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Satin Wood Faux Bois – A How-To

Satinwood or Ceylon wood is native to Southeast Asia, India, and Sri Lanka. Satinwood is harvested for its hard yellowish-brown wood, which has a satin-like luster and is occasionally used for fine cabinetwork. It is important to note that while some of the movements to create this satinwood faux bois take practice to master, the process goes quickly as it is a two-layer wood graining technique with one glaze color.  

Typically, woodgrain finishes are completed in a 3-layer process; 1- background, 2- graining, 3- overglazing, however this finish does not require overglazing to complete. Pierre Finkelstein of Grand Illusion Decorative Painting shows you how he created this finish.

HOW TO CREATE THIS FINISH

Use our step-by-step instruction below

MATERIALS NEEDED:

Here is a list of the tools & supplies you will need to achieve this technique.  Supplies available at fauxbrushes.com are linked below and listed at the bottom of the page.

1

PROPER PREPARATION

STEP 1 – PROPER PREPARATION: Use proper preparation methods to prepare your surface for Step 2.  Using a light straw Basecoat with a satin finish (either oil or water will work). Lightly sand with Sandpaper (320 grit) and dust.

2

BACKGROUND LAYER - APPLY GLAZE

STEP 2 – BACKGROUND LAYER – APPLY GLAZE: Mix a glaze of a low-viscosity, fast-drying Glazing MediumTint with Acrylic Colors – yellow ochre, raw umber, and trio (transparent red iron oxide).  Apply glaze completely with a Glazing Brush.

Stretch the glaze with a Spalter.   First against the grain, then with the grain to finish.  Use a very light hand so the glaze isn’t wiped off.

3

BACKGROUND LAYER - STIPPLING THE GLAZE

STEP 3 – BACKGROUND LAYER – STIPPLING THE GLAZE: Using a Round Softener Brush stipple the glaze. Here the goal is to stabilize the glaze but not remove it.  Note: For a larger area, a Codtail Brush would look more realistic for stippling. On this small baseboard, the Round Softener Brush works well.

4

BACKGROUND LAYER - ADD MOIRE'S

STEP 4 – BACKGROUND LAYER – ADD MOIRE’S:  Use a slightly damp Spalter Brush (size 100) and a slightly damp, clean Sea Sponge for the first set of graining marks – the moire.  The moire movement is important to master as a decorative painter.  Moire’s are made by holding the Spalter at the end by the bristles, aligning the fingertips to add control. It’s a pull, drag, release pressure motion all while zig-zagging across the grain of the wood.  Wipe the accumulating glaze off tips of the brush with the damp sponge.

Keep the rhythm random, but consistent. Work in overlapping columns to complete the entire area. Soften gently in the direction of the moire, using the tips of the Softening Brush.  Move side to side and then bottom up (in the direction of the wood grain). Be careful not to over-soften. Let dry.

5

GRAINING LAYER - ADD VEINS

STEP 5 – GRAINING LAYER – ADD VEINS:  Use a Veinette Comb to open the hair on a tooth veinette brush. Dip the veinette in the same glaze that was used to create the moire.  Finely and gently vein in parallel columns, reloading the brush as needed (always run through with the comb before starting again).  Follow the movement of the moire – darker areas of the moire would warrant larger movement. Do not cross over the veins with new veins.  Additional detail for this step can be found in the video.

Soften in one direction across the grains at a 70 degree angle to create a slight edge. Let dry.

6

PROTECT AND FINISH

STEP 6 – PROTECT AND FNISH: Apply Varnish in the desired sheen to protect the finish.

COMPLETED FINISH

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