Book shelves in a rustic timber faux paint finish

Revamping a Book shelf with a rustic timber faux paint finish

We are working with the Easi-Paint DIY Home Decorator kit … it is very economical with paint usage … the system only uses half the amount of water based paint that ordinary brushes or rollers do … really quick and easy application … and it has a loading system that measures the right amount of paint to from the tray to the brush. Great coverage and there’s no mess to clean up at the end of the job.
Easi-Paint also has a great range of accessories.


THIS TRANSFORMATION – start to finish was done in just – 1 HOUR and 50 MINUTES
Andy picked up a set of old book shelves for $10.00 at the local market … structurally they are really sound … but aesthetically they are definitely in need of some work. The book shelves are destined for a rustic country cottage so we need a rustic finish that will fit in with the existing decor … and a timber faux paint finish is the way to go.
The old white enamel paint on the shelves needs a quick sand back to make sure that we get good surface adherence with our paint.

The best way to figure out which faux finish you’ll do … and what colours you’ll use is to try a few things out on some old boards beforehand … so that’s what we did.


We started by trying out some colour schemes with the Easi-Paint wood grainer.
This is a great little tool to work with … it’s really quick and easy to use and there’s so much you can do with it.
The wood grain tool creates its effect by taking wet paint off the surface … you do need to apply the paint quickly so that you can do this … so the Easi-Paint paint pads are the perfect answer … they’re a really quick method of application.

We are using the medium handle and we’re working with the Multi-purpose pads.
Andy wants a really tough long lasting finish on his bookshelf so we are working with a couple of different oil base stain varnish mediums.


The basic steps to create a wood grain effect with the wood grainer
First apply the paint to the surface … it’s best to work in small strips so that you don’t feel like you have to rush.
There is a graining comb on both sides of the wood grain tool … place one comb on the edge of the wood grainer on the wet paint that you’ve just applied … it’s stamped on the top of the tool which side you start off with … and there’s a comfortable grip that’s shaped for your thumb and fingers.


To get a straight grain you keep the comb on the edge of the wood grainer on the surface … hold it in that position and glide it through the wet paint.


To get a basic knot you start in the same position on the surface … this time roll your wrist as you go so that the curved stamp on the base of the tool makes contact with the surface as you move it through the wet paint. Every time you roll your wrist you create a knot.


To get a long knot only use the first half of the stamped base … once you’ve rolled it to the halfway point … hold it steady … follow through … then taper it off by going back to the start position.


To get a feathered knot do a straight grain first … then go back and do a basic knot over the top of the straight grain.



Remember that most timber has a straight grain … with just a few knots thrown in here and there … play with this tool first … its hard knot to get carried away … it really is a lot of fun.

As the wood grain tool is picking up wet paint as it goes you will need to keep a rag … I find that an old towel is best … and wipe the base of it clean from time to time … the thicker the paint you’re working with … the more often you need to do so.

Making the wood grain look rustic
Andy had decided on a Wattyl stain varnish in a colour called new baltic pine with a base coat in a shade called reddish rust.

Step 1



We applied the base coat of reddish rust to the bookshelf using the medium brush and the mini brush … both loaded with the multi-purpose pads … and we used the small paint tray as we’re only doing a small job.

The medium brush on its edge … so that we were using just the corner of the pad … got right into the grooves between the boards … and finished off the flat faces of the boards in no time.
The mini brush … with the pad placed in the handle in the corner position … did the right angle corners in moments … then with the pad in the flat edging position in the handle it was easy to get into the tight spots.

Step 2



The stain varnish we’re using for the top coat is an oil based medium … it has a long drying time which means that we have more time to work with it before it starts to set.
For this top coat we are using the medium brush and the mini brush … both with the multi-purpose pads … and the wood grain tool.

First we used the wood grainer to do a wood grain effect on a couple of the boards. We wanted the finish to be more like real distressed timber … so we then went back over the wood grain finish with the medium brush … without adding any more paint … and with very little pressure … we used light strokes to spread the stain varnish medium back over the boards … which was still wet … although starting to get a little tacky … but it was easy enough to work with.

The finishing touches



The little graining comb that comes with the wood grain tool is perfect for getting into the corners and doing the fiddly bits … and the mini brush was ideal for going back over the wood grain faux paint finish and smoothing it out around the edges before doing the flat faces of the boards with the medium brush.

This timber faux paint finish is exactly what we were looking for … the timber grain is still there but not as prominent … it really adds depth to the end result though … the base coat shows through in parts … and there are several shades of colour coming out in the new baltic stain varnish where we spread it out. It’s definitely a rustic timber look.


The final step was to use a little artists brush … you should always have one for these projects … to finish off any tiny bits that we may have missed.





It would be extremely difficult to do this project with an ordinary paint brush or roller as they just don’t have the versatility or the speed of application that paint pads do.

As the loading system delivers a measured amount of paint from the tray to the paint pads that you’re working with you never get those frustratingly obvious drips or runs in the work.

Andy is really pleased with the end result … his $10.00 bookshelf is completely transformed … it was fun to do … it was really quick and easy … and as it looks like old rustic timber … it will fit right in to his country cottage and look like it’s meant to be there.

Time taken    – 1 hours and 50 minutes from start to finish
10 minutes    – sanding preparation
10 minutes    – applying the base coat
30 minutes    – drying time
1 hour       – the top coat in a faux stain finish

Cost of the job
$      0          Easi-Paint Home Decorators kit ( reusable )
– 1 large paint tray with loading roller
– 1 small paint tray with loading roller
– 1 large brush with Multi-purpose pad
– 1 medium brush with Multi-purpose pad
– 1 mini brush with Multi-purpose pad
– 1 removable ceiling & high wall extension clip
( the Easi-Paint kit was costed in to the last project we did and now  … we reap the benefits )

$   25.00       Easi-Paint wood grainer and graining comb ( reusable )
$   12.50        Artists brush with good quality sable bristles ( reusable )
$    26.00      500ml can of Wattyl stain varnish ( over half a can left for the next job )
$    10.00       Timber bookshelf
$    73.50



The Easi-Paint kit … the pads … and all of the accessories are fully reusable so we can use our painting system to do a whole heap of different projects.

  1. Hello!

    I’m a carpenter with over twenty-five years experience, I really want to declare that I get a real kick out of designing and crafting a range of bookcases – it has become quite a joy of mine! I don’t think that there is anything like the touch of a rustic antique – appreciate the article!

  2. try junk shops ,thats your best bet ,as they are not wanted by people no more ,except you and me ,as id love one to put in my hallway ,a bit of class,thats what i say ,

  3. I mainly like this thought about this painting, because I really like the allure of art.

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