Thursday, August 10, 2017

Faux Barnwood Tutorial

It has been way too long since I sat and wrote a blog post but after putting several videos up on my Instagram I had quite a few messages asking me to share this technique.  I have missed blogging and the community of friends I've made here but haven't felt much motivation to write a post until now.  Here is to hoping I get back to it regularly!

Now on to what this post is really about...Faux Barnwood!  
Faux Barnwood TutorialI have this ugly desk and shelving unit in my office and have been dying to get something new but just hadn't found anything that would give me the same amount of storage so I had planned on building something or making an Ikea trip and buying individual pieces and building around it.  However that day didn't happen and I was getting more and more tired of looking at the awful laminate so I woke up one day and knew just what I wanted to do with the furniture to give it a new life.  So I got my white paint and got started but then I didn't like how white it was so I hopped on Pinterest and looked up faux barnwood and found several great tutorials but most weren't using laminate but real wood so I knew I'd have to do a lot more than just using stain. I decided to just go for it because worst case scenario was to paint right over it if it didn't turn out.
 I started with the desk first and as I got started I was convinced I had ruined it and it'd never turn out but two days later and about 12 paint colors I was in love!  Don't worry you will not have to use 12 paint colors if you decide to do this and it will not take you 2 days like my first try did.  Once I realized the colors and technique I liked I was able to do my shelving unit in less than an hour and my work table surface in just about 45 minutes.  

 I am going to give general paint colors in the list of things you need however I will tell you exactly what colors I used.  I know you may not have access to each of these colors so just something similar will work.
You will need:
Old t-shirt or rag
Primer (I like Zinsser)
White chalk paint or any white paint you like
Rustoleum Carbon Gray Wood Stain or something similar
Black Paint
Dark Gray Paint
Brown Paint
Beige Paint
Light Gray Paint
Chip Brush
Valspar White Wood Stain 
You will want to do one light coat of primer over the surface you plan to use this technique on.  I didn't do anything thick but wanted to make sure there was at least a little bit of primer to cover the laminate.

Once the primer has dried you will use your Rustoleum Wood Stain in Carbon Gray.
I started with a chip brush but found that it was much easier to just use an old t-shirt and rub the stain in that way.
I didn't do a thick coat of stain and wiped as much off as I could.  Honestly I liked it just like this but still wanted to add some color/dimension to it which is where the other paint colors will come in.
Even though you saw all kinds of colors in the photo above these were the ones I ended up using.  This is kind of a trial and error process so if you have other colors you want to add in I say go for it and know you can always just paint over it if you don't like it.
I only used 1 chip brush for the entire process.  It doesn't hurt for the colors to blend into one another so that is why I only used one brush for the whole project.

You will start with any color you want and very very lightly make swiping motions all over the desk with the desired paint color.  I did this in quick sweeping motions and then once all the paint was off the brush I went back and blended it in by rubbing over it with the brush.  Basically just blending it in so the streaks weren't so harsh.  I did this with each color and then blended the whole surface with an old t-shirt so that it really softened the look.  I then went back with some of the colors and added a little more and then blended it again.  I did this until I was happy with the look.  Don't worry if you are layering a ton of paint.  Also do not give up if you think it's not looking right.  I thought it looked horrible and almost threw in the towel many times but I'm so glad I didn't.  There really isn't an art form on this but just keep at it until you are satisfied with the appearance.
Once I was please with how the surface looked I used a sanding block and sanded the whole surface to soften it a bit more.  I then went back over it with more of the Rustoleum Carbon Gray Wood Stain to blend it all together even more.
As you can see here once I went over it with the Carbon Gray it softened the surface so much.  I went back and added a little touch of color here and there just to add a little more "streaking" that the carbon stain may have blended in too much.  You wouldn't have to do this step though.
Second to last step is to use the Antique White Wood Stain from Varathane and go over the entire surface.  Again I used an old t-shirt for this and really used some pressure when rubbing it in so that it blended the colors really well.
The final step is to seal it with Polyacrylic.  I used 3 coats of this to really protect the surface.  It gives it a nice smooth finish and because I used Satin it has just the tiniest bit of sheen to it.  

That is it!  Don't let this project intimidate you because I promise it's easy.  It's really just layering and playing with it until you are pleased with the results.  I know you can do it! 

 This was a labor of love but I sure do love how it turned out!  It was definitely worth the time and energy I put into it because I love the end result and so has everyone else that has seen it so that is a major win!