Dare the faux wood!

Dare the faux wood!

This very old technique, particularly popular in ancient Egypt, was widely used for bases and baseboards of ordinary wood or plaster. Updated to current tastes, it can be applied to all well-prepared supports.

The step by step

Multiple possibilities

For a satisfactory result, the part to be decorated must be smooth and primed. You can use all the possible colors, without confining yourself to the colors of the wood, and keep only its magnificent grain. The most difficult species to imitate are walnut, lemon and cherry. Do not be impressed by the method, it is really very simple!


After preparing your background according to its composition, apply two coats of satin paint, allowing to dry well in between.


Then let it dry for about 12 hours, then prepare an oil glaze of the desired final shade and spread it regularly with a spalter.


Work the surface immediately with the wood from top to bottom. To create knots, simply change the inclination of your comb.


Depending on the effect, more or less marked, that you are looking for, you can blend these parallel lines with a clean spalter while working with lightness.


To create the illusion of dark circles and veins, run them on the still wet glaze, using a watercolor brush and a delicately more intense shade.


Let dry 12 hours before applying two coats of colorless varnish to waterproof and give more depth.


Always try multiple times before you attack your walls. Once you have mastered the technique, nothing prevents you from using the combs to create spectacular effects. Depending on whether the teeth are clenched or spaced, the result will be completely different. As you work on a very flexible surface, you can make your own combs by cutting them, with a cutter or scissors, in flexible plastic or in the rubber of a window squeegee. The end effect is not what you expected? Do not panic: as you work with a glaze on a satin base, immediately pass a cloth slightly moistened with thinner to remove the glaze. At worst, your final shade will be a little more intense than expected!


After testing, embark on the development of very dark scythes which are often magnificent. A slightly lighter first layer will allow you to create very marked veining effects ... Superb for very simple closet doors!

Know-how - home decor © La maison rustique - éditions Flammarion, 2006