Benjamin Moore threw up on my dining room table, and frankly, my husband is not too happy about it

testing faux bois wood painting conceptsI am going to paint all the white-painted woodwork in my living room and dining room to look like wood. The technique is called “faux bois” pronounced “foe-bwah”. Meaning: Fake wood. This, all part of my Mahalo Lounge tiki bar transformation. Yes, the wood — wainscoting, cabinetry, bookcases, beams — lots of wood — will all be a dark, rich cherry-brown. Starting Tuesday, Denise is going to come stay with me to help. Faux painting is her specialty. And, she is bringing Bug! 

But, ack! So that we can get started ASAP, I have been working with her by phone and photos to see if I can find the right basecoat to glaze over to get the wood look I want. Above: Existing trim — used to top the bookshelves, above the fireplace and in the dining room built-in. Some kind of barely-grained hardwood that itself was stained then dragged in a faux bois way. It has red and gold undertones. 

So. I went through my Benjamin Moore paint deck — Denise uses Benjamin Moore — and tried to match these undertones. I settled on seven options. Threw $60+ at pint samples and foam brushes. Two of the samples actually look like they will work really well in combination. Hey, that’s pretty good guesswork on my part — I achieved basecoat success in just seven samples! 

Above: That’s a sample with the basecoat painted Giant Sequoia 2094-30, which I then glazed/streaked with dark glaze that I had left over from a Rust-Oleum Furniture Transformations kit the company sent me a while back. Denise will color her own glaze — she will likely add more red, she thinks.

I try not to say mean things on this blog, but I cannot contain myself: That Giant Sequoia is .. not a color that I personally find pleasing << I contained myself, kind of. But as an undertone/basecoat for cherry-hued faux bois — it’s rockin’ my world! Also, I really like typing the word Sequoia. I can do it without thinking about the spelling. Well, sort of. Sequoia. There! Yes! Sequoia!

Above: I also purchased some golds. Dark Mustard 2161-30 matched the undertones in my existing stained woodwork. So in this second example, I started with the Dark Mustard base, then thinned some Giant Sequoia with water and brushed it on. I let it sit a while, then ragged it off. After all was dry, I applied the same glaze.

I really like this combo — I think it has more depth and complexity, what with the two undertones — both red and gold — there.

Above: Now I am experimenting with other ways to apply the Dark Mustard on top of the Giant Sequoia to see if I can get a more mottled, natural effect << that is a very strange sentence. For example, in the photo above, I am dabbing the Dark Mustard here and there… and then, a little of everywhere. Denise also told me, don’t thin that second paint with water — thin it with clear glaze (a Polycrylic*-type product also will work for thinning, at least in a testing phase. *affiliate link — another blogger I know really likes Polycrylic to use as a clear topcoat for painted finishes on cabinetry and furniture, etc. — so I already had a small can in my stash some to test sometime.)

Use a level to ensure your rows are level
Denise and Bug from when we installed those 278 pieces of wallpaper in my Big Fat Epic Retro Office Remodel.

While I am *soproud* of my first attempt at using glaze to faux bois, please know that I was really just kinda slappin’ it on. Not super sloppy slapping, but moving fast and not worried about getting the streaks aka fauz boising to look all refined. Just experimenting for overall color/effect. Denise is the one who is going to do the glazing beautifully!   

Meanwhile: My bookshelves have thrown up in my foyer. Sigh. DH got sight of this right after seeing the dining room. The house is a veritable obstacle course right now. What’s the word for the exercise-routine-thingie you build in a park so’s folks can get exercise by moving from one station to the next? That’s what the house is right now. That sounds better than ‘obstacle course.’ Who can help me with the word? I thought of it: Parcourse! The house is a veritable parcourse right now! My projects are not out of control, I’ve built an in-home parcourse!

And this, outside our front door.

Bug, Louis, and Astro — from when I visited Denise recently. She and I went on a vintage barstool quest that came to a dead end, although it was super fun and we had a fabulous vegetarian lunch in Middletown, CT.

As I said, we start painting Tuesday! ACK! I am not ready!

Krazee glazee — in a good way!

  1. Mary Elizabeth says:

    I love your project, and I like the one with the mustard paint underneath the best (the photo right over the mustard sample patch).

    These winter snow days are perfect for the indoor projects we’ve been putting off for so long.

  2. Joe Felice says:

    I’ve always wanted to be able to do this. But I’m too much of a perfectionist, and I try to get everything perfect, which isn’t what wood looks like, anyway, but it seems to obsess me to try to get it that way. So, because of my personality, I guess I’ll leave it to others, like you. I don’t think you need Denise to do it for you. I think you were just looking for an excuse to have her and Bug over. And maybe annoy your husband just a tad. LOL Your samples look GREAT. I especially like the last ones. They look more like genuine evergreen wood (cedar or redwood). I’ve always thought it would be cool to faux bois all my interior doors, to make them look like real wood. But, alas, I don’t have a Denise. . .

    Ah yes–sequoia! My sis used to live on Sequoia Street. There are only a handful of words in the English language that have 4 juxtaposed vowels. It’s called a “quadripthong.” “Hawaiian” is another.

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