Fake Wood Beams - Painting & Staining
In addition to their wide variety of sizes and styles, staining and painting fake wood beams yourself is another way to create exactly the look you want.
Most customers simply choose one of our pre-stained beams such as the walnut, cinnamon, or java color options, but if you want do something different, here are a few tips.
First, always use a water-based stain or paint, never oil-based. Most of our unfinished beams are already primed with a water-based coating. Oil and water do not mix, so you have to use a water-based product on top of the existing primer.
Two of our beam styles have no coating when you purchase them as unstained. So both Timber and Sandblasted will need to be primed before painting or staining them. We recommend a water-based primer such as Benjamin Moore’s “Fresh Start®” 100% acrylic all-purpose primer.
The rest of our unstained beams arrive pre-primed in a pale tan / peanut color, ready to accept paint or stain.
Next, for the color coat, use a good quality water-based semi-transparent stain or a high quality water-based latex paint. For stain, we use Sherwin Williams “DeckScapes” or Benjamin Moore water-based stains in our production facilities because they’re non-toxic and the exterior versions have excellent UV inhibitors, which is important if your beam is being used outdoors.
Water-based stains in general tend to dry faster and have less odor than oil-based stains. They also clean up with soap and water.
Make sure you test both your color and application method before working on your actual beam. A great way to do that is to purchase an unfinished sample from us before you place your main order. Our samples are fully rebatable with your full order so it’s a smart way to test the process first.
When applying stain, use a good quality brush. The lightness or heaviness of the coating applied depends upon the look you want to create. Then use a moist rag, cheese cloth or dry paint brush (“dry brushing”) to wipe off excess stain. The harder you wipe, the lighter the overall result.
Please remember that you can always add a second coat to make the stain darker, but you can’t make it lighter. This is why testing your color and application method on a sample can be very beneficial.
You may want to seal it with a clear top coat. If the beam is to be placed outdoors, a clear top coat will add further protection from UV degradation.
Once you get the hang of staining faux beams you can do something a bit more advanced, like making your beams look like Knotty Pine.