The Best Technique To Paint Natural Timber Buildings

As an artist, you may be called upon to provide murals for clients. These murals may be inside or outside the building, and require different techniques depending on the construction materials upon which you are painting. You may also be asked to do faux finishes on timber structures or on timber cladding. Here are some pointers and techniques for painting natural timber buildings for great effect.

Faux Finishes

Faux finishes are those intended to give the appearance of other surfaces. This type of technique is very popular on interior beams and columns, and on timber cladding, as well.

Usually, the artist will be called in to make these area look like wood grain, marble, or granite. In the case of wood grain, your services may be requested because the existing timber beams and columns are over-painted, concealing the natural grain. In the case of natural timber, the wood grain may not show up enough to please the homeowner. This is actually a fairly easy method. You just need a wood graining kit. This consists of a rocker, a comb, and a combination rocker and comb. Each of these are drug through the wet paint or stain. You rock the rockers as you drag them, and they leave the appearance of wood grain behind. This technique works on wood cladding, as well.

Quite often, homeowners and commercial builders will want columns to receive a faux marble treatment. When done properly, this technique is very convincing and beautiful. To apply a faux marble finish, select 3 or 4 colors that would be found in the desired marble. Apply these colors with sea sponges, dabbing and blending them so that they make a mottled surface. Once the basic colors are dry, you go back with a small-tipped detail brush, and trace in the veins. You’ll do this with white, ivory, and gray paint. Vary the length and width of the veins, and be sure that the veins go over any exposed edges. This will lend an authentic look to the piece. You may, in some places, lightly brush over the veins with a dry paintbrush. This can soften the edges. Once the faux finish is complete, you coat the work with high-gloss clear coat. This makes it shiny like marble.

For the faux granite technique, apply a base coat of a gold metallic paint. This is because granite usually has mineral deposits in it.. Then, you apply the other colors you selected in the same sponging technique you use with the marble. Work from darkest to lightest colors. Mix the accent color you want with some glaze to keep it from drying out, and sponge it over the surface. Some people go back over with another accent color and splatter paint the surface to provide more detail. Then, you finish the surface with high-gloss clear coat.


For murals, be sure there is a good base coat on the surface, and use interior or exterior paint as required.

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