Some of my favorite techniques to make props look even better.
Step 1: Blood and Gore
To make a realistic blood paint, I use red food coloring, a small bit of brown dye, a little red paint, some Elmer's glue and water. Add water and Elmer's glue together to make a watery paste that is blood like in consistency. Add a lot of red food coloring, a minor amount of brown dye and some red paint. Mix thoroughly. When it dries, it leaves a reddish brown stain just like blood (I know from experience, childhood nose bleeds and ruined pillow cases)
Step 2: Techniques for Blood Painting
For a nice dripping effect, use a pencil eraser to dab thick amounts of the mixture in a line, thicker in places. To make drips, blow downward from above the drip in different positions giving an uneven, realistic look. For a bloody bandage, small amounts go far and it does soak quickly.
Step 3: Woodgrain Effect
For this, different shades of brown, tan and yellow are needed depending on the wood type that is desired. I use the darkest brown first, brushing it on roughly, but in one direction. Visible brush strokes are good. Next is yellow, it needs dabbed on and streaked lightly across the dark brown. Dry brush the lightest brown on top. Let layers dry inbetween painting. Lastly, which is a word, use the darkest brown again to make thin lines in the direction of the grain, make some knots and burls and you're done.
Step 4: Dry Brushing Technique
Dry brushing is used to create a used look. Lighter is better on dark surfaces and darker is better on lighter surfaces, keep that in mind. Use black to make silver look burned and scarred, use brown to make it look dirty and rusted, use other colors to show previous paint that's worn off. In order to dry brush, get a small amount of paint on your brush and dab it a few times, try a few practice strokes very quickly and then slowly to see the different thicknesses that you desire.
Step 5: Goo Effect
This requires Elmer's glue, transparent yellow and transparent blue airbrush paints or food coloring. When mixed, it creates a nasty looking, nearly clear goo. When dried it looks wet, with a low gloss.
Step 6: Experiment Often, But Safely
These are my ways, try your own and see what works best. There will always be 100 to skin a cat. (DON'T ACTUALLY SKIN CATS)