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"Paint recipe for old wood?" Topic

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763 hits since 7 Dec 2017
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blacksoilbill07 Dec 2017 3:39 a.m. PST

Hi all,

I was wondering what is your favourite paint recipe for old wood? I've tried a variety of things, but never really found something that I'm happy with.

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Dec 2017 3:58 a.m. PST

Start with Cel Vinyl's Wood Grey, gradually mix in their Gray series starting with Gray 10, then Gray 5, then Gray 1 for the extreme highlights.

This is if you are painting an old building or dead tree. Probably this won't work as well for small pieces of wood.

14Bore07 Dec 2017 4:26 a.m. PST

Not sure what your painting but I put my toothpick fences in actual stain.

Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP07 Dec 2017 5:40 a.m. PST


I uses a dark brown with a a dry brush of the craft paint Barn Wood.

Personal logo Flashman14 Supporting Member of TMP07 Dec 2017 6:02 a.m. PST

There should be gray in there to some degree for amy and all untreated wood like fences or even living trees.

Even if you insist on usimg a light brown or tan, mix in a lighter gray amd you'll find it pleasing.

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian07 Dec 2017 6:04 a.m. PST

grey with a dry brush of another grey

Baranovich07 Dec 2017 6:20 a.m. PST

Any shade of craft paint brown mixed with craft paint gray. Highlight with original color mixed with lighter gray or white.

Vary amounts to achieve different tones.

ScoutJock07 Dec 2017 6:27 a.m. PST

I use the same formula as wackmole9

Personal logo The Beast Rampant Supporting Member of TMP07 Dec 2017 6:43 a.m. PST

Dark, dull brown base, drybrush with Delta Ceramcoat "Hippo Gray", then working in grey-mixed-white to taste. I'm pretty happy with it.

…with a a dry brush of the craft paint Barn Wood.

What brand is that?

MajorB07 Dec 2017 11:03 a.m. PST

Old wood is usually grey.

ZULUPAUL Supporting Member of TMP07 Dec 2017 11:26 a.m. PST

Use Valejo "old wood" drybrush with light grey

Robert Burke07 Dec 2017 11:58 a.m. PST

I prime with a medium gray and then dry brush with various shades of light and medium brown.

hedeby08 Dec 2017 3:45 a.m. PST

This looks pretty good:

hedeby08 Dec 2017 3:46 a.m. PST

This one too…..

blacksoilbill08 Dec 2017 5:22 a.m. PST

Thanks for the tips, gents.

Timmo uk08 Dec 2017 12:13 p.m. PST

Two Vallejo colours. Leather brown and Silver grey, mix together in varying amounts to give you a whole range of old wood tones.

oabee5109 Dec 2017 10:20 a.m. PST

Painting old wood, and for that matter, tree trunks and the like, are to my eye a matter of "what looks good to you." From my observations, grey should be the base color, but the variations are, well, endless. On another forum, a gamer posted an elaborate tutorial on painting an American Woodland Indian longhouse, and it was painted in a mixture of browns. Most of the discussion about the longhouse conceded that the bark and wood really should have been much more grey, but that the look the poster had achieved was very well done, and they would be proud to have it on their gaming table. Some said that even though they know that old wood is usually greyish, they still paint their terrain pieces in browns because they think it looks better! So ultimately this issue of the color of old wood is a matter of personal taste!

Having said that: My personal preference is to start with a base coat of acrylic Plaid FolkArt Barn Wood:


This is a photo I took of an actual sample of the paint, brushed onto white paper, and is very close to the actual shade and hue.

edit: Looking at this color swatch on the screen after posting, I think it's become a tad warmer than the original, which has a slightly greyer hue. For what it's worth.

I then use a wash of Army Painter Quickshade, either Strong or Dark, depending on the effect I want to achieve. Then drybrush with either a) shades based on the FolkArt Barn Wood or b) various shades of greys to achieve the effect you're aiming at. The Quickshade is going to give the wood a brownish tinge, which most of us find pleasing. I use this formula (with variations) for buildings and fences, and also for tree trunks.

Hedeby, thanks for the links. I really love the Old Weathered Wood Volume 2: truly a great selection of colors. If anyone has tried AK Interactive's paints, I'd truly be interested in what you think about them.

A couple of interesting links if you're scratch-building with stripwood:

PDF link

PDF link

Personal logo Dye4minis Supporting Member of TMP09 Dec 2017 3:36 p.m. PST

I have never succeeded plauseably recreating wood tones before the two AK sets! Both thumbs up for them. (Their associated book offering on pioanting wood was also valueable!)

oabee5109 Dec 2017 4:42 p.m. PST

I have never succeeded plauseably recreating wood tones before the two AK sets! Both thumbs up for them. (Their associated book offering on pioanting wood was also valueable!)

Thanks for your testimonial! I think I'm going to pick up the second weathered wood paints and give 'em a whirl.

blacksoilbill10 Dec 2017 4:44 a.m. PST

Oabee, thanks for those links on staining! They look very interesting indeed!

Neilad14 Dec 2017 1:55 p.m. PST

I think it can depend on the scale you are working with and whether you are looking at something for a diorama or something more quick for wargaming.
This article is about HO scale buildings and there's a section about half way down the page about old wooden door and the technique to paint using plasticard.

For me, wanting a quick easy effect for wargaming. Either undercoat in white or do a watered down coat in white. When dry, apply a wash in black. Then when that's dry do a wash in a light brown. We're not talking hours between washes either, so doesn't take long. The black wash will provide a grey overall look and bring out any grain. The brown will give it undertones of colour that will make it look more realistic. At least to my eye. Not to diorama standard but more than adequate for gaming.

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