Basically, in our contemporary world,there are two ways of emulating wood with paint:
The simplest, and most popular in Southern California, is what i like to call ” wood effect” or “faux wood”, very popular amongst conventional painting companies and some faux finishing companies to achieve the effect of wood, at the most affordable price, without having to have trained artisans in their crews. It is essentially a two-step process plus a top coat/varnish to achieve the warmth of wood, at almost the cost of a good paint job.
The second kind, “wood graining” has been used for hundreds of years to realistically depict the look of a particular type of wood, and it requires training and some artistic flair to be well-executed. Take the above “before” and “after” pictures for example. The client had a beautiful, curve-linear cherry veneered cabinet built-in by their condo front door. The thing is, the door was not “fitting” in next to the cabinet. It needed something else. The owners and designer concluded that the best thing to do was to paint the door and casing similar to the cabinet, but not just get the right “color”, but also the essence of the real cherry wood.
Not only we saved natural resources but also delivered a beautiful artwork at the same time.
Wood graining and faux wood have a variety of applications: From ceiling beams, doors, fireplaces,
walls to cars! Yes, cars! in Detroit at some point after the II World War, big car companies started to use wood graining, instead of real wood, for their “woodies”, so, they had trained artisans, instead of carpenters, doing the “wood work” at their their production lines. We restored the finish of such a vehicle, a 1951 Oldsmobile Woodie Wagon” about a decade ago, but that’s the topic for another post.