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Wood graining is a technique to simulate a wooden 3D appearance and feel on plain furniture or a flat surface. In this example, a table will be painted using a pale sage green undercoat with a white topcoat, starting with the legs and working up to the table top. This effect only requires small quantities of paint, ideal to use up leftover paint.

RECIPE: refer to how to mix classic colour glaze
INGREDIENTS: Pot to mix paint – large soft paint brush – wood graining tool – classic colour glaze – emulsion paint for the basecoat – emulsion paint for glaze – old tea cloth – sheet to protect floor
1 star = extremely simple, 5 stars = not so straightforward
TIME REQUIRED: For a beginner 5 minutes to master the effect. An hour to finish the whole table.
SUITABLE AREAS: On small areas. Tired-looking furniture can be given a new lease of life. Painted walls below the dado rail in a hall look good. Work from the top edge down.


Step 1: Apply a sage green acrylic emulsion basecoat and leave to dry thoroughly overnight.

Step 2: Prepare the glaze colour of your choice. To do this mix one third acrylic white emulsion with two thirds classic colour glaze in a pot.

Step 3: Apply the glaze in the direction you wish the wood grain to go. Paint one surface at a time with the mixture.

Step 4: Using the wood graining tool, drag it across the surface as you smoothly rock and roll the tool back and forth. Each time you rock it, the appearance of a knot in the wood will appear.

Step 5: After each stroke wipe the graining toil with an old cloth or tea towel and repeat the process until you have covered the whole area.

Step 6: As with all paint effects it is recommended to protect the surface using at least two coats of a good quality water-based acrylic varnish in a matt finish.

TIP: When it comes to painting furniture, paint the top of the table with the effect and leave to dry before attempting to paint underneath, similarly with the legs paint the two opposite sides of a leg and leave the finish to dry before finishing the remaining opposite sides.

If you make a mistake don’t despair, just brush out the glaze and try again. The hardest part is to judge how much paint you apply to the surface. Too little paint and you will not get enough of an effect or too much paint and the tool will become clogged and the wood grain pattern will look smeary.

For a more traditional look use a medium oak colouriser. This appearance is more dramatic, completely changing how the paint effect looks by colour alone. The appearance of this painted wood grain effect looks wonderful below the dado rail to simulate natural stained oak. Follow the steps as for wood graining to achieve this look.

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