Wood Faux Finish Super-Powers: 10 reasons to get them.

Wood Faux Finish Super-Powers, Part 1 of 3.  Part TwoPart Three

Why Wood Faux Finish Skills?

Why take the time to learn to Wood Faux Finish? Why not use real wood? Or how about that wallpaper that looks kinda like wood?

Oak Wood Faux Finish Panel
Two Oaks Panel with Trompe L’Oeil Oak frame. I created this using techniques from the Perfect Wood Grain Oak Mastery Course.

Why not a wood grain sticker kit for your car project? What about wood-like vinyl?  Here are just a few very good reasons.

1. People love it

There are thousands of wood faux finish products: Wall paper, flooring, vinyl, paneling, auto interiors and rims, furniture, doors… Why? Finished wood is nature’s gift of decoration.

Because wood is natural, it offers a calming effect. People respond positively to it. Therefore, the look of wood is desirable and offers value.

Unfortunately, most faux wood isn’t very attractive. Just walk down the flooring or wall covering aisle of any home store and you’ll see piles of vinyl sheet and tile that look pretty bad. Here’s an example of unattractive wood faux finish.

The good news is that you can learn to paint wood grain that’s every bit as convincing and beautiful as the real thing. No machine can or will ever be able to do that.

2. Environmental

Wood faux finish, when done right, is a viable alternative to scarce, endangered, expensive “real” wood.

More and more woods are either endangered, protected or just difficult to acquire for building and design. 

Partly because they’ve seen the cost of their materials skyrocket over the last two to four decades, wood craftspeople, like fine furniture makers and trim carpenters, are very aware of the environmental issues concerning wood.

There is an active and lucrative market for rescued hardwood trees that have been or are going to be cut down. Recycling of used material from old furniture and buildings is becoming more and more common.

Cherry wood Faux Finish Panel by Yannick Guegan
Cherry Faux Finish Panel by the brilliant French artist Yannick Guegan

Painted wood grain, when applied in a dramatic and convincing way on a table, cabinet or panel can fool even the most experienced wood workers. Virtually any hard surface in a home or business, car… can be grained to look like expensive, rare, or endangered woods.

3. Wood Faux Finish Profits

Once you have a few samples ready to show, wood grain is one of the easiest finishes to sell. Your customers get all the benefits of expensive wood at a fraction of the cost.

The cost of replacing kitchen cabinet doors (refacing) is very high. You’ll be able to show amazing wood grain samples for a cabinet repaint and quote a price that’s 20%, 40% or more below their best bid from a cabinet door maker. You can remove the doors and take them back to your studio or set up a work space on the job.

Imagine doing a relatively basic oak grain on a dash board or set of rims. It’s not a complex process (once you know how), but it looks amazing and exactly like real oak. The owner will tell everyone who’ll listen and if he takes the car to shows, he’ll hand out stacks of cards for you.

Part 2 of 3 including home improvement and furniture repair.I’ve been so busy with other work that I haven’t even had time to get involved in the motorcycle world. Those guys are known to pay big bucks for custom work. I’m convinced that it’s possible to greatly enhance career by painting wood grain on custom bike fenders, tanks and trim.



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




16 Responses

  1. JamesT
    | Reply

    It never occurred to me that faux wood could be used to reface cabinets. What happens when the doors rub against each other or against a drawer face or the counter top? Pretty sure that will scrape off the paint.

    • Norman
      | Reply

      Hey, James
      It’s absolutely true that rubbing will cause the paint to fall off.

      The cabinet folks call this “peeling” and it’s common in inexpensive cabinets and/or where door, drawer and counter installation were done incorrectly.

      Doesn’t matter what the material is, if doors are hung so as to rub against each other or a drawer scrapes the counter as it’s pulled out, peeling WILL occur. Of course a solid wood will be less impacted, but it will still show scrape marks.

      Installing doors and drawers so that the finish doesn’t touch/rub against anything is crucial. Sometimes it’s necessary to hire a pro to come in and instal higher quality hinges and slides to eliminate such issues.

      If the doors and drawer faces are simply too big (ie; rubbing can’t be eliminated with better mountings), it may be necessary to replace them with some that fit better.

      You can still save yourself or your client big bucks by buying doors and faces made from inexpensive wood and graining them to look like expensive hardwood.

      If you do replace, get faces and doors that offer more box reveal (space between doors and faces) if possible to totally eliminate any possibility of peeling, even if the hinges sag a little.

      Hope that helps.

  2. Davepinstriper
    | Reply

    Modern car wood grain is a lot different from your example (the dodge). Do plan to talk about how can I use paint to grain in a newer car?

    • Norman
      | Reply

      Hey, Dave
      Thanks for the question.
      You’re right about that; wood grain in modern cars is very different. I have a section in the book on how to mask, match and protect faux wood in modern cars. My own car (a Volvo) had some damaged wood grain on an interior piece so I use that repair as an example, with photo’s, of course.

  3. Rocky Mathis
    | Reply

    Help! How do undo or remove one or two layers of stain without damaging the painted base coat. I’m very green at this, and being on a fixed income, I’m trying to
    paint my cabinets and baseboards to go with my laminate wood floor. I have to keep
    redoing my work over and over and over until I give up and settle for my inexperienced
    efforts. Hope your ebook will teach me in easy to understand lay terms.

    • Norman
      | Reply

      Hey Rocky
      Sounds like you tried to create faux wood grain using stain over a base coat?

      Not likely that you can remove that stain without trashing the base coat.

      Typically, the stain-over-base-coat wood grain methods don’t get the base color right anyway, so your best bet is to wait for the stain to cure and then cover it all up with shellac, a shellac based primer or other stain blocker. If you used a water-based stain you can just sand it a bit and then prime it.

      I suggest you do the above to get the whole project ready for some really brilliant wood graining. Yes, Perfect Wood Grain Mastery teaches in lay-terms so you’ll be able to match your laminate floor very closely.

  4. […] Wood Super-powers: Ten reasons you should get them: Part One, Part […]

  5. […] the dining room will feel and look when the mural’s done, or how the Packard will have the glow of rich wood inside… But as a business person, it’s crucial to understand that, perhaps even […]

  6. […] Faux Finish Super-Powers, Part 2 of 3.  Part One. Part […]

  7. […] Wood Faux Finish Super-Powers, Part 2 of 3. Part One.  Part Two. […]

  8. […] are many, many other applications for faux wood painting and I suggest that you explore […]

  9. […] you’re a car painter, faux finisher, crafter or a D.I.Y. weekend warrior, this eBook is packed with valuable […]

  10. Rachel Lannister
    | Reply

    I was surprised to learn that faux finishing came in designs that look exactly like some really fine woods, and can actually be good for the environment as you won’t need to cut down trees for it. My mother has been wanting to change up her entryway, and was wondering if she should paint the ceiling area. I’ll advise she find a faux finishing service, as she could enjoy the sights of beautiful wood without having to actually install new wood.

    • Norman
      | Reply

      Hey Rachel. Thanks and I’d love to see pics of your moms project if it comes together.

      Click Rachel’s name to see her awesome site/faux work. Very nice!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.