Introduction: Faux Wood Panels!

About: My wife and I have a home haunt called Terror On 20Th....I love to build props...everything from a casket to pneumatic monsters! I am also a presenter, speaker and course teacher at Halloween conventions.

So a friend had a garage door in her business that everyone would see and needed to dress it up. It had to be super light weight so the door would still open. This is an easy fun project and can be used in many applications.


You will need 4x8 sheets of 1/2" pink insulation foam,a few sharpie markers, a tape measure, a straight edge, an adjustable wood burning tool or soldering gun. A wire brush with wood handle, razor cutting knife, hand held torch, paint supplies (roller and brush) and a few different color paints. (flat latex wall paint) Loctite Power Grab instant grab glue. SAFTEY...I would recommend some good gloves, eye protection and good respirator type mask. When carving the foam be sure to be outdoors or in a very well ventilated area.

Step 1: Let's Get Started!

1. Cut the panels to size (all depends on where you will use them) I used the straight edge (I used a drywall T) to draw out my cut lines then used a razor knife to cut out the panels.

2. Using the straight edge and a sharpie I start to lay out the board pattern. I kept it sort of random with some boards being wider. The idea is that these are recycled barn boards, old and half dried out.

3. Now I start to draw out the wood pattern on each board, I start out with the knot and then draw a random pattern extending away from the knot and keeping the lines about a 1/2 inch from each other. Easy once you get the hang of it.

Step 2: Carving Out the Pattern.

1. Using my soldering gun on a medium setting with the pointed tip I was able to "glide" the tool through the pattern.....gotta keep moving or the tool will melt the foam deeper and wider. I would suggest using a scrap piece first to get the hang of how fast or slow you will need to go. I melt the tool tip in about half way. This looks a bit strange at this point I know.

Step 3: Time for Some Fine Detail!

Be sure to get a wood wire brush, I started out with a plastic one and when I heated up the wire it melted and the wire came out!

1. I set the torch on medium and heated up the wire brush. You should only need to heat it for 30 sec or so.

2.While the wire is hot start out at the end of each "board", angle the brush at about a 45 and slowly drag across letting the wires melt in. Be sure to "wiggle" the brush slowly now and then. Just keep repeating this step until you get the desired effect. This will also help "harden" the foam. The brush will also open up some of the carved lines and give it a much more natural aged look. Be sure to "sit" a bit longer on the ends of the boards as this will be where more aging would be.

Step 4: Time for Finish Paint!

1. I used a very dark brown flat latex interior wall paint for the base, almost black and a thick roller to apply. Be sure to get paint into all of the grooves so that NO pink is showing...this is a pain as I found out! Every time I think it was good another angle would show a bit of pink!

2.Once you are sure the base has fully covered all of the pink and the panels are DRY it's time for the finish coats.

3.This will be a dry-brush technique. You will not need much paint for this step. Using a color several shades lighter, dip just the end of the brush into the paint...using a scrap bit of foam or cardboard brush the pain on until it's just about all off the brush.

4. VERY lightly in the opposite direction of the "grain" brush across, do small sections at a time. This should go fast but be careful not to add to much paint. I also add a few other colors such as a bit of green in a few boards.

Step 5: Finish It!

After the dry brushing is done on all of the panels I set them in sunlight to "check" for light spots or where I may need another color. That's about can use any color as a top dry brush coat. Next time we are doing a wall and will have different staggered colored boards, red and grey.

Step 6: Install!

I used power grip to glue the panels to the door...just a few dabs was plenty and there is no "wait" time once you press the panels on. Most important the power grab will not eat into the foam.This is very light weight and easy to work with! Have fun!!