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Faux-Bois Dresser

The secret to this wood-grain look? An embossed paint rocker and a combing tool. 

Source: Martha Stewart Living, May 2009


An embossed-paint rocker and a combing tool, dragged through a green glaze, leave a faux-bois (wood-grain) imprint.


  • Imprinted rocker

  • 9-inch paint roller

  • White base coat (pictured: Benjamin Moore OC-17 White Dove)

  • Glaze tint (pictured: Benjamin Moore 536 Sienna Laurel)


  1. Using a 9-inch paint roller with a 1/4-inch nap, paint the surface in desired color using latex paint. Let dry thoroughly.

  2. Mix 1 part latex paint (pearl finish or satin finish) with 1 part latex or acrylic glazing liquid and 2 parts water. (If using oil paint, mix 1 part oil paint with 1 part oil glazing liquid and 1 part mineral spirits.)

  3. Proceed with any of the patterns, applying the tinted glaze over the dried base coat. Tip: Smooth irregularities as you work (they can catch the glaze and obscure its effect).

  4. Working in sections, apply a thin coat of tinted glaze to dried base coat.

  5. Drag a wood-graining rocker through the tinted glaze, working from the top edge of the surface to the bottom, and gradually rocking the tool, tip to end, just once. Turn the rocker in opposite direction (to change direction of grain), and repeat process to create a second panel next to the first.

  6. Drag a combing tool through the glaze, working from the top edge of the surface to the bottom. Repeat process, alternating knots and straight grains. (For the best pattern, alternate 2 or 3 rows of knots with 2 rows of straight grain.)

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