buying over-priced, pre-tinted glazes or wood stains.

In the Perfect Wood Grain Courses you’ll learn to have total control over color and intensity of your glazes using UTC colorants to tint glazes.

Not only is this cost effective, it gives you total freedom and flexibility in creating the necessary colors for painting faux wood and many other faux finishes. 

I talked in a blog post about the specific colors needed for graining.

IMPORTANT: I no longer recommend Golden Proceed Pigment Dispersions as they’ve changed their formula to include acrylic which shortens drying time of glazes, the last thing we need… 

Amazon has Cal-Tint UTC’s. I’ve used these and recommend them. 

Avoid Polyvine and Tints-All colorants as they tend to be poor color quality and of the wrong consistency. 

Golden Proceed Glaze Medium for Faux Woodgrain Painting

Universal Tint Colorants for Tinting Woodgrain Paint and other Faux Finishes



colorants UTC's for faux wood painting colors

Faux Woodgrain Brushes

Blending and softening brushes

Perhaps the most crucial brush for wood graining and many faux finishes. 

for everyday practice, a three inch brush is great. 

If you’re doing large areas of wood graining, get the four inch brush. For smaller areas the two inch will do. 

I have several sizes in my studio. I like the Royal and Langnickel Badger Blending brushes because they’re durable and inexpensive.  

Here’s a link to an inexpensive alternative from Langnickel. And more options are here.

And yet another source, this one for a Handover brand softener. 


Royal & Langnickel Langnickel Faux Badger Softener Brush 4″

Royal & Langnickel Badger Softener Brush 2″


My Rating

My Rating

Veinette or Graining fan brush

This can be hard to find, so I suggest you get a couple of them.

There are not many fan brushes designed specifically for wood grain faux finishes. 

The Royal & Langnickel Bristle Fan gets the job done and won’t break the bank. 

Flogging Brush for Wood graining

Crucial for creating fine, secondary grain in Walnut, Maple and other woods. Again, if you plan on doing large projects like doors, trim, flooring… get the bigger brush. I have one of each size. 

Handover 5.5 in Bristle Flogging Brush

da Vinci Oil & Acrylic Top Acryl Paint Brush

My Rating

My Rating

Spalter Brushes

You’ll use these for spreading glaze on very smooth and painting some grain types.

The link below is for the da Vinci 5040 series Motlers (aka spalters), my favorite brand for their fine, durable bristles. I use the 30mm in the support videos for my courses.

I also have the 40mm and 50mm sizes of this brush and use them regularly.

If you get a different brand, I suggest a very fine synthetic over natural bristle for smooth applications of glazes.

Chip Brushes for graining

These inexpensive brushes are a must have for general purpose painting and can even be used for applying some grain types. I suggest that you have a range from one inch to 3 inch.


Natural Bristle Artist Brushes

I rely on inexpensive natural bristle brushes for mixing glazes and experimenting with various textures and graining ideas. As you can see via the link below, there are many bargain options for large sets of brushes. 


Artists Liners

Get #0, #1 and #2 sizes for creating fine grain lines, knots and other details. 


Larger, higher quality bristle brushes

It’s important to have good quality brushes (better than chip brushes) for priming, base coating, finish coating and other volume work. 

Two brush brands I like are Purdy and Wooster, but any good quality house painting brush will do. I keep 3 inch and 4 inch house painting brushes in my studio. 

Wood Grain Faux Finishes Resources Purdy house painting bristle brush

Brush Comb

Your graining fan or chip brush can be shaped to make more distinct grain lines with a brush comb. It’s also helpful for cleaning brushes. 

Tools for Faux Finishing & Woodgrain Painting

Rubber Graining Tool

In the Perfect Wood Grain courses, you’ll learn how to cut rubber for graining. 

The best material for this tool is medium hard rubber. I buy the Kemper Rubber Finishing Tool, used for pottery, and cut it to my specifications. This works really well because it has a tapered edge that makes for very clean glaze removal.

I’ve also used rubber spatulas, but be careful to not get a silicone spatula because it will be too soft.

Another option is the rubber used in shoe repair that’s typically red in color and gets sandwiched between layers of the sole. Any cobbler should be willing to sell you a small piece.

Foam rollers

Unless you’re going to spray on your base coats. The foam rollers can get the base coats very smooth when applied in multiple, thin coats. I use the Shur-Line 03715C 4-Inch foam covers. 

Small synthetic sponges

will be used to both create and adjust grain.


Synthetic Sponges

Foam Rollers

Paint Mixing Cups

Kemper Finish Rubber Tool

My Rating


My Rating

My Rating

Kemper Rubber Scraper

My Rating

Old tooth brush

for spattering fine pores.

Small paint cups

for mixing glazes.

Paint pallets

Glossy paper plates also work.

Lint-free rags

 Well washed cotton t-shirts work well.


Hard (H-4, H-5, H-6) and soft (B)


Steel Graining Combs

It’s nice to have fine through wide, but medium steel combs are all you reallyneed. Rubber graining combs can come in handy but consider them an extra, not a replacement for steel as the steel combs produce a much finer effect.

Small pieces of medium or course burlap

 Fabric stores typically carry several weights of burlap. You want medium or heavy. Your grocer (potato sack) or coffee shop (coffee bean sack) may have some for free.

2″ X 2″ 1/8th” pieces of cork or rubber: Hardware store. Also a wine cork can be cut down for this purpose.

Spray bottle

for misting wet glaze to extend open time.

5 in 1 painters tool

for opening and closing paint cans, cleaning rollers, scraping and other things. One of my favorite and most used tools, I own three of them. 


Sanding sponges, blocks and sandpaper

Dura-Block 1/3 Sanding Block7 Piece Dura Block Sanding Kit12 Pack Sanding Sponge,Coarse, Medium, Fine, SuperfineWet dry Sandpaper 320 Grit


Cutting tools 

Exacto, Scissors, Utility knife.

Masking tape

I use basic masking tape and blue tape to mask projects and practice/sample panels. Auto body painters tape is great for detail masking on all projects

Filling putties

Base Coat Paint

I use the Benjamin Moore color code system as a guide for faux wood paint base coats in my graining courses.


For doors, cabinets and other interior or art projects, I like Kilz acrylic latex primer. 

For woodgraining cars, use a self-etching or two-stage primer. 

Kilz Acrylic Latex Primer

Protective Clear Coats

I like a product called ‘Stays Clear’ from Benjamin Moore.

But any water based varnish will do, as long as it dries water clear and is reasonably tough when cured. 

Of course there’s an entire world of varnishes and clear coats. 

Always test a new clear/varnish on a test or sample panel before committing it to finished work. 


BEN-MOR 702.1.4 Quart White Egg PaintBENWOOD Stays ClearKILZ Premium High-Hide Stain Blocking Interior/Exterior Latex Primer/Sealer


Stays clear from Benjamin Moore faux wood paint PerfectWoodgrain

Kilz primer PerfectWoodgrain faux wood painting


Web hosting for artists and craftspeople

If you’re a pro, you need a website. I’ve been building websites for my businesses since 1998 and I’ve never found a better hosting company than Siteground.

perfectwoodgrain.com Siteground Review web hosting for artists

Over the years I’ve tried about 8 different hosting companies and none of them have had support on par with Siteground.

These guys continue to blow me away with their willingness to answer every manner of question from total noob silliness to advanced alpha geek stuff.

Click the logo for pricing and other details.


This Wood Grain Faux Finishes Resources page is a work in progress and I’ll be fleshing it out over time. Below are some upcoming categories I’ll be adding info and products to soon. 

If you have suggestions or requests for resources, please send me an email to contact at perfect wood grain dot com and I’ll try to post them here. Also, let me know if you need some clarification about any items on this list. 


Would you like some help with Faux Woodgrain?

Link to woodgrain paint course sign up page

Link to woodgrain car paint course sign up page


HVLP Sprayers, guns, tips, hoses and parts

Pad computers and laptops for the faux finishing job site and studio

Faux Finishing Books

Business building books I’ve found helpful