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How to Create a Faux Barnwood Finish Tutorial & Video

Updated: Jul 21, 2023

      Farmhouse Makeover – Easy Painted Furniture Project for Beginners

For this Nightstand Makeover Tutorial, I walk you through step-by-step how to get the look & feel of old barnwood using Dixie Belle’s Mud & Voodoo Gel Stain.

With this method, you can create the texture & color of weathered wood-planks on your furniture with a putty knife, a popsicle stick & an old paint brush. It’s a great way to get the barnwood look without actually having to put it on your furniture.

I broke down each step with easy instructions, plus a full video to follow along. You can watch the whole Youtube Tutorial here:

You will see bold colored text in the product list, those are links to each product so that you can locate the products easily if you are wanting to purchase them.

Supplies for this Project:

Step #1 Apply Dixie Belle Mud

To create the “planks of wood”, I use Dixie Belle Mud in Brown, which is also used for raised stencils or as a wood filler.

To apply the mud, I’m using Dixie Belle’s “Thing-a-ma-jig”, but you can also use a putty knife.

Apply a thin layer of mud & smooth it on like you’re icing a cake. The thinner the mud, the thinner your grain lines will be.

It doesn’t need to be perfectly smooth since it’s going to be rustic barnwood. Anywhere the putty is thin or uneven, it makes it look like a “knot” in the wood.

Step #2 How to Create a Wood Texture with a Paintbrush

To get the texture of wood, I use a stiff old paint brush that has hardened raggedy bristles. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s perfect for creating the wood grain effect. You could also use an old toothbrush for this effect as well.

Starting at the top, drag down and gently wiggle your brush to add an uneven texture.

It’s okay if you hit a spot you’ve already done because it’s easy to fix.

If there’s an area you don’t like, just go back over it and redo it. Wipe any excess mud onto a paper towel, then continue applying the Mud.

Next, I want to create the illusion that it’s 3 planks of wood pieced together instead of just one big piece of wood.

I use a popsicle stick to draw an imperfect line and scrape away the mud. Your line doesn’t need to be straight because barnwood is never perfect.

Let it dry for at least 24 hours before applying a clear coat.

I used Dixie Belle’s Satin Clear Coat. The clear coat will seal it off so you can play around with your water & paint without reactivating the mud.

After the clear coat, I put a coat of Dixie Belle’s Chalk Mineral Paint in “Mud Puddle” as a base color.

Step #2 Add Wood Color with Voodoo Gel Stain 

To color in the “wood”, I’m using Dixie Belle’s Voodoo Gel Stain in the colors: Up In Smoke (Gray), Tobacco Road (Brown). White Magic (White) & Black Magic (Black).

I’ll be dry brushing on layers of each color with the same brush to create the look of weathered wood.

Pour a little of each color onto a plate to make them easy to work with. I use plain old chip brush for the whole process.

I start out with just a tiny bit of Gray on my brush.  Working in small sections at a time, gently glide your brush over it to catch on the textured areas.

I dry brush some Brown next, just randomly catching the highs and lows of the wood grain.

Using the same brush, I keep going back and forth between colors, adding lots of layers.

If you add too much of one color, it’s ok! You can go right over it with another color.

Keep building your layers, going darker then lighter to add more depth to the grain.

To define the separation between the boards and create a shadow, I use a pointed craft brush with some “Black Magic”.

Then to add more character to the grains & the “knots” in the wood, I use the same brush to fill in the deeper grains.

Once finished, I used my New Basketweave Stencil by Dixie Belle on the front drawers.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and you’re inspired to try something new. I’d love to see your projects if you do!

You can click on the links to see all the products I used for this project below.

Make sure to follow me on all my social media platforms. I’m always sharing Free Painting Tutorials and Videos, plus easy tips and tricks for painting furniture!

Supplies for this Project:


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