Faux Wood Graining – Dark Brown Mahogany or an Espresso Color

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Faux wood graining seems to be the hottest new trend around here these days!   Or… is it just that its hot and we think we need a new faux painting technique to learn?  Lol!  ;)

Either way, another question about wood graining has come in to the “THATPainterLady” desk.

Hi there!  I would like to paint my wood bathroom cabinet.  It is a lighter wood color now, and not very grainy.  I’d REALLY like to paint it a dark mahogany or espresso brown color.  I saw the technique for a mahogany door and I am thinking of trying that.  Do you have any suggestions for a little bit darker finish?  And would the technique be the same on wood? Thanks a lot!

Tiffany!!!  Thanks for the great question!

Wood graining technique is the same for cabinets as it is for the paneled doors, with just a few simple exceptions.  The paneled doors have a “grain” pressed into the panels, so the grain collects in those teeny, tiny crevices and just enhances the grain pattern.

Wood cabinet doors are usually very smooth, so the wood graining with the brush takes a very light touch with the brush. You are going for tiny little grain lines.

I would use the same colors as the mahogany but you will be adding another layer.

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This layer will be a thin…I mean almost sheer glaze and the graining should be heavier.  These layers give a lustrous depth and the graining patterns will be pretty realistic.

Of course there is a DVD is on the market.  Faux Wood Techniques DVD with over 45 minutes of hands on training.  Of course… the teacher is one of your favorites – That Painter Lady DEBRA!!  :)  Debra will show you step by step how to get the most FABULOUS faux wood finish.  She doesn’t use a graining tool, but a brush to get those wood grains so amazingly realistic!

So if your having problems with your graining….need a little guidance… some helpful hints… Help is available —>

Wood Grain Painting Video

Anyone else has any helpful tips for Tiffany?  We love to share helpful hints & tips, so… leave a comment!

Get out there and splash some paint around!

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  1. THAT Painter Lady says

    I have always worked with water based products.

    You can do the same technique with oil base products. Some decorative painters feel that oil based might hold up better on hard use objects like cabinet doors.

    The doors I have painted have held up to lots of wear and tear.

    Go with your gut… It really is all only paint and can be fixed with more paint, or stain. Either way is creative.

  2. Vicki Williams says

    I have a question on cabinet doors. What type of clear finish do you usually use. When I have painted with latex paint I have used a water based Polycrylic. I feel that oil holds up better, but I have not found a finsh that doesn’t turn lighter color cabinets a yellow.
    Do you have any suggestions.
    Whimsical Walls

  3. THAT Painter Lady says

    Hi Vicki,
    Their are oil based finish coats that claim that they do not turn yellow. I have not found one yet that lives up to this claim.

    I agree that oil based products do seem to hold up better on cabinets, but it is a trade of with the discoloration of the top coat.

    Anyone have any suggestions for Vicki?

  4. julz says

    I painted the walls of a small vestibule dark brown (eggshell) and the trim white (semi gloss). I love the color but it needs something. What can I do to give it a punch or “wow” factor?

  5. THAT Painter Lady says

    Hi Julz

    A tiny room painted a dark, rich color like espresso brown can really give the area some drama.

    Even with white trim painted in semi gloss, the room can seem a bit dead.

    Tiny dark rooms need to be given jewel box appeal. This can come from actually doing something cool to the walls or with the accessories.

    If you are able to add lots of sparkle with lighting, mirrors and other shiny things… then this may be the way to go. It will be expensive.

    Or… you can had jewel box shimmer to your walls. This can be accomplished with a painting technique or with stencils. Either technique uses metallic paints.

    Rolling on a metallic faux finish in bronzed gold will give the room a bit of an old word look to the walls.

    A stencil all over pattern with a traditional style stencil using multiple colors of metallic paints will give a huge amount of drama without spending the farm.

    Here is one that Stencil Ease sells that is a beautiful scroll stencil.

    Hope this helps… Debra

  6. Mary Theresa says

    I currently have a bathroom vanity that is painted white. I would like to change the color to a dark espresso. What is the best method to do this.

  7. Linda says

    Mary Theresa, Did you ever get an answer regarding painting your vanity dark? I would like to do the same thing, but not sure how.

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