Faux Wood

Wood has a look of understated elegance that is hard to beat. And yet, while there is nothing we would desire more than having pure wood cabinets and wall finishes in our homes, the prohibitive price makes us hesitant. But not anymore. With a little technique and knowhow, you too can be the proud owner of a room that boasts wood furniture. Faux wood, that is.

Once you get into the groove, it is not that difficult to give your furniture the look you desire. The wood finish you want is now just a brush stroke away. Here’s how you can renovate that dated furniture into something that can be the talking point of conversation the next time you have people come over.

How to start

  • Come to a decision on the type of wood you want to imitate. Walnut, mahogany and oak are just some of the options you can choose from. To hone your choice, try a sample board to check for color and consistency of the glaze.
  • The first step is applying the base coat as smoothly as possible. Always brush in the direction of the wood grain. This will cut down on the brush marks. You can thin the paint if required. It is best to put on two coats. Once dry, sand lightly and wipe off dust with wet cloth.
  • While the second coat is still wet, create knots and grains by dragging and rocking the wood graining tool over the surface. You can use an artist’s brush to create extra effects if you are up to it.
  • Change the look as you go along, using the notched edge of the tool and comb through the product. This will give it a more natural look.
  • Next you can start brushing the glaze on the surface using long, even strokes. The glaze, a semi-transparent coating, will give the imitation of wood. Lay your brush over the glaze and press down with your fingers, pulling along the glaze as you go. For patterns, try wiggling the brush a bit without overdoing it.
  • A steel comb wrapped in cloth and pulled over the glaze works just as well. Avoid straight patterns by moving your comb at an angle.
  • When you have finished the glaze coat, let it dry thoroughly. Then apply the varnish coat along the grain of wood. One coat should do the trick. However, if the area sees a lot of traffic, you can apply a second coat.

It is amazing what a few strokes of the brush can do to your outdated furniture. Once you stand back to admire the fruits of your labor, you will realize that the effort was worth it.