Tuesday, March 24, 2020

New Video! Easy 3-Step Woodgraining: Make Your Painted Furniture Look Like Stained Wood

John's pretty much finished with his big Sherlock room build, so now we're just waiting to install it. (WOOT WOOT!) In the meantime, and by popular request, we thought we'd share a little furniture building secret:


The secret here is this is NOT stained wood. It's painted. 

See? Totally different wood grain, with none of that ugly pine pattern showing through.

Here's the complete surround without the fireplace in it, so you can see the painted inner edges: 

The sunlight makes it glow extra red; I'll show you a more accurate color match in a sec.
This faux finish lets us use cheap plywood, so it's great for budget builds, and best of all it's easy to do! There are only 3 steps, using materials you can find at any hardware store. A more complex piece like this could be a little tricky because of the angles, but flat sides or shelves are super simple:

(This is a more accurate color match; you can see the wood finish is less red and more true brown.) 

Several of you asked for a tutorial when I shared those in my Stories, and then John surprised me by filming one! So take it away, John:

Awww yeah. MY MAN.

Here's what John used, in case you want the same exact wood finish

-  Sherwin William "Reynard" in satin latex paint
- Minwax Clear Polyurethane, satin (do NOT use Polycrylic)
- PolyShades "Mission Oak" in satin, diluted by half with the clear polyurethane
- The glaze John used is no longer made, but any acrylic glaze should work. Tint it with brown and black acrylic craft paint. 

If you use those products/colors you should end up with a near-exact match to our finish.

You can buy the PolyShades here on Amazon, along with the clear polyurethanechip brushes and even acrylic glaze. The only thing I don't think you can buy online is the base coat, but check your garage! Any satin interior paint in a yellow, beige, or orange color will work just fine, and you can always combine leftover latex paints (and/or acrylic craft paints) to mix your own color. Just do samples first with all 3 layers, so you can play around to find the wood tone you like best.

 I'll save everything John used (except the base color) to our Amazon "Craft Materials" list, in case you need to reference that in the future. Be sure to bookmark it!

I hope this was useful, and maybe gives you some new crafting ideas this month! John's talking about doing more quick garage videos, so help me encourage him to do that by shouting out suggestions in the comments. Next he wants to show you how he fixed a warped cooking pan, because he was SO HAPPY when he saved his favorite pan after it startled wobbling around on our flat-top stove, ha. Interested? Let him know!


That reminds me, have you bookmarked our Epbot Amazon shop front?

 I have lots of fun lists for you to browse, and I work hard to add new things every week. Anything you purchase - even if it's not on my lists - gives a little back to me and John and helps keep Epbot running, so thank you for supporting us when you order online! We love you guys!


  1. I love the finished product, and am hopeful that once I'm able to watch the video (not allowed at work) I can use the same technique on 1:12 furniture. That would look wonderful on the room I'm working on right now.

  2. That finish turned out so good! This is so much more economical than saving up for the quality of wood you'd need for that look otherwise. And the timing is fantastic for me. I got an old cabinet I wanted to use in my house to store my bird's food & cage liners, but it doesn't match anything & I wasn't sure what color to paint to to make it no an eyesore. This will be perfect. And I already have nearly everything I'd need, too!

    I love cooking and would definitely like to see a tried and true method of repairing a wobbly pan. So if Jon finds the time to share, that'd be great!

  3. OMG, PLEASE share the tutorial on fixing the warped pan. I have a couple of them, and it's always so frustrating to me when one of my favorite pans takes on a wobble.

    1. Seconded, thirded, and fourthed!! I NEED this tutorial.

    2. We're also in need of a warped pan tutorial! We have some pretty nice pans but the warping makes hot spots that can ruin dinner if we aren't careful.

  4. I rarely ever watch any video more than 1:30 minutes, but this was REALLY fabulous and I had no urge at all to fast forward. Thank you!

  5. THAT IS AMAZING!!! (#sorrynotsorry for shouting) Wowzers!

    Quick question - if you need a really really durable surface, would you sand and then clear coat on top?

    1. This should already be pretty durable, but if you want an extra layer just add the clear coat, no sanding required.

  6. Awesome job! It looks great! That finish is amazing!

  7. That's gorgeous!
    And YES, PLEASE to the warped pan repair tutorial! :)

  8. Yes, our household really needs a warped pan tutorial!

  9. I love to listen to John, and would literally watch him while paint dried. And I did!

  10. Oh, that was a really good tutorial! Thanks, John!

    I'm also super interested in a warped pan tutorial! Please and thank you. I think I could just about spin one of our pans on the counter, it's so warpy!

  11. First off he has a total Bob Ross calm voice so he needs to do more of these cus i could listen to him teach and actually feel like I could do it myself!

    Also The fireplace turned out freaking fracking amazeballs!!! I love both of your craftiness!!

  12. Thank you, this was amazing; a well done video. I was blown away by how it all came together at the end ... I find myself wanting to try this with colours that aren't quite woodlike, copper undertone, with greens and turquoise over top, for example. ...

  13. I love John's voice and style of teaching. It's so calm and it makes me feel like I can do that too. I would totally love to see how to fix a pan. I didn't know you could even do that!

  14. Thank you so much for posting this video! I really enjoy this blog and was able to use the info gained from this woodgraining video on the trim in my sewing room. Actually, I did my own take on the woodgrain thing: Sewing Room. If I hadn't watched your video the month before I think that I would right now be living with trim that I wasn't happy with the finish. I always enjoy seeing what you post next and am often telling my husband about what I recently saw on Epbot. Thank you!!


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