Walnut burl is one of the most interesting woods out there. It is very rare to find a french piece in burl, and when you do, it is super expensive. Knowing how to faux paint could save you a LOT of money!
The best workbooks on walnut burl and any other particular wood would be The Art of Faux.
The only way to learn is to be willing to try, and practice. I am just learning myself, and it can be a bit daunting to attempt to paint a piece with a finish you are not skilled at. The easiest way to try is just to go for it… and not worry about making it perfect. The great news is that with this finish, the oil paint will not dry for a good day, so you can mess around with it with paint thinner.
Here is how to do it:
The easiest way to explain how I have found success in painting wood finishes, is to start with this paint color coat. – Paint your entire piece of furniture Olympic Bronze from Behr.
After it is fully dry, you want to use paint thinner as well as painters oil paint in Burnt Umber. If you go to your local Michaels craft store you can find it there. Any oil color in Burnt Umber.
Next, you just paint a pattern with your paint brush with squiggly pattern. It is really just an experiment, so don’t be afraid. The nice thing with the oil paint is it takes several days to dry, so you have time to get your pattern correct. I found the less oil paint I have on my brush the better, so have paper towel handy.
It is a complex pattern. If you have a picture of burl, …..that may help, but try not to focus too much on replicating it. Go with what looks natural, as you move around your brush.
Remember when you are done, you will be painting over your entire piece with paint stain which will even out your strokes. Stain will also make your piece look like wood than just paint.
Another way of painting burl is to paint your furniture Olympic Bronze from Behr. Then, skip the Polyshades, and after your Olympic Bronze is dry, dry brush your entire piece, (or sections of your piece) straight from the oil paint in Burnt Umber. Don’t use paint thinner. (THE less oil paint the better) You want mostly orange showing through. Let it dry a good 5 minutes or so…… Make sure it is even, but don’t get too complicated, because you will be dipping your (SMALL) paint brush in paint thinner and creating the pattern, moving around the paint creating a burl finish. (Dip your brush in the paint thinner, but, dab it off on a paper towel)
The best advice is just to try it, and see what you come out with. It takes a bit of practice, but as long as you have the base coat, and the oil paint, and the thinner, it is just creating designs that would look realistic. Try the finish with a sample board and then try it with a piece of furniture.
After you are all finished, let it dry for a week or two. Artists oil doesn’t dry fast!!! BE SURE that your piece is dry before painting your piece with wood stain because you can ruin all your work.
It is best to buy the spray polyshades stain instead of painting it on for your first application. This way if the paint finish is NOT dry, the top coat will dry your finish enough for additional coats.
Maple Gloss, or walnut is my best suggestion from polyshades.