Sunday, June 24, 2012
When painting plywood to look like a plaster or mud surface, it is important to hide any details that might suggest that you are actually using plywood. Lower grade plywood often includes knot holes, or long running grooves or grains that are typical in this material. Before painting, be sure to fill these holes and cracks with Spackle or wood putty to hide these obvious elements that could ruin the illusion you are trying to create.
Once you have covered your plywood with a base coat, pour out a little of the base color and add a slightly darker color to it. This darker color should only be a very slight tint, almost indistinguishable from the base color. Avoid making this too great a contrasting value since it will draw attention to itself. Then, taking a cotton rag (avoid using terry cloth or a bath towel, an old cotton sheet works best) and bunch it up into a loose roll. Lightly rolling the rag roll in the slightly darker paint, then gingerly apply it to the base color by rolling the rag along its surface. Try to do this in a loose and “organic” way, avoiding symmetrical lines or stripes. Crossing the path of your rag rolling will also hide any obvious lines that might appear as to continue to mottle the surface texture.
If for some reason your end result is too busy, usually something that happens when too dark a color is applied to the base, feel free to apply another coat of watered down base color over the top. There is no wrong way to do this, but it will take some trial and error to discover a look that you like the best.