According to Wikipedia, "faux painting or faux finishing are terms used to describe decorative paint finishes that replicate the appearance of materials such as marble, wood or stone”. While I have done faux finishing that replicates marble, wood and stone – I have also found that sometimes I need to replicate somebody else’s faux painting!
My most recent client Charlie called me when the faux wood-grain painting he had on the railings of stairwells in his home had worn off after many years of use. Since there were 2 stairwells with this faux treatment and not all of it was worn down, we wanted to re-do only certain sections, touch up other parts and leave the portions without damage alone. This meant that my challenge was to not only accomplish the wood look my client wanted, but also to match the previous faux painting job to make it all look seamless together.
To make sure my work would last, I began by sanding down the sections that needed to be re painted. For the sections that needed touch-up, I used a deglosser to help with paint adhesion without marring the surrounding areas. Once the prep work was done, I could begin the 4-layer process involved to recreate the wood grain look. Most often when doing faux painting, I use latex interior paint (with lots of mixing to match colors!) and a latex glaze. For this project, however, I found that I needed to use acrylic artist’s paints to match the saturation of color that was in the existing faux paint job.
Once I had my colors mixed and started laying in the “wood-grain” layers, it all came together! I was able to accomplish both the grain and the colors of the existing finish to the point where Charlie couldn’t tell where my work ended and the previous finish began.
By wrapping it all up with a gloss polyurethane, I was able to get all of the railings looking the same – and good as new for years to come!
Following are “before” and “after” shots of some of the section of the railings I painted