View Full Version : Wood Grain

08-01-2001, 03:55 AM
I am going to be painting covered bridges, and need some ideas to acheive different wood grains. I am artist wannabe and I could use all the help that I can glean from all you pros.

Ron Marcille

08-02-2001, 12:35 PM
I thought that you would get lots of response so I did not post but I will now.
As I understand it you are looking for details of different species of wood grains. If you are primarily looking for your project on covered bridges then you will want to see deeply weathered detail of pine boards...which you will also see on old barns etc. all over the country and in many pictures of old barns in magazines etc.
If you want to see details of unweathered wood grains one of the sources of information is to go to a woodworkers magazine (search online). You will find that some of them sell (cheap) small samples of a dozen types of wood - pine, walnut, cherry, mahogany, chestnut, maple, oak, etc., etc.,. You can also possibly find pictures of most of them online.
Also at your local better paint store, they may cater to faux painters - those people that do "graining" or faux painting to create grains on wood-types that do not have a great deal of grain such as some white pine. Faux painting is very interesting and some people want faux work on more inexpensive wood to make it look like birds-eye maple or oak. A wall of oak or maple is very expensive these days but a wall of white pine with faux painting brings the cost down significantly.
Covered bridges and old barns are weathered and in a painting of them it is interesting to show knots, and the deep weathering along the grain, contours of the grain, etc.
Hopefully I have hit on the right notes to your question.

08-02-2001, 01:00 PM
I also thought you would get many replies and held back. If you are looking for a down and dirty way to get a woody textured look with acrylic you can: underpaint the wood area, while it is still wet pressed crinkled plastic wrap into the wet paint. Once you remove it, it will leave interesting texture. You can then accent the dark and light areas.

Good luck,


Keith Russell
08-07-2001, 11:24 PM

Another solution would be to look for home improvement magazines, which would show the old, weathered wood 'before' it was reworked to look new. Flip though some before you buy them, and you might find just the kind of old, weathered wood you are looking for.


08-09-2001, 05:31 PM
Hi all,
I know know where to find wood, but how do I paint the texture of wood?


08-09-2001, 10:53 PM
The technique you use to paint woodgrain depends on a number of things, including the scale of your image and the peculiarities of your painting surface. Then there is the type and condition of wood that you are representing.

In general, you can start by painting the wood area a slightly lighter color than the general flat (untextured) tone of the wood. Next, mask around half of the individual boards (what I describe next can be messy, and if the boards are adjacent you can't really mask around all of them at once and maintain separation)

The next step is to apply the grain. There are many ways to do this, and different ones work better than others in different circumstances. I'm sure the others can come up with many more. Here are just a couple:

a. Make a graining brush. Use a cheap bristle paint brush and hack into the end of it with a pair of scissors until the edge is ragged. Test it a few times on some scrap material, varying the ressure through your stroke until you get a streaky effect that looks similar to the grain of your wood. Now, with a single stroke on each board you can grain it. In smaller scales, you can use a cosmetic sponge wedge instead of a brush.

b. There is a special graining tool used by faux finishers. It is a sort of squeegee with a rubber pad, ribbed with semicircular ridges and wrapped around a quarter cylinder of wood or plastic with a handle. The idea is to drag this tool through a staining medium across the soon-to-be simulated wood surfaces. By gently rocking the tool as you drag it down the length of the board you vary the width and density of the woodgrain. This method works best on hard, smooth supports at close to life-size scales.

After the paint has dried, remove the tape, mask around the boards you didn't paint already, and repeat the process. Once completed, you'll still have to work up shadows and highlights with a fine brush, but the grunt work is finished.

08-15-2001, 06:53 PM
I use a haircomb: break some of it teeth and try it on the fresh applied paint. I use 3 different sizes...:)