Holiday decorating just began here at home…how about yours? Our Ohio weather has spoken, and it’s forcing us to get our decorating done before the snow flies. As I assess my seasonal inventory, a DIY project or two almost always seems to break out. And who doesn’t love a knock off now and again? So today I’m sharing how I made these fiberglas skis look like old wood.
Stay tuned as more holiday decorating will unfold on the blog…we’re just getting started. ;-)
Faux finishes are considered “in” again – did you know that? Aw come on, I’m sure you’ve been dying to sponge paint or marbleize your walls like we did in the 90’s, right? ;-) But if there is a chance I can make something look like real, vintage wood…it’s a shot worth taking.
I was so sad to see that the Pottery Barn “Found” Skis were discontinued. Even though I love my PB, RH and IKEAs of the world, I prefer to find authentic antiques to display first. Since my search for real wooden skis came up short, these $30 fiberglass skis would have to suffice. Hopefully I can find the real thing soon, but this may have to hold me over.
DIY Faux Wooden Skis
It was time to get resourceful. So I cleaned them with soap and water and let them dry.
I applied two coats of Martha Stewart Chalk Paint in the color “Tilled Soil” to all sides of the skis — this is my “base” wood color.
Creating the “wood” grain
Now for the fun part!
So for layer #2, I used an artists’ acrylic paint called “burnt umber”. It comes in a squeezable tube and you can find it in tubes in most any craft store (look in the artists’ acrylics department). It has a nice, rich warm tone to it. To see me doing this exact project, visit my Facebook page where I recorded a video of me working on these in our messy garage. I wasn’t totally prepared to shoot video and it was kind of a last minute decision, so I rambled a bit…but I plan to do more videos like this in the coming year.
My “secret sauce” to create a faux wood finish is using a chip brush and alternating layers of two-to-four different (but complementary) paint colors. Dry brushing is a technique you’ll need to become comfortable with in order to create this effect.
Using just two colors and using a dry brush layering technique, here was the result:
I could have added different paint colors to give it more depth and variation, but I loved what I was seeing, so I stopped. This is all a matter of taste and at your own discretion. In my case I tend to under-do things versus overdo. A quick spray of polyurethane to seal them, and they’re done.
Things to remember if you want to create a faux wood base:
- Apply a base coat representing the color “wood” you want.
- Choose approximately 2-4 varying shades of brown paint to dry brush layers onto your piece.
- Each time you dip your brush, test your dry brush technique on a piece of paper before allowing the brush to touch your piece. Do this every time!
- Water is unnecessary with dry brushing and could saturate your brush too much or change the consistency on your piece.
- Once you achieve the effect you want, stop!! Over-application may make the “wood” look too faux.
- Perfection isn’t the goal!
I put three screws in the back of the skis to secure them in a criss-cross position, then tied a wreath to the center. Makes for a perfect, but understated holiday display.
Over the years we’ve found so many inexpensive ways to honor seasonal & holiday decorating since we’ve renovated our builders-grade home. This entire blog documents our DIY journey. If you’re not already receiving my emails, I invite you to become a subscriber where I offer free art printables, giveaways and weekly newsletter to keep readers up to date on my latest projects.