Cart 0

Tutorial: Painting Wood Grain On Plastic

Posted by on

This is a quick and easy tutorial on how to paint a wood grain pattern on plastic, in this case a Nerf rifle stock. I am certainly not the creator of this method, though I think I've made a few simple changes that I think simplify the process a bit.

This creates a very nice looking wood grain pattern on any plastic surface within minutes. Note: it does take up to two or three days to dry completely depending on the temperature and humidity.

You will need: black spray paint, some good white or "egg shell" color acrylic paint and some good oil paint.

For this tutorial I'm using acrylic white paint, plain ol' Flat Black Spray Can, and some oil paints. For white, I'm using Folk Art Acrylic Paint. This white paint is nice and thick, perfect for this kind of job. One quick coat and you are done. You don't want very liquidy paint for this so the thick Folk Art stuff works nicely, and it's available in alot of craft shops or Amazon.


First step is to paint your surface, in this case a plastic rifle stock, a good coat of solid flat black.


Then take a broad brush and dip it in the thick white paint. The brush should not be completely wet, though it should be a little bet wetter than a "dry brush method". You want the brush to paint a little bit unevenly and not to paint solid white on any portion.

Paint along the "wood grain". In this case, the wood grain is running horizontal across the stock. Using your moderately wet brush, lightly brush white streaks on the black painted plastic stock following the "wood grain". Remember to go lightly at first and adjust pressure and wetness as you got along. The goal is to get white streaks across the grain. Don't worry if some spots are lighter or darker than others or if there are some irregularities in the pattern. Wood is pretty irregular. In fact, I use the irregularities to create some "knots" in the wood.

Now comes the fun part! Your going to need some Burnt Umber, some Cadmium Red, and maybe even some Yellow Ocher. You can get all these paints in a Basic Oil Paint Set. I'm using the Windsor & Newton Set that's got all these paints and a few more for pretty cheap.

Squeeze some Burnt Umber on a piece of paper (newspaper is perfect) and prepare to paint. Why paper? Because paper will absorb some of the paint's oil and allow for quicker drying time. Take a broad brush and brush some of the Burnt Umber, and again brush along the pattern of the white wood grain. If there are any indentations in the surface, let the oil paint collect there and make it darker. You should be begin to see something that looks like wood grain start to form.

If you're feeling particularly brave you can take some Cadmium Red and apply a few dots in select areas and brush in, always across the grain. You will see some nice coloration in the wood. Red will give a nice deep color; Yellow Ocher can give the wood more of an faded aged look. The nice thing about painting with oils is that they are pretty forgiving. If you put some yellow on and don't like, just brush over some more Burnt Umber and mix in. All will be forgiven.

Once you've achieved a nice wood grain effect, leave your stock to dry over the next two days or so. Depending on the heat and humidity, drying time can take up to four days. Before then, it will smudge easily and feel sticky. Hot temperatures will speed up the drying process. I left my stock out on my deck on a sunny summer's day, and it was mostly dry by the end of the day, but you can't always count on a sunny summer day. Sounds philosophical doesn't it? "You can't always count on a sunny summer day". Deep.

And that's it. Hope this helps everyone with all their faux wood grain! Tell you the truth, it's a little a addicting. Once you see the nice wood effect on something, you suddenly want to give everything a wood look. I live in a fake wooden cabin now.


Share this post

← Older Post Newer Post →


  • Are you looking for effective online marketing that isn’t full of BS? I apologize for sending you this message on your contact form but actually that’s exactly where I wanted to make my point. We can send your ad copy to sites through their contact pages just like you’re getting this note right now. You can specify targets by keyword or just do bulk blasts to websites in the location of your choice. So let’s say you need to blast a message to all the interior decorators in the USA, we’ll scrape websites for only those and post your advertisement to them. Providing you’re promoting a product or service that’s relevant to that business category then you’ll be blessed with an amazing response!

    Shoot an email to for the details

    Weldon Huitt on
  • Hi,

    Interested in hiring influencers to advertise your services?

    You are welcomed to join the premium global influencer agency that connects companies with Instagram influencers proven to attract active traffic, increased brand exposure and loyal customers.

    This platform offers best access to a wealth of influencers in different niches that you can work with for shoutouts to market your business and watch them transform your brand into a viral topic.

    You will receive full access to a directory of high performing influencers and advanced analytic tools to examine influencer performance & engagement. Membership to our exclusive influencer platform costs just $49 per month. You can opt out at any time!

    Would you like to join?

    Learn more:

    Yours sincerely,

    Louanne, Halse

    Unsubscribe link:

    Louanne Halse on

Leave a comment