Grain painting help?

lkplatowSeptember 29, 2006

Hi all - I usually post over at Home decorating and actually posted this over there, but then found this forum and figured you might be more help!

I have a serious clutter problem in my kitchen - papers just seem to pile up all over the counter no matter what I do. So in an effort to get more organized, I bought this el-cheapo desk organizer thingy from Ikea:

After buying it, I realized that it kind of looks like an old-fashioned spool or sewing cabinet and since my kitchen is sort of country-folky, I'd like to paint it to look like one. I already added some cute little wooden feet so now all I have left is the painting. (Wish I could do something about the holes through the drawers - I'd rather have knobs - but there's no way around that...I'll just ignore them!)

I figured I could try that faux-grain-painting that was so popular back in the day -- where you apply a base coat then use a glaze and either comb it or use your fingers or whatever to get it to look like tiger maple or birds-eye maple or whatever. I have no idea what color base coat to use or how to do this, though, and googling isn't turning up a whole lot. Has anyone done this before, and if so, can you give me some specific pointers (like what color/brand/sheen of paint to use, etc.)? Thanks so much!

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luvstocraft

Welcome Ikplatow,

Can't really help you with faux wood grain, perhaps one of the other people here will know more.

Just tossing out another idea..If you like country--you could really make it cute by painting it the colors in your kitchen. Outside could be a solid color, then each drawer could even be a different color. Then paint or stencil a design on them like a vine or coffee cups, or teapots, ore even herbs. Or since it is an organizer, you could label the drawers with words like Pay, File, Read or whatever categories you need.

Good luck with your project, and whatever you choose to do, hope you'll come back and post a pic for us to see.

Luvs

    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 11:46AM
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anjabee

Sorry, I don't know either. I was thinking like Luvs. Nice colors maybe in a milk paint and I'd even distress it a little by sanding off the sides and around the holes to make it look old, but I like old. Good luck! ~:) Anj

    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 12:48PM
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kennebunker

I know how it's done, though I haven't used to make a project, just fiddled around while waiting for paint to dry.
The grain will be affected by whatever you use for combing. There are wooden tools for this, also you can use a metal or plastic comb or even one you've cut out of cardboard.
If you want a faux wood look, select a basecoat of cream, honey, yellow ochre or a shade of gray. For the glaze you can go with any shade of middle to dark brown. Don't make the glaze color really dark and the base really light. A lighter base needs a medium toned glaze, a yellow ochre base could take a richer, darker brown.
You have to play around with the stuff and practice seeing what kind of effects you can make.
I've got 2 books, one by Annie Sloan, another by Charles Hemming. Check out the decorating section of your local library. Annie Sloan has quite a few books out and her stuff is well illustrated and simple to understand. It's hard to explain all the little nuances without pictures to show you.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 4:17PM
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Frances_AR

I did my BR door to look like a very old door, and I used black as the base, then a nutmeg glaze for the grain. I taped it off so that my grain would be somewhat straight, and was happy with the way it turned out, but I did use a wood graining tool. Just play around with the colors you want, and getting use to the technique before you tackle the piece. The glaze gives you time to play around with what you do. Here's a closeup of my door, and the tool I used.

     Â
    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 5:17PM
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anjabee

That looks awesome frances! ~Anj

    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 7:01PM
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lkplatow

That nutmeg and black looks like an awesome color combo. What brand of glaze did you use? Did you just get something at Michaels or was it something you mixed up yourself? I am so clueless!

    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 8:23PM
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Frances_AR

I got the glaze from our local Ace Hardware. It is called 'Ace Royal Touch Artistic Finishes, Latex Glazing Liquid'. Here's a picture of it, the pic will probably help you more. Any of the big stores (Home Depot, Lowes, etc.) have the glazing medium, just go to the paint dept.and ask. Mine is for interior, but I'm planning on trying it outside mixed with exterior paint. (You can buy the exterior glaze as well, and it will work ok inside, too.)

 Â
    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 9:43PM
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Frances_AR

I was going to post a bigger picture of the door with the last post, and forgot. My DD's call it the door to the dungeon, lol. My BR is my work room, storage room, etc., so it's my dungeon. They said they would go crazy if they had to sleep in my room, but I tell them, hey I'm surrounded by the things I love, so I'm just fine. I still haven't gotten the door frame up, still working on the floor.

 Â

    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 9:51PM
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lkplatow

Very cool! Did the ACE stuff come premixed in nutmeg or did you have them mix it at the store? Do you just pick a color from a color chart or can they match any paint? Sorry to ask so many questions, but I've got little kids that I'll be bringing with me shopping so my mission in any store is to know exactly what I want, go in and get it, and get out as quickly as possible.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 10:00PM
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Frances_AR

I understand about trying to shop with kids in tow. The glaze comes untinted, and you mix the paint with it, at a 50/50 ratio. You can use any color you want, as long as you use waterbased with waterbased. Keep us informed on how you are doing. Good Luck!

    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 10:09PM
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luvstocraft

Frances, Your door is wonderful! The door to the dungeon--that makes me laugh. That is very creative. Hey, I see some painted vines on the wall too. Better pic of those too please? I've been wanting to do some painting on my bathroom wall, but haven't worked up the courage yet. I stenciled on it when we first moved here, but ready for a change. Luvs

    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 10:44AM
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anjabee

Frances I love that door!! What a fantasy piece! You can come paint that on my bedroom door any day! I'd like to see that wall painting too! Don't keep us in suspense! ~Anj

    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 11:59AM
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