Faux Wood Finish Details: What would the carpenter do?

Faux Wood Finish Details: What would the carpenter do?

Faux wood finish details Homer Simpson
Homer Simpson in the style of Rembrandt by the brilliant artist David Barton at Limpfish.com

She’d work within the limitations of the wood

She has no choice because woodworking has rules set by nature. For example, oak only bends so much before it separates and comes apart (I believe they do that with steam?).

So if she wants to create something with a big curve or loop that’s too extreme to bend, she needs to either carve it or join two or more bent pieces together. So what does this have to do with faux wood finish details?

This isn’t an episode of ‘The Simpsons’

You’re the artist and you can do anything you want with your paints, right?

True enough, but if you’re trying to create a realistic and attractive grain, with accurate faux wood finish details, to a great extent the finished product needs to fit within the same limitations of nature that our carpenter is stuck with. Otherwise you’ll end up with a weird, unconvincing and cartoon-like product.

While we do have a lot of flexibility and freedom to improve and adjust, we don’t have Carte Blanche.

oak faux wood finish details painted wood grain '48 dodge coupe dash
Window ring, ’48 Dodge faux oak project with painted “joint” at bend.

Creativity: It’s another thing

Don’t get me wrong; with practice you’ll get to make your painted wood grain look totally real and amazing while breaking many of the rules of nature, but not before you learn to mimic real wood with dead-on accuracy.

Luckily, anyone can learn to paint realistic, gorgeous wood grain on nearly any surface using quick-drying, readily available paints and easy-to-find tools.

 Are you interested in creating realistic art work? Do you have questions, tips, tricks you’d like to share? Please ask in the comments below. Thank you! 

Thanks for reading and happy painting.

Norman Petersen



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



5 Responses

  1. Michelle
    | Reply

    This is so true. So many painters want to be “creative” before they are able to paint something realistic. Makes much more sense to be patient and learn the basics first. Thanks for the insights 🙂

    • Norman
      | Reply

      Great points, Michelle.

      Innovators of impressionism such as Picasso learned to paint with great realism early on, but broke out of that style to create something new. They learned the basics first and that skill set was the foundation for their later explorations in art.

  2. Jaime
    | Reply

    Well, i love vintage cars, and i dont know anybody who do this kind of painting here where i live. So it could be a good job.

  3. […] … that I mimic the “original” finish, which had actually been done in the 80′s. I convinced him to let me do something more convincing. […]

  4. […] delicate cracks. Unfortunately some of those cool features would later be covered by chrome trim. On the plus side, I followed my own rule of thinking like a wood worker while designing and applying this faux wood […]

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