Do you love the Restoration Hardware tables that have that beautiful gray (driftwood-like) weathered wood? Me too. But, I can’t justify spending thousands of dollars on their furniture. Instead, I found a Craig’s List pedestal table that had the right shape and size for our kitchen. It was a cherry veneer finish, but after some paint you’d never know!
And then, I created my own Faux Weathered Gray Wood Grain top. All you need are some Valspar paint samples, some wood grain tools and a dry brush to achieve this look.
Ready to get started?
(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)
- 3 empty containers
- Wood Grain tool (I also used Martha Stewart craft comb for the sides of the table top)
- Valspar 6006-1A Woodrow Wilson Putty (these colors are no longer available)
- Valspar 6007-2A Arid Plains (no longer available)
- Valspar 6005-1A Asiago (no longer available)
- Clear mixing glaze
- 4″ chip paint brush
- 2.5″ Paint brush
- Wet wipes for clean up and mistakes
- Paper towel or dry rag
- Minwax wipe on Polyurethane (the paint on will be more durable, but takes much longer to dry)
- Optional: Minwax Natural Oak Finishing Wipes
Base Coat and Glazes:
Before you begin creating your wood grain, you should paint your surface with Valspar Woodrow Wilson Putty and allow it to dry.
If you are painting furniture, lightly sand the piece. And be sure to use Valspar Paint + Primer in one. This will allow you to paint directly onto the furniture and skip the primer.
While the base coat is drying, pre-mix your glazes in the empty containers.
Here are the Glaze Formulas:
- Dark Glaze: 1 part Valspar Arid Plains mixed with 3 parts Valspar clear glaze
- Light Glaze (for white washing): 1 part Valspar Asiago mixed with 1 part Valspar clear glaze
- Medium Glaze: Mix both the light and dark glaze together to get a nice in between glaze.
Faux Wood Grain Tutorial: I created a video tutorial for this project. So, feel free to watch this short video or read the instructions below (if you can’t see the video, click here.):
Start by dipping your dry brush into the medium glaze. Blot most of the glaze off onto a paper towel or rag.
Drag the brush in long vertical stripes (working in the direction you want the grain to run.) When the surface is covered, it should have some darker and lighter areas as shown below:
When the medium glaze has dried, you can start creating the knots and grain using the darker glaze. Paint the darker glaze on top of the medium glaze stripes. Work in 2-3 board width sections.
Before the glaze can dry, drag and rock the wood grain tool through the dark glaze. When starting on the next row, I like to flip the wood grain tool around.
Use a clean dry brush to lightly feather the grain edges. If you mess up, no worries, just re-drag the wood grain tool through the glaze again.
Wait for your grain to dry thoroughly. Then add the white wash layer to your surface. Dip the dry brush into the light glaze and blot most of it off onto a rag. Then VERY LIGHTLY drag the white-wash glaze over the table. This layer should skip over areas and be as random as you can manage.
Wood Grain Effect on Small Sections:
The side of my pedestal table has an apron that is too small for the wood grain tool. So, I used a Martha Stewart wood grain comb for this area. It works well, but you won’t be able to create knots like the other tool can.
Repeat the same process as above:
1. Base coat with Woodrow Wilson Putty.
2. Apply the medium glaze with a dry brush.
3. Apply the dark glaze and drag the comb through the glaze. Be sure to angle and wiggle the comb slightly to achieve the uneven lines that are indicative of real wood grain.
4. Use a small dry brush or fan brush to feather the wood grain.
5. Dry brush the white-wash (Asiago) layer.
Finishing and Protecting Your Furniture:
After you’ve spent all that time creating the perfect weathered wood grain look, you’ll want to protect your furniture. For my table, I wanted to add a slight bit of warmth back into the table. I chose to use the Minwax Wood Finishing Cloths in Natural Oak. The cloth is a stain and polyurethane in one.
Simply wipe the stain cloth onto your surface. Let it sit a minute and wipe the excess off with a dry rag. For a deeper color, wait one hour and wipe with a new cloth. Remove the excess.
Because the table I finished was for our kitchen, I chose to add a few more layers of polyurethane. Wipe on, let dry and repeat at least 4-5 times.
For a more durable surface, I recommend using the brush on polyurethane. It goes on thicker and creates a nearly impenetrable coating that will stand up to the worst messes your kids can dish out. However, you will need to brush on the poly in a well ventilated area and wait at least 24+ hours before using the table.
I used this wood grain technique on a piece of poster board and can use it as a back drop for photography:
What do you think? Is this a good knock off of the $1,000 R.H.’s pedestal table? Or at least a close resemblance?
I love this technique. I can’t wait to use it on something else. Where else would you use the driftwood wood grain technique?
Disclosure: As a #LowesCreator, I was provided with a Lowe’s gift card to purchase supplies for this post. I was not told what to write. All ideas and words are my own.