A Rich Wood-Look-Painting Effect For Furniture

I used this wood-look-painting technique aka faux painting on my bathroom vanity to make it look like rich mahogany wood. It worked great!

Why a faux technique and not the real deal you might be thinking?

My #1 reason to faux paint and not buy new: Budget

My#2 reason to keep my old vanity and just do a revamp: Size and Function

I liked the size of my old vanity. I was not able to find anything comparable to it. I LOVED that it had two drawers plus storage underneath. The cabinets that were similar were over $1000. (Not in my budget, not this year anyway.) I could live with my vanity, I just didn't like the color...or the top (but that's another chapter.)

My bathroom vanity was not the color I wanted for my new decor. I wanted a dark wood tone instead of the black painted finish that it was.

This old cabinet has had many lives. Originally it was a honey color, wood grain, builders grade vanity.

I painted it white, but didn't like it, then black, but that read too contemporary...

Find yourself with this same dilemma?

Do you have an older vanity or cabinet that is just outdated?

Today's decorating trends for wood cabinets and floors are dark, rich, mahogany and ebony wood colors and grains.

Here's my faux finish wood-look-painting "how to" for a bathroom vanity makeover that you can do too! It can be done on any piece of furniture! Scroll down to see other pieces I've used this wood-look painting finish on...

remove all knobs and doors and drawers

Scruff up the surface with sand paper and take the sheen off.

Find a template of the type of wood you want to duplicate (I used a drawer from my dresser)see below

Wood-Look-Paintng For  A Vanity Cabinet wood-look painting on bathroom vanity inspiraton for wood-look vanity

Look closely at the template for the lightest tone in the grain

Buy some paint sample colors and match the color the best you can (I used a coral color flat paint)

Paint the piece that color

wood-look-painting base coat

Purchase a few different color craft paint colors that you see in the wood template.ex., brown, black, red, burnt umber, ochre, and get a clear glaze( I use craft acrylic paint and glazes from Walmart)

Mix a few colors together with some glaze and a little water to make the different tones you see in the wood (don't try to be perfect, let loose, glaze is forgiving and takes a while to dry so you can wipe it off if you don't like it.

Dry brush one color mix at a time on starting with the lightest colors first using your chip brushes.

Use a side to side paint stroke like the grain in wood.(The chip brush will do the work for you and it will look like a wood grain, you can twist your wrist while brushing on the paint to get more of an effect or you can use a wood grain tool purchased from the craft section)

wood-look painting brushes

Use your artist brushes to add worm holes and squiggles that you see in your template.

Let it dry overnight or for 4-5 hours at least.

Seal it with a clear satin polyurethane or add more dimension like I did and used a mahogany stain with a sealer in it.

Warning! This takes a long, long time to dry (cure) It will be tacky for days, but be patient! It does dry to a nice hard finish. and it looks just like wood! No one will know.


Materials needed for this wood-look-painting technique:

Paints: browns, something in the red family, black,raw umber, burnt sienna, ochre.

clear glaze

artist brushes

chip brushes


sand paper/fine

wood template


plastic cups for mixing Any Questions or Comments? Ask the Forum! We're always ready to help!


Have I inspired you to do your own wood-look-painting projects?

Need Some One On One Help?

Check out my Personal Decorating consultation packages for more personal help with your wood look painting and decorating projects or any other decorating dilemmas you have.

It's really easy, affordable, and online. You get my expert personal advice just for your personal design project. Click on the pic below to learn more!

Personal Decorating Consult picture link

Have A Great Story About Faux Painting?

Do you have a great story about a wood grain painting project? Or a Faux painting technique you've done? Share it!

Enter Your Title

Hope you enjoyed this wood-look-painting technique, be sure and check out my other DIY projects at Room-Decorating-Ideas

Return To Room-Decorating-Ideas From WOOD-LOOK-PAINTING

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

Custom Search

interior decorating diva monthly ezine picture

Enter your E-mail Address
Enter your First Name (optional)

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you interior-decorating-diva Monthly.