How to make painted ceiling beams look like wood

Written by jonah morrissey
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How to make painted ceiling beams look like wood
Simulate the look of wood ceiling beams with a simple faux finishing technique. (Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Take advantage of the ceiling beams in your room by making them a focal point. Make your painted beams look like wood using a faux finishing technique. Wood beams can add warmth to a room and accent the architectural features of the room. A wood grain tool allows you to paint a wood grain on your beams to simulate the look of the wood. Select a lighter colour for the base colour of the beams and apply a darker colour for the wood grain to create the natural appearance of wood on your beams.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Sanding pad, fine-grit
  • Tack cloth
  • Interior paint, light colour for base
  • Paintbrush
  • Interior paint, dark colour for grain
  • Cheesecloth
  • Wood grain tool

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  1. 1

    Sand the painted beams lightly with a fine-grit sanding pad to remove the sheen. This enables the paint to adhere to the surface. Wipe off any dust left from sanding with a tack cloth.

  2. 2

    Apply an even coat of the light colour of interior paint to the beams using a paintbrush. Allow the paint to dry for at least 24 hours.

  3. 3

    Brush on a coat of the dark colour paint over each of the beams with a paintbrush. Wipe the surface of the beams from one end to the other with a cheesecloth to streak the paint.

  4. 4

    Rock a wood grain tool across the surface of each beam from one end to the other to make the wood grain onto the beams. Do this slowly and with purpose.

  5. 5

    Allow to dry for 24 hours.

Tips and warnings

  • You can simulate the look of any wood. Experiment with different colours on a scrap board until you have found the best combination to complement your room.
  • Wear eye and face protection when sanding wood. Apply paint in a well-ventilated room.

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