6 Ways to Make Particle Board Look Like Real Wood

Real wood can be hard to source and at times too expensive for certain projects. At times like these particle board is one of the cheapest options to opt for. Some people avoid using pressed wooden boards because they don’t give the look of wood. However, there are several ways you can make your particle board look like real wood. This can help you save up money and prevent your furniture from looking dull. In this article, we are going to explore 6 ways to make particle board look like real wood.

To make particle board look like real wood, you can: paint it, apply a textured coating, glue a veneer on top, apply a plastic laminate that has a wood grain design, apply a concrete overlay with a wooden pattern, and stick wallpapers with images of the wood grain. Either of these methods will give the particle board a wood-like look. Depending on how well you do it, it can become hard to distinguish particle board from real wood for untrained eyes.

Particle board furniture is a staple at many big brands around the world these days. While wood is very beautiful and durable, particle board on the other hand is reasonable and readily available. Which is why it can be mass produced and turned into furniture. So you can find a lot of particle board furniture floating around in thrift stores and new stores. By using one of the techniques to make it look like wood or just painting it over, you can earn good money. Some people model their business around flipping and selling older furniture.

1- Painting

Painting is a great way to make particle board look like real wood. It is the go-to method for most people to give particle board furniture a wood like feel. By using special brushing techniques, and a mixture of two shades, you can mimic the grain of the wood on the particle board. You will see this method being used by a lot of woodworkers to bring aesthetics to furniture made out of low density fiberwood.

If you aren’t good with techniques, that isn’t a big problem either. You can find special brushes that can help you give the grain effect on particle board. By just using those brushes, you can get grain patterns throughout a particle board. All you have to do is practice a few times on scrap pieces if you aren’t confident you can pull it off the first time.

Besides, once you get a hang of it, you can just use brush techniques to create even more unique grain patterns to your liking.

2- Textured Coating

Textured coatings are pretty common these days. People use textured coatings on their walls to give them a different feel than a plain old look. You can do the same with particle boards. Applying textured coating on your particle board furniture can give it a wood-like feel to the touch and look.

3- Laminate

Laminate is pretty commonly used with particle boards to cover the top. It is not only great for hiding the interior of the particle board but also helps in protecting it against water. Laminate is made out of plastic material, so it repels water quite nicely.

You can find laminate in pretty much any design. The most common laminate designs are those that look like wood grain. In fact, you can find a lot of particle board furniture already covered with such a laminate coating. If you are refurbishing an old piece, you can easily find a laminate sheet to stick to the top of your old particle board furniture and give it the aesthetics of wooden grain.

It is very easy to stick as well, all you need is to apply glue and put pressure on it and wait for the glue to dry. Once done, you can do that to the other side and you now have laminate coated particle board furniture that looks like real wood.

4- Veneer

If you want to go for the feel of real wood, why not use real wood? Even though a particle board is made out of real wood, it pretty much loses its beauty in the process. However, by using a wooden veneer, you can restore the look of real wood on it. Wooden veneers are boards that are shaved from real trees or wooden logs.

You can use glue to stick a veneer on top of your particle board just like laminate. The best part, since it is wood, you can treat it the same way. You can apply stain on a wooden veneer. In fact, you can use varnish, poly, and other finishes over a wooden veneer too. Wooden veneers will take on the finish just as real wood will. Depending on the thickness of the veneer, you can lightly sand it as well if you want to reapply a new coat of finish over it.

5- Concrete Overlay

Concrete overlay is a new technique in which you can cover your particle board or other furniture with concrete. By using liquid concrete along with resin polymers, you can bond it to wood or pressed wood countertops. They come in a variety of colours and some even have the texture of wood available. By using these concrete overlays on your particle board you can get the texture and look of wood along with the sturdiness of concrete.

You can find plenty of DIY kits for concrete overlays from various vendors online. However, it can take quite a while for you to apply a concrete overlay on a particle board compared to other methods, so it is not highly recommended.

6- Wallpapers

Wallpapers are very commonly used to cover walls, hence the name wallpaper. You can get customized wallpapers for everything these days, whether it is to cover drywall or to give your flooring the look of real wood. A lot of people use wooden grain design wallpapers on their normal concrete flooring.

Another way you can use these wallpapers is to give your particle board the look of real wood. Not to mention, you can find textured wallpaper that will give particle board the feel of real wood to touch as well. Wallpaper is easy to apply and remove, so you can remove it if you don’t like how the furniture looks and go for another technique.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use stain on particle board?

No, you cannot use stain on a particle board by itself. However, if it is covered with a veneer top, you can use stain or any other wood finish on it like you would on real wood.

Does paint seal particle board?

Yes, once the paint you applied on the particle board dries, it repels water and stains.

Can you apply a sealer over wooden veneer?

Yes, anything that you can use on wood to seal can be used on a wooden veneer. It does not matter if underneath there is particle board or some other manufactured pressed wood.

Final Thoughts

If you are someone who enjoys the aesthetics of wooden grain but cannot afford it, you can work with particle board and give it the look of real wood. It is not very difficult either, you can do it easily without any issues with any of the above mentioned ways. You can replace wood in some projects which are not worth spending a lot over with particle board and give them the look and feel of real wood instead this way and save up on costs and put it aside.

Martin Swizz

Hi! This is Martin, I like to research, experiment, and learn new things related to wood carving and other kinds of woodworking.

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