How to Cover Old Paint with a Faux Wood Finish

What You'll Need
Sponge, Tack Cloth & Rag
3 Cups Cleaning Agent
Medium Grained Sandpaper
Bristle Brush, Soft Bristled Brush, 2 or 3 inch brush & Standard Decorators Brush
Oil-Based White eggshell paint & oil paint
Stain Blocking Primer
Brown Glaze
Wood Stain
Mineral Spirits

The faux wood finish is one of the most popular techniques to painting wood. This wood finish is relatively inexpensive and not too complicated to achieve. This technique will be a very good solution for when you cannot remove old paint from wood or furniture but are still looking for a natural wood finish.

Step 1 – Getting Ready

The first thing you need to do is to make sure that the underlying paint layer (the old paint) completely seals the wooden surface so that any topcoats you will be applying later on will adhere effectively. Moreover, you should clean the painted surface of any dirt that may be present by using a sponge dipped in a solution cleaning agent and water. Once the surface is clean, you should use sandpaper to sand it a bit so that the coats you apply will hold on to it better. Remember to remove any dust with a tack cloth.

Step 2 – Priming the Surface

Since you are keeping your old paint you will need to prime it so that any underlying paint or varnish will not seep through to your new coats. Use the stain blocking primer and the base coat bristle brush to make a new coating. Once the new coat has dried you should sand it lightly with a fine grade sandpaper and again remove any dust with the tack cloth. You should re-coat the first layer with a second one for optimal results.

Step 3 - Using Oil-Based White Eggshell Paint

The next step will be to use oil-based white eggshell paint as a base for your subsequent paints or glazes. Remember that this kind of paint can be mixed with any artist’s oil colored paints of your choice. It is up to you to decide if you want white paint or colored oil paint. The only thing you need to remember is that with varnish the light shades will get darker. Now get the paint and standard decorator’s brushes and make at least two coats of eggshell paint. Make sure that the first coat has dried before applying the second one.

Step 4 – Applying Wood Stain

Once the eggshell coat has dried, use the 3 inch brush and randomly apply brown glaze over it.  Use a small mottler to even it out, in slightly overlapping sweeps. Now drag the mottle on the wet glaze in a series of elongated but overlapping arcs to create a heart shaped grain pattern always starting from the bottom and work upwards. You should use a soft bristle brush to soften the effect. Once it has dried off take the wood staining product and with a small paintbrush apply a coat onto the surface. Then quickly sweep a dry rag over the wet surface in the direction of the grain to remove some of the stain.

Step 5 – Applying Varnish

After the stain has dried you can now apply the varnish by using a soft bristled brush. First use a mixture of diluted varnish (20% varnish and 80% mineral spirits). Make sure to be quick in applying this varnish and to apply in thin, elongated overlapping strokes. Let it dry well and apply at least another 2 coats of non-diluted varnish.

Step 6 – Buffing the Varnish

After having applied the third coat of varnish, wait for 30 minutes and then buff it off by using a medium grade sandpaper to get the appearance of natural wood. Do not press too hard because that will scrape off all the work. Your faux wood finish project is now finished.

This is one of the most effective ways to get the faux wood finish on an already painted surface. Remember that stripping the paint from the furniture is not necessary when you are trying to achieve the natural wood stain appearance because you can create the stain yourself.