Faux Bois Ceiling Beams

Faux Bois is a fancy way of saying “fake wood”. There are so many ways to use this technique but a very common request comes from homeowners that want their white ceiling beams looking like a particular wooden beam.


If you have wood molding or beams that are an undesirable color I can paint them to look like a beautiful new wood. For example in the photos you will notice some beams that were probably milled from poplar which is a common milled lumber used for interior trim. But these beams usually get painted a solid trim color. In this scenario, my client wanted a simple walnut colored beam. The beams were painted white.

ceiling beam prep

I carefully tape around the beams and then put a first coat of color. This is a background color or undertone that I use when graining walnut or mahogany. The key is to let some of the color show through as wood has many variations and undertones.

Wood Beam Undercoat

I use either an oil or latex glaze medium and add pigment. Then I start the graining process once piece at a time.


Finally I finish the faux Bois with a clear semi gloss coat of varnish so the faux wood grain looks like the “real thing”. This is a great way to have the beautiful finish you hoped for without having to tear out the old beams.

Faux Bois Ceiling Beams Varnished

For more pictures visit the Faux Bois project page.