Here’s a neat trick for painting and finishing your faux wood products.
Our false beams and faux wood products are available finished in a variety of real-wood colors; all intricately detailed to perfectly mimic the look and hue of authentic cedar, oak, walnut and other natural woods.
But for homeowners looking to match their faux wood products with existing wooden features – or who want a different look to their synthetic wood – you can order many of our products unfinished; and stain or paint them yourself to achieve any look conceivable.
We have great guides to painting and finishing your faux wood beams here, plus blog posts that cover cool tips and tricks like staining knots on your false beams. But one cool trick we haven’t covered before is the art of drybrushing.
Drybrushing is a finishing technique used to highlight the texture of surfaces; and is particularly well-suited to finishing our faux wood products because they’re all vividly detailed with rich, authentic textures taken from molds of real wood and timber.
Drybrushing is almost the exact opposite of staining – in which dark colors pool into the crevices and cracks of textured surfaces to make them appear darker and more pronounced. In contrast, drybrushing involves adding a lighter color to the raised areas of a textured surface; which is especially useful when painting or staining in lighter colors.
You will need:
- The faux wood product(s) you’re intending to finish
- A base-color paint or stain
- A lighter color paint to drybrush with – we recommend water-based acrylic
- A large, soft paintbrush
- Paper towels, or dry rags
To drybrush, you’ll need to first paint or stain your faux wood products in the darker of the colors you’re intending to use. Leave the painted product to thoroughly dry overnight.
When you’re ready to begin, dip your paintbrush in the drybrushing paint and then use your paper towels or dry rags to wipe off almost all the paint from the paintbrush. You can tell when you’ve wiped off enough when only the raised surfaces of your rag or paper towel are smeared with paint.
Then, use broad strokes to paint your faux wood product with the wiped-clean brush. You will immediately notice that the brush leaves paint on only the raised surfaces; giving you a stunning, highlight finish characteristic of drybrushing.
Some things to remember:
- “Dry” is optimum word. If you wash your brush between coats, be sure to dry it thoroughly before trying to drybrush again, or the residual moisture will totally spoil the effect.
- Less is more. If you leave too much paint on the brush, you will ruin the effect just as you might with a wet brush. Make sure you wipe almost all the paint from the brush before you begin. A good rule of thumb is: When you’ve wiped off too much paint, you’re left with just about enough.
If you’ve tried this drybrushing technique, and have photos to share, we’d love to see them! Send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We might even feature them here!