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How To Paint Faux Paneling

Learn how to create the appearance of paneling on the walls with this faux painting technique.

More in Decorating

create appearance of paneling on walls
  • Time


  • Price Range

    $50 - $100

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Prepare the wall

Apply satin enamel to the wall and let dry. With a straightedge and chalk, measure 4" from the chair rail and 4" from the baseboard, and mark off panels of the width desired. Apply tape to the chalk lines.

Step 2: Add the glaze

Stir the smoky glaze well and pour a generous amount into a container. Apply a thin first coat of glaze to the taped-off panels. Apply a thin second glaze over the first to even it out.

apply thin first coat of glaze to taped off panels

Step 3: Apply the graining effect

Place the top edge of the graining tool at the top edge of the tape (Image 1) and pull straight down in one motion, rocking the tool gently as you pull. (It may take some practice to perfect the dragging-and-rocking motion.) Repeat until you have created several rows of "wood grain" in the panel (Image 2), then do the other panels. Let dry.

Step 4: Add the shading

Remove the tape from the panels and mix small amounts of two acrylic colors (brown and black, for instance) with some of the glaze. Use a scrap of molding as a guide. Lay it along the top of one panel and with a fine artist's brush dipped in brown paint-and-glaze mixture, draw a thin line at the top of the panel (Image 1) to create the illusion of depth. The line doesn't have to be solid (Image 2). Repeat the previous step down one side of the panel. On the other two sides of the panel, use black to repeat the step, without even cleaning the brush between colors. Using a darker color on two sides adds even more dimension to the effect. If you wish, draw thin lines between the "planks" in each panel for more definition.