Create A Bark-Like Finish


Photo of tree bark faux finish.

I think my mind is on fall. Just a few leaves drop and crunch underfoot but I am so ready for fall colors, boots and campfires with my family.

With that in mind, I have been playing with – I swear I am not crazy – fallen branches from our back yard. While picking them up the other day I was struck by the wonderful texture and earth tones. And by the idea of trying to duplicate the look with Wood Icing™ products.

I am so excited about this finish that I came up with – you can hardly tell it apart from the real branch, and I swear I did not really work at it. Here, I just created it on a piece of black polystyrene since I was in design mode. But picture a huge canvas or a focus wall, or drawer fronts on a rustic furniture piece!

Want to try it?


Photo of Wood Icing™ supplies

• tree branch at least 3″ diameter

• Wood Icing Textura Paste, Fissure Size, Licorice, Tree Bark(!) and Mud Pie Furniture Glazing colors

Paris Grey Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan

• rags, spray bottle, paint brushes, putty knife or some kind of spreader


Find a branch and cut it or break it to about two feet long to make it easy to handle. Mine was pretty dead. Basecoat your surface with one or two coats of Chalk Paint® and let dry.


Photo of Fissure Size paint step


Brush on a very liberal coat of Fissure Size, skipping some areas entirely. It will bead up and look a bit like my picture. (This will make cracks later.) Let dry completely. It can take awhile.


Photo of Textura Paste application

Spread a coat of Textura Paste on the surface, skipping a few areas. Do not let dry. Using the branch, roll it over the surface and drag it up and down to make texture. Mine left some bits on the surface and, loving it, I left them in. The Paste layer will tear and get crusty, which is a good thing. Let dry completely.


Photo of Paris Grey Chalk Paint

Brush on one layer of Paris Grey, leaving a few areas open and let dry. Brush on a layer of Fissure Size in random areas and let dry. Cool cracks will soon appear and things are looking “bark-ish.”


Photo of Mud Pie Glaze

Photo of Licorice glaze

Photo of wiping back bark finish.

Brush on one coat of the Mud Pie glaze and let dry a bit, then brush on a coat of Tree Bark and let dry a bit. Brush on a random layer of Licorice, scrubbing it into the cracks. Use a mist of water from the spray bottle if you like. While wet, drag a dry rag vertically over the surface until you like the look. This will pull color off the tops of the texture. Let dry.

And you have faux bark – made with Wood Icing™ – how cool is that?

Photo of tree bark faux finish

You’ll notice I did not seal it. If you are doing this on a wall or a piece of furniture, I suggest Wood Icing™ Dull Poly Acrylic Top Coat. For art hanging on the wall, I would not seal it.

{Disclosure: This is a paid featured post in conjunction with Wood Icing™. All opinions, projects, and ideas are based on my own experience.}