Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fall Fix-up: Woodgraining a Door

Cornstalks, bales of straw and pumpkins are beginning to appear all around town, as fall shows up in all her spendor.  I saw this little fellow today, while I was taking a walk......a creative walk, feeding my senses with the the color and textures of fall.  I enjoyed seeing the many ways my neighbors are decorating their porches and front doors for the new season.  

A beautiful entrance welcomes friends and guests and shows off a little of your home's personality. 
 But before you begin to stack the straw and arrange the pumpkins, step back and take a good look at your at your front door.  If you've wanted to change the color of your front door  --  and procrastinated -- there's still time to work some magic while the temperatures are right for exterior painting. 

This dark green front door got a quick face-lift for the fall season with a wood-grain effect resembling mahogany. 

How to paint a simple wood grain?  Here are some pointers. 
 You'll find more details about colors and glazes at 1-2-3- Mahogany.

Step 1 - Background Color
Look at a real piece of wood and match the lightest color for your background paint color.  For Mahogany, I often use a rich red-clay color such as Benjamin Moore Brick  #2084-10.

Step 1- background paint
  Step 2- The Under-grain

Again, look a a real piece of wood and you will see a fine, linear grain in the background. This is what we paint first.  Brush on a glaze of raw umber. Not certain how to mix a glaze?  Find some help here.

Using a clean brush,  hold it in your fist like a fly-swatter and tap the surface of the wood, as if attacking a pesky fly.  Womp!   See the texture from the brush? 

Continue tapping the surface, moving from bottom to top of the door trim, as you lay in the under-grain of the wood.  Yes, there are artistic brushes designed for this job -- they're called "floggers" and they are pricey.  Make do with what is on hand, and try a 2"-3" paint brush.  LET IT DRY.

Step 2- Under grain

 Step 3 - Over grain

This step builds the long grain lines in the wood.  Before continuing, first spray the newly painted wood with shellac.  This seals the first layer, isolates it, so the next layer won't  make a muddy mess!   OK.  Mix a second glaze color, a deep maroon, and with a chip brush apply it in long strokes. Now with the tip of the brush, draw long strokes through the wet glaze.  Instant grain lines! 

When dry, apply several coats of UV protected varnish.  Sand lightly between each layer for a smooth, satin finish.

Then go get the pumpkins!

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