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Monday’s Tutorial: Faux Woodgraining for Scrapbookers

fauxwoodgrainpeek.JPGYes it’s true, ScrapScene is two! As promised, to celebrate, we are putting up tutorials each day this week (until Friday).

Our first tutorial is on the very popular woodgrain look. There are lots of lovely products out there that already are woodgrained, but wouldn’t it be fun to try the effect yourself? Lots more versatility: you can do it in any colour or surface you please. Use it as a background for a scrapbook layout by making your own patterned paper, apply it to a canvas background, or altering a home decor project.

I will first come clean and tell you that I once had my own mural painting business. Along with murals, I also did faux effects on clients’ walls and furniture. So that is where this idea comes from, but there is no need to worry if you are new to it, it is easy! Also, don’t be put off if you don’t have the fancy little tool I’m going to show you; a similar effect can be had with some materials you probably already have kicking around. Read on…


Paint – I used green and an off-white colour
Wide paint brush or foam brush
Woodgraining tool (or a piece of corrugated cardboard and a craft knife)
Surface – I used a stretched canvas, framed
Glaze – I used Mod Podge


1. Prepare your surface as required. For canvas, this usually means priming it with a coat of gesso. Some pre-framed canvases that you purchase are already gessoed.

2. Put a dollop of your glazing liquid onto your pallette. To do this technique, it is important that you mix your paint into a ‘glaze.’ This is to create more ‘open time’ – that is increasing the time the paint stays wet. This will allow you to work it into the desired outcome before it dries on you! You can get many types of glazing liquid at your arts and crafts store, but you can also obtain a longer open time for the paint by simply mixing it with Mod Podge. You will also be sealing your surface at the same time strip.JPGif you use Mod Podge, plus create a bit of a sheen if you get the glossy kind! This is what I did here in the example shown.

3. Add your paint to the glaze. You can use one colour of paint without issue, but a good tip is to take a couple of colours and mix them together ever so slightly. I am using green and off-white but want a swirled effect in my wet paint so it will help give the woodgrain a little extra dimension.

4. There are two methods for doing this next step. I prefer to use a sponge brush to first apply the paint (rather thickly) to the surface. Some people put a little paint at one end and drag the paint down with the woodgraining tool. Now, only apply a strip of paint at a time to be sure your paint will stay open long enough to work it.drag.JPG

5. Assuming you used the method of applying a strip of paint/glaze to a strip on your surface, you can then take your woodgraining tool and drag it down the surface of the paint. (See below for more information about the woodgraining tool.) Gently rock the tool as you go and you will see that the more it is rocked, the more knots you will get. If you need to redo a strip, paint over it with your sponge brush right away before it dries and try again. I find you get the most realistic effect by going over the surface with the tool once only. Continue to apply strips side by side and use the tool to create your effect. When the paint dries, you will no doubt be woodgrainingtool.JPGimpressed with what you have made! You can even feel the ridges of the faux woodgrain as it creates a 3D effect.

The woodgraining tool shown here was purchased from a home paint supply store a long time ago. They are still on the market and you can get them quite cheaply at Home Depot, Lowes, or various other paint supply stores.

If you would like to make your own tool. You can get a similar effect, but not as detailed, by cutting notches all along one edge of a piece of cardboard. You can use this ‘tool’ to create the effect in the same manner as described stillwet.JPGabove.

If you give this tutorial a try, we’d love to see the results! Do show and tell us at scrapscene

Stop by tomorrow for Tuesday’s tutorial. We will be showing you another technique to build up on this same project.

*If you liked this tutorial, check out our “Scrapping Spring” e-book for lots more project tutorials!*

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  1. April 21st, 2008Posted | Permalink

    Wow, this is fantastic. I have to look if I get that tool in Germany too. Thanks for the inspiration!!

  2. April 21st, 2008Posted | Permalink

    Happy “2”!!!
    Thanks for this tutorial! That looks fantastic!

  3. April 21st, 2008Posted | Permalink

    This is such a great tequnique!, Now to hunt the tool down at the local paint shops!!! Thanks!


  4. April 21st, 2008Posted | Permalink

    This is so cool! I’d love to try it 🙂 Thanks for the tut.

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  1. […] to celebrate our 2nd anniversary, we posted a series of tutorials.  You can access them here: Woodgraining, Easy Stencils, Polka Dots & Masking, Packing Tape Transfers, and Gesso […]

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