Some special wood and faux finishes

I’ve always been fascinated by different finishes and paint techniques. So I do a lot of experimenting. Sometimes I feel like its working with pottery glazes. Each one can make something so different. These are a few special finishes I love. Not always a fan of some faux finishes to be honest. Sometimes they are just overwhelming. But when you are working with upcycling and remaking, sometimes you want to use one to create the effect you want. Especially when you don’t have a good piece of slate or rusted metal to work with. 

The interesting thing about all four of these finishes is how free form they are, allowing you some creative freedom in execution.


Slate is fun and not particularly difficult. I had a piece of roofing slate to work with. It requires finishing wax and a series of paints. Mostly black, some grays and white. I did mine on the top of a rather nice small cabinet I picked from the dumpster. Someone stole the original top and i had no slabs of slate sitting about.

I started with a basic coat of flat black paint on the top. Then I mixed the wax with various colors of the paint. Using a palate knife and spackling knife of various sizes. to lay down the wax and buff it. You don’t want a even finish here. Slate is uneven in the best of pieces. The important thing is creating some variation in color along with the texture. 


I found it took some work, but was well worth the effort when you are finished.

Slate Finishes

Faux Slate finish

Love the way it came out. The only reason it’s not for sale is I can’t find replace hardware I like. 

Shou Sugi Ban, Japanese wood burning technique

Its on fire baby!

It’s on fire baby!

One of the best articles on Shou Sugi Ban and it’s history is here. You need a torch, a wire brush and water to try this.

Shou Sugi Ban finish supplies


I’ve done some varieties of wood with the technique. First, it’s a lot of fun as long as you are careful. Second because the finish is really nice, but also sturdy and stable. The torch burns and chars the wood. Afterward a wire brush is used to rove the most charred parts. Creating a wonderful texture to the hand and the way light reflects.

Close-up of bowl

Close up of the exterior

The knife block looked great until I sold it. And the bowl has the really cool contrasting textures effect of being both smooth and perfect on the inside and charred rough feeling on the outside.I touch it whenever I come across it.


I’ve also done some small serving boards with it and plan on doing a larger one with a more intense burn so it will create more texture. 

Scorched Wood Board

Scorched Wood Board



Marbleized Paint Finish

This was actually one of my favorite finishes, though I think the color scares some people and maybe I should have used a more laid back set of colors for the marbling. Well, that and the problem that I cannot seem to get a picture that shows the color properly.

Marbleized Finish

Marbleized Dresser

closeup marbleize finish

Here is what you need: paint and water. The colors can be close or contrasting depending on the drama you are trying to create. This project used pink, whot and green.

First I out down a base coat of white for the dresser. After it dried I floated on the pink and added water over the top of the paint before it dried. I could then move it around with a brush or my breath. Basically you are floating a series of colors on a very watery layer. You can do it multiple times to get the layering that real marble has. And if your base color is still nice and watered down you can even blow air across the surface creating a deep effect that is very natural.

Of course, one side at a time and a day to dry each side. I find it a very rich and deep effect. Protect it wit Polyurethane after it drys completely.

Rusty Finishes

There are many ways to do rust finishes. If you have metal start with a weak acid. If you are using muric acid, be careful. Do it outside or cover well. A lot of things will rust otherwise.

Cinnamon Rust Finish

Cinnamon Rust Finish

On wood there are other ways.  I discovered this one a month or so ago and used it on a serving board I was making.  All you need is Cinnamon! Here are the instructions. You’ll need paint, cinnamon, mod podge(I used thinned white glue and a heat gun.

More rust finishes

More rust finishes

The cool thing is the texture of rust that you end up with. It’s a very textural finish. I’ve started with both brown and silver as a base. I kinda liked the silver better.

It’s time for your finishes now

Hope you enjoyed the ideas and the pictures for the different finishes. To finish up, don’t be afraid to try new and different techniques finishing your projects. Usually, sandpaper can remove it. If it fails miserably. Mostly trust yourself, it will turn out great for you. 







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