The Best DIY Faux Linen Paint Technique For Furniture

Posted in Furniture Makeover
DIY Faux Linen Paint Technique For Furniture
The Best DIY Faux Linen Paint Technique For Furniture

Hey friends! I know you’re going to love this hands-on faux linen paint technique! It’s one of the easiest and most popular ways to get the look of organic linen on wood furniture.

Thanks to Dixie Belle Paint Co for sponsoring this post. While I was compensated to write this post, all opinions are my own.

* As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases and through other companies as well. You will not be charged extra when you purchase through these affiliate links, but any income I make helps me create more amazing DIY projects to share with you! To see my full disclaimer, click here!

Faux Linen | Grass Cloth Finishes For Furniture

We’ve all seen these gorgeous faux paint techniques on walls but have you ever considered them for your furniture makeovers? How about a faux linen or grasscloth finish? Both finishes are very similar and have the same texture I love. So I thought, why not recreate that same look on a dresser? 

Well, I didn’t have a dresser in stock, but this plain wood side table (with no details) worked well. This finish looks best on a flat surface (wall), so a piece of furniture with a smooth surface works best.   

Before attempting this finish, I did some research, like any good faux finish painter would do. This technique is the one that I thought would be the easiest for furniture makeovers, mainly because I don’t typically use latex paint on furniture. You know I love my chalk mineral paint!

I did find a similar technique done by my friend Denise over at Salvaged Inspirations. CLICK HERE to see her dresser makeover.

Faux Linen Painted Furniture | Before And After

SUPPLY LIST:

What you’ll need to create a faux linen finish on your wood furniture. 

Prep, Clean, Prime, And Repair Before Painting

As always, before painting furniture, it’s necessary to prep by cleaning the piece well inside and out with a good furniture cleaner to remove dirt, grease, and grime. Even the stuff you can’t see because we both know it’s there. 

This is also a great time to inspect your piece for damage, make repairs and clean the underside of that dresser that lived in the barn before you acquired it. That’s where the cobwebs and other icky critters live! 

Remove the hardware if you plan on adding new pulls or knobs, and fill in the old holes with an all-purpose Bondo. 

After the old holes have been filled, sand down the Bondo with 180 grit sandpaper until smooth. Finish up with 220 grit, and then scuff sand the surface of what you’ll be painting. Wipe away wood dust with a tack cloth or a dampened soft cloth. 

How To Fill Holes In Wood Furniture Before Painting

How To Create An Organic Faux Linen Finish

This technique is typically used on a larger scale, like walls, by mixing latex paint with a glaze to create a latex glaze mixture. Doing this allows the paint to be more workable for longer periods and extends the dry time. 

And believe me, you will need more time to perfect the faux linen look. When I say perfect, I don’t mean perfect. This organic look is appealing to me, but not for everyone, and it’s imperfect. 

STEP 1: Apply a white primer over the wood to prevent bleeding through stains and wood tannins and to create a white base coat. I like to use a foam roller for this process because it’s quick and easy. It will take two coats of primer, so be sure to allow an ample amount of time between coats. 

I also like to do the scratch test after the primer has had time to dry before painting. If your primer isn’t adhering to the wood, your finish will be a flop. That’s when the sadness comes in. Trust me.  

The primer will serve as your base coat, and using a white primer works well for this finish. 

If the primer is a bit rough after drying, you can use fine-grit sandpaper to smooth out the rough areas created by the roller. For the most part, you won’t need to do this. 

Best Primer For Wood Furniture

Faux Linen Painting Technique

STEP 2: Here’s where the fun part starts! 

I mixed equal parts of chalk mineral paint and the floetrol (glaze medium) in a plastic container and mixed well. The floetrol looks like a white, thick, milky semi-transparent substance that will extend the dry time of the chalk paint. At first glance, you may think it will change the color of your paint, but it won’t. Once it had dried, I saw no difference in the color. 

You can use any color you like for this technique, and blue will give you the look of a faux denim finish. CLICK HERE to see a similar finish I did on a bench.

How To Make Paint Dry Slower

STEP 3: Apply one good coat of the paint mixture over the base (white primer) with a paintbrush or roller. You’ll need a fairly thick coat of paint for the best results. 

I opted to brush it on with my paintbrush, but in hindsight, it would have been better to use a roller for a more even distribution of the paint color and to prevent brush strokes. 

How To Paint Furniture With Chalk Paint

The Strie Technique

Strie is a french word that means striate or stripe. It’s a french glazing technique.

This dragging technique creates the appearance of a cloth fabric with a striped or streaked appearance. A rather unusual pattern for furniture but simple and sophisticated. I think it looks great; keep in mind that the finish will look irregular if your surface isn’t smooth. All imperfections will stand out like a sore thumb.  

STEP 4: Using a stiff bristle brush, drag through the wet paint glaze over the surface from one end to the other in a single motion on the first pass. You will notice that while dragging through the paint, the bristles on the brush will pick up paint. Have a rag ready to wipe the brush and remove the paint. 

The second pass will be in the opposite direction creating a cross pattern that resembles a raised fabric with a white background that gives this pattern depth.

Continue dragging the brush over the paint, wiping away the excess on the brush until you get the look you want. You’ll need to work quickly because, after a few minutes, the paint will start to dry. Adding the medium to the chalk paint does extend the dry time, but you only have so long. 

Faux Linen Paint Technique On Furniture

I also used another smaller brush I found in my stash. It worked perfectly in the smaller areas where, the larger one couldn’t reach. 

* TIP When doing this technique for the first time, do the sides of the dresser first and the drawers last. I got better with the technique as I went, so doing the drawers last was a good thing. Also, lining the drawers up together will help give you a uniform finish when using this faux linen paint technique. 

Faux Linen Paint Technique

faux linen paint technique with chalk paint

Protecting Your Faux Finish

Allow the finish to dry completely as least 24 hours. 

STEP 5: You will need to apply a protective finish for protection and added durability, especially if your project will be susceptible to high traffic. Apply 1 -2 coats of a water-based topcoat. 

I used wax varnish as my topcoat. Apply the first coat evenly and allow it to dry. The same with the second coat. It will dry to a smooth and durable finish. 

Faux Linen Paint Technique Results

What can I say? Is it perfect? no, but it is organic and very appealing. I learned a lot doing this finish, and the biggest takeback was that I should have used a roller to apply the paint mixture for a more even coat. Using a paint brush wasn’t the best method and caused the paint to be streaked in some areas, mainly on the sides. I’ll know better next time.

faux linen paint technique

Faux Grass Cloth Paint Technique

The Best Faux Linen Paint Technique For Furniture

Hey, thanks for joining me today as I share my experience with this faux linen paint technique. It’s a beautiful look for sure when you master it. We don’t learn by not trying, and I love sharing my lessons with you. 

As always, I love hearing your feedback. Drip me your thoughts in the comment section below, or just say hello so that I know you stopped by. 

Have a great week and happy painting! 

Until the next project… xo, Do

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10 Comments

  1. I think it’s beautiful. If there are imperfections, it actually goes with the style. We always know where we made mistakes, but others almost always never even see them. Thanks for the tutorial!

    1. You are so very correct, Kim. Our imperfections are rarely visible to most. It’s something I work on inside myself. It’s good to know I’m not alone. THanks for reading. 🙂 xo

  2. Happy Saturday my friend! Your faux linen finish looks amazing Do! … and thanks for the shout out, much appreciated! 🤗💙🤗

    1. Hi Melinda, I’m so sorry.
      I totally missed adding the links. I went back in and added those to the products list in the blog post. Just a side note, the gold on the legs didn’t match the handles, so I spray-painted them to match. It was the only way to get a cohesive look. 🙂 Thanks for reading.

  3. I love the look of the faux linen finish. This piece turned out beautiful. It is amazing what you can do with paint. Now I need a piece to try this technique on. Thanks for teaching us something new.

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