DIY Tip: How to Faux-Grain

Decorative painter Karen Bateman spent months faux-graining the woodwork in her 3,100-square-foot house.

Karen faux-grained the side lights around the front door. The paneling below the windows is fake. “I just added picture molding to make a panel, and a side molding that joins the base, to make it look like one unit.”

lights around the front door


The process, she says, is simple if you keep these tips in mind:


victorian stairs decor
For the stairs, Karen faux-grained the risers. She also faux-grained the wainscoting. The rail and balusters are stained wood.


Use a rocker grainer, a comb grainer or even a squeegee you’ve cut random notches in to mimic the look of wood.


door painting
Karen brought charm to the glass side panels of the front door by painting them to look like stained glass.


Use multiple layers of paint; she prefers four.


victorian home
The main staircase, faux-grained by Karen, makes its grand entrance.


Make sure the base layer matches the lightest or second-lightest wood tone so its color can peek through the darker glaze layers to reveal its true “grain.”


By Nancy Ruhling




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