Gorgeous faux wood grain, or ugly and unrealistic? Lets explore the difference.
As a professional faux finisher for over 25 years, I’ve seen every imaginable type of faux finishing instruction.
From short pamphlets to expensive videos and books to multi-day workshops costing thousands.
Most faux wood paint sucks
I know that’s harsh but since most methods and kits don’t teach how to reproduce believable, attractive painted wood, the finished product almost always looks bad.
Bad wood grain is so common, the pros have a name for it: “brown stripe” (I know, lovely).
It tends to be two colors of brownish paint striped together in vertical lines with maybe a bit of unnatural figure.
How do you want your projects to look?
It’s unattractive and it’s everywhere. It looks a little like wood, but not much.
Next time you’re in your local home and hardware store, go take a look at cheap vinyl flooring and you’ll see machine made “brown stripe” wood grain (wallpaper, too).
By the way, most early wood grain car dash boards are basically “brown stripe” and virtually all of the auto industry wood grain kits offer supplies and instructions to do this simple, unconvincing look.
That’s too bad because it’s possible to paint wood grain that is indistinguishable from real wood, beautiful wood.
The secret to gorgeous faux wood grain
The biggest problem with most methods is that they don’t teach you how to SEE the elements in real wood that are most important for creating amazing, beautiful faux wood grain.
So what exactly do I mean by “seeing” real wood elements? One of the most valuable skills a painter can foster is the ability to recognize the aspects and layers of the real wood that must be duplicated for the work to be believable and attractive.
So, what should you look for in painted wood grain?
The answer is simple: Reality. It either looks like real wood or it doesn’t.
When looking at any faux wood, whether it’s painted by you or someone else, ask yourself how convincing it is on a scale of one to ten.
If it looks “kinda like” wood, it’s not convincing. The point is not to create the “feel” of wood, it’s to fool the eye so that most people cannot tell the difference between your paint and actual, real, sawed, sanded and varnished wood.
In Perfect Wood Grain courses, you’ll learn how to use photos of real wood to create realistic, beautiful faux wood that can be applied to any project from cars to furniture to kitchen and bath cabinets or anything you can imagine.
Thanks for reading and happy graining.