Friday, June 11, 2010

Stephanie Becomes A Stripper

Ha, I thought the title would catch some attention!

We're desperate to pay for this remodel but not that desperate.

So, Dustin found this great USED crown molding on craigslist awhile back that was painted this light brown color. It's real poplar wood and I was dying to know what it would look like if I took the paint off and stained it.

I got a small board to try some paint stripper but still ended up doing a whole lot of sanding too. It looked beautiful with dark stain but the only problem was it would take FOREVER to do ALL the boards! Not to mention dust everywhere! But is that the price you pay for beautiful crown molding?

I decided to try another technique...a wood graining technique that uses a light wood color basecoat. Then with a darker wood color, use brush strokes to make it look like wood grain. I really thought it would look too fake. I mean people pay big bucks to pay painters for this very technique. Wouldn't it take years of experience and many classes to perfect this art?

Dustin encouraged me to just try it.....especially since the base coat was already there and ALREADY had the perfect color of light wood undertones!

This was really weird....I went into Sherwin Williams and asked what all I needed to do this wood graining technique. The guy there showed me a tool but said I'd need a whole lot of practice with it because it's difficult to master. And, as long as I was practicing, he said, "You could practice with this returned gallon of paint....I'll sell it to you for ten bucks". He hands me this gallon of dark brown paint and I thought great, that just might work! (Turns out it was the perfect color and finish to match with the beams!!!)

So, I went home and practiced and I thought for my first try, it was pretty darn good! I didn't even have to use the tool the Sherwin Williams guy sold me.....I just used paint brushes. I got a whole piece of crown molding and it seriously took me about 5 minutes to get a nice looking wood grain look.

What would you do? If you wanted a dark wood look, would you spend hours stripping, sanding, and then staining to get the real wood look? Or would you spend 10 minutes painting for a faux wood look?

So, here's the crown molding the way we bought it......

Now, I beg the question.....FAUX.......OR NO????

Can you tell which one is the real wood or the painted one? Okay, you probably can. But, now that it is going up on the ceiling, you really can't tell from 12 feet down.

The one on the bottom (or left) is the one I painted and the one on top is sanded and stained.

These two below are also painted......

Should I be revealing all my secrets? You must promise not to look too closely when you come to see!


  1. Steph, I'm sure you've heard my maxim, "It'll never be noticed on a galloping horse." You did such a good job you wouldn't even notice it on a stationary bike!!!

    The beams look great! Love, Aunt Sue

  2. i honestly could not tell the difference between the moldings. i am so proud of you. all i can say is WOW!!

  3. I actually like the one you painted BETTER than the 'real' one! Way to go!