Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The brush strokes of Faux Bois and The Winner!

The art of faux bois is the art of replicating wood. It can be done in the strictest sense, attempting to create an identical reproduction, or can be artistically interpreted to give the basic appearance of wood. It can be a rather daunting task to be given the request that this door needs to match another door standing right next to it. 

The woodgraining masters in North America include Mike MacNeil, Nicola Vigini and Pierre Finkelstein. However, there are also many decorative artists who do beautiful woodgraining. Pat Ganino, of Creative Evolution in Durham, Connecticut, produced the beautiful "wood" niche above, as well as the fireplace and column faux bois below.

Isn't the detail amazing?

I never would have guessed that this column started out white!

Check out Pat's restaurant counter. Yes, it IS faux bois!


When I moved into my studio, I was given pressed wood doors and walls to greet my clients. Obviously, this needed to be changed! I chose this door as my inspiration. I wanted the door to be "old" to fit in with the style of the old warehouse it resided in. I love the wood's patina.

Source Unknown

Here was my lovely start.

I first had to fill in the awful texture and make it somewhat presentable. A paint basecoat was added and then I began the graining process. It looks a bit odd right now, but every other "board" was done and allowed to dry before I filled in the other boards.

Ta Da!  The finished door. After the woodgraining was done, several layers of tinted wax were applied to tone the color and add the dirt and grime.

A closer look...

These kitchen cabinets were woodgrained by Judy Mulligan, a decorative artist in New Jersey who works with the fab interior designer, Marshall Watson. Look for an upcoming post on Judy's gorgeous work.

House Beautiful July / August 2010  Photo by Roger Davies  Artist: Judy Mulligan with Marshall Watson

This library cabinetry was also woodgrained.

Designers Here and There      Photo by Grey Crawford

Artist Tina Wainwright added her woodgraining touch to these living room panels.

Traditional Home May 2010  Photo by Werner Straube Artist: Tina Wainwright

Traditional Home May 2010  Photo by Werner Straube Artist: Tina Wainwright

An artist in Kentucky took a creative approach to creating this "wood" door by first applying gold foil to the white door and graining with acrylic stains by Faux Effects.

This accent wall shows off hip faux bois panels in a new, contemporary home. 

Wood is always a classic. It fits in anywhere. If you cannot hire Greet ( of the Belgian Pearls blog) Lefevre's company, Lefevre Interiors,  to install beautiful wood panelling, consider calling a decorative artist to create it for you!

And now, I am happy to announce the winner of my 100th post giveaway hydrangea wreath!

The winner is  Leigha Oaks of the elle oh blog. Congratulations, Leigha! As soon as I finish the wreath, I'll post its photograph before shipping it over to Portland.

A big thank you to all of you who entered! The response was exciting!


  1. Ann-
    So wonderful to see such an extensive post on faux graining! Pat's work is amazing as are the other works shown. I love your labor of love with the pressed wood doors....talk about making a silk purse from a sow's ear!! Fabulous!

  2. Beautiful faux bois work!!! I love your doors and the transformation!

  3. Oh to be talented at painting.... I sadly lack in this department! You did a marvelous job on your door. Thanks for showing us such beautiful "art."

  4. Congratulations to Leigha. such a sweet girl to win. I love faux bois, and you have posted some beautiful images here.

  5. Dear Ann, You did a great job on your pressed wood doors for your studio. No one would guess their origin. That is showing off faux graining in the best way possible.

    The faux painted kitchen by Judy Milligan also shows my hand painted plates in the plate rack and the one above the cook top. I found the plate rack on ebay, it was an old french piece which was then faux painted to match the rest of the kitchen.

  6. I am totally not surprised that you could make such magic of pressed wood! I have that Trad Home page ear marked and I totally missed the part about it being touched by an angel! It's all so lovely. By the hand is grand :) Leigha is so lucky to get your gorgeous wreath. Hugs to both of you!

  7. Love your own door and all of the images! Such an informative post. I also LOVE the desk in oneo of the images!

  8. Gorgeous post, Ann! All the artists featured -- including you! -- have amazing work. Now to go back and absorb the post a blissful second time...