There are several methods for creating unique faux finishes for furniture, including wood staining, glazing techniques, and different painting methods. Each method produces a specific appearance on the surface of the furniture, regardless of the actual material used for construction. Wood and plastic are the most common furniture materials well suited to these techniques. With any faux finish project, the chosen piece of furniture must be properly prepared, cleaned, and thoroughly dried before any paint or glazing application can begin. Other special tools such as sponges, cloth rags, plastic finishing tools, combs, and wood graining tools may be necessary as well.
Wood staining is a popular finishing choice for unfinished furniture, or when refinishing an existing piece. The furniture must first be sanded smooth to create a surface well suited to adhering the wood stain. Many people choose to simply stain the surface as it is, allowing the natural wood grain to show through. If the furniture is made of plastic or resin, it will be necessary to stain the furniture piece and then use a wood graining tool to produce the varied patterns and designs found in natural wood. It is advisable to apply a sealant coat to the finished staining project to ensure the surface remains unmarred.
The many glazing methods for faux finishes for furniture vary greatly and can result in finishes that mimic antique furniture pieces, leather, and many others. Antiquing techniques are performed by applying glaze and, while it is still wet, taking a cloth rag and wiping most of it away, being sure to leave the glazing product in the grooves and crevices of the piece. When dry, the furniture has the appearance of being a bit distressed and much older than it is. To create a leather look for furniture, the wet glaze is disturbed with the use of cloth rags or wadded plastic wrap. For this technique, most specialists suggest practicing on wood boards before applying to furniture.
Other types of faux finishes for furniture include the use of specific tools to produce specialized finishes. Sponge painting or glazing is very popular, and can create random patterns on furniture pieces. A feather is remarkably useful when trying to replicate the appearance of marble. Plastic rubber combs are often employed when a delicate striped appearance in the paint or glaze is desired. Techniques such as color washing, rag rolling, and paint rubbing are other popular options in faux finishes for furniture.