How To Make Wood Look Like Metal

How To Make Wood Look Like Metal


Last year I decided to surprise my brother with a personalized birthday gift. He was turning 30 so I was looking for something unique. I also wanted to find something useful which he wouldn’t simply toss in the basement a few months after the celebration is over.

And I finally figured what to do. I decided to build him a stationary whiskey and wine mini bar.

But in order to make this DIY project a true masterpiece, I needed to find how to make wood look like metal. The interior in my brother’s house is highly influenced by his hobby – riding a motorcycle. Thus, no ordinary wood could make a good fit.

Meanwhile, I didn’t have much time (or much money to spend), so I had to come up with an easy, affordable, and fast way to turn wood into a metal-like object.

And guess what? It was even easier than what I imagined. You can check out the full tutorial listed below to find out how I did it. There are just 3 simple steps to follow (no nonsense involved).

What You Will Need To Follow This Tutorial

  • Metallic spray paint
  • Clean rags
  • Wood stain
  • Polyurethane (optional)
  • Sandpaper
  • Old sheet
  • Rubber gloves
  • Breathing mask (optional)
  • All-purpose putty (optional)
  • Putty knife (optional)
  • Chip brush

Pro Tips

1 – Switch the old sheet for a suitable alternative

You will need an old sheet to place the wood before spraying it with Metallic spray paint. Doing so will help you avoid cleaning the traces of paint from the area you are working on. If you don’t have an old sheet available, you can substitute it with plastic sheets, old newspapers or magazines, as well as a cardboard.

Also, a cutoff T-shirt can work just fine instead of a rag.

2 – Hide the grain of the wood completely with a repetitive sanding-spraying technique

If your aim is to achieve a flawless, superbly grain-less looks of the wood you are trying to make appear like metal, then you may need to re-spray it 3 – 9 times. However, spraying alone will not do the trick. Instead, you want to sand very lightly with 400-grit sandpaper before each course of re-spraying the wood with Metallic spray paint.

Step by Step Instructions for Making Wood Look Like Metal

Step 1 – Prepare the work area

Step 1 Prepare The Work Area

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Place an old sheet over your work table (or floor). Smooth the surface of the wood perfectly well with sandpaper. If there are any knots, cracks or holes, you will have to use an all-purpose putty and a putty knife to fill these in before proceeding to sand.

Depending on the condition of the wood, you may need to use coarse-grit, medium-sized and/or fine-grit sandpaper.

Next, put on rubber gloves to protect your hands from the spray paint. You may want to use a breathing mask, too. If the object you are spraying is a small one, though, you can go just fine without a breathing mask.

Step 2 – Apply the coat of Metallic spray paint

Step 2 Apply The Coat Of Metallic Spray Paint

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Spray the entire surface of the wood which you want to make look like metal with the Metallic spray paint of your choice. Make a sweeping motion while applying the paint and don’t be shy to cover the entire surface of the wood liberally.

However, use a light hand. You can always add more a bit later on. Let the paint dry before you proceed with applying another coat. Make sure you check out the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 3 – Apply a coat of wood stain

Step 3 Apply A Coat Of Wood Stain

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Start applying a coat of stain with a chip brush. Your brush needs to be completely dry.

Brush on with the grain and use a rag to wipe off the stain immediately after you are done applying it.

Keep adding more layers of stain if you want to achieve a darker final coloring. You can add deeper nuances using a smaller paintbrush to layer the wood stain (works especially well on corners and edges).

What an awesome and effortless DIY project! Do you agree? Did we help you learn how to make wood look like metal?

If so, then we have succeeded in our mission! We’d be happy to hear from you. Drop us a line with any questions, personal experience or useful tips you may have hidden in your sleeve.

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