Faux bois means "false wood" in French; it is a simple technique that you can use to decorate wrapping paper, dressers, and walls elegantly. Here, it turns a plain wooden serving tray into one that is beautiful and special -- and perfect for a gift.
Tools and Materials
2 shades of paint (one coat for "wood grain" and the other for the background color)
Glass (same size as bottom of tray; Martha used a 3/16-inch-thick glass plate)
Faux Bois Tray How-To
1. Thin the oil-based paint for the wood grain so that it is 1 part mineral spirits to 2 parts paint.
2. Brush a thin coat onto glass until it is completely covered.
3. Drag the wood-grain tool down the glass from one end to the other in a rocking motion. Repeat process over entire surface, wiping the tool clean with a rag dampened with mineral spirits between strokes.
4. Let the paint dry overnight.
5. Paint over the faux-bois pattern with a contrasting color. Let the paint dry overnight; then apply a second coat, and let dry.
6. Set glass into the tray.
The wood-grain tool and paint supplies are available at most major craft stores. For paint colors, Martha used Button Shell (#8078), Hearth (#8088), and Fennel Frond (#8209), all from the Martha Stewart Signature Series. Trays are available from www.GlobalTable.com.