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How to paint a woodgrain effect

Learn to use acrylic paint to get a realistic wood sheen on any medium

A couple weeks ago, I finished this piece and took some photos out in the woods before taking it on the road.  One of the things I was excited about was sharing the painting methods of getting this woodgrain effect.  I did my best to document the entire process so that if you ever have those sneakers that you want to trick out or maybe another inanimate object that you want to turn to wood, YOU CAN.

In this tutorial, he uses an upsized custom fiberglass Boombot loudspeaker. If you like thumping powerful audio and art, then this piece gives you the best of the two. Art with function and enough OOMPF to throw your next raging party.

You can mess around with various styles of wood as well as using different color variations, but this will hopefully give you one way to go about getting a very realistic looking woodgrain. Hope you enjoy!

Materials Needed

  • Medium (could be anything from a canvas, sneaker, toy, or inanimate object)
  • White primer
  • Acrylic paint (Raw Sienna, Yellow, white, black, various brown tones)
  • Brushes (preferred flat and filbert in sizes appropriate for the medium)
  • Varnish with wide flat brush (use respirator or mask while using)


The video mentions most of these things in order but just to throw it into text:

  1. Prime your medium and get a nice smooth clean coat
  2. Use a very watered down brown (Raw Sienna) to get a base layer of textured brown
  3. Work your way over the surface with color variations and long natural looking streaks. Build texture working across wide variety of colors but maintaining consistent pattern elements. Try to envision the wood texture in the piece and trust your every move.
  4. Focus on adding detail pieces like swirls and burrs where some imperfections add to the natural look and feel.
  5. Seal it off with a proper clear coat. If using wood or fiberglass, a strong commercial grade varnish will get you the durable coat you crave.

About the speaker

This handmade fiberglass piece is an enlarged version of the Boombotix Boombot. It is equipped with a 250-watt Dayton Audio plate amplifier and a 12″ Full Range PA driver. It is compatible with any audio source and can be wirelessly enabled using a Boombot. This amp works with 1/4″ guitar jacks, microphones, and XLR inputs.

Tutorial also featured on Instructables 


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