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Simulating Wood in Car Interiors

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#1 Plastheniker


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Posted 22 August 2013 - 11:19 AM

Hi, many car interiors have stained wooden parts, mainly steering wheels and dashboards. The most common ways to simulate wood on plain plastic are replicating the grain with a pointed brown pencil or using artist's oil colours. I prefer a very quick and simple technique that I am using for decades.

The results look like this:



First paint the later "wood" surface gloss orange. Only here I use acrylic paint because it dries quickly and will not be attacked by enamel paint. Let it dry thoroughly.

Then mix some solvent-based gloss clear with a small amount of gloss dark brown. Find out the best relation yourself, 10:1 may work.

Apply this mixture with uneven strokes onto the orange surface. Because the clear and the brown will never merge properly surfaces as shown above are generated. To a certain extend you can vary the appearance by choosing a pointed or wide brush, a stiff or soft brush, parallel or erratic strokes.


Try  on a piece of cardboard. It may sound ridiculous but it really works. 

Edited by Plastheniker, 11 February 2014 - 01:28 PM.

#2 Ramfins59


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Posted 22 August 2013 - 11:44 AM

Jurgen, I love it.  Your dashboards are gorgeous.  Great work.

#3 Bastardo


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Posted 22 August 2013 - 09:07 PM

Now THAT is wood :D


The way I do it:

- Paint the part biege or similiar light-brown color

- Mix some brown oil paint with thinner

- Apply uneven strokes of oil paint over the biege part. Different brushes give different results.


Also, for replicating "3D" effect of wood:

Sand the piece randomly with a rough sanding paper in the direction of wood grain. This will not only give the piece a "3D" look, but also make small scratches in which the oil paint or the enamel paint that Jürgen suggested will wash into.


Take a piece of plastic and play with it ;)

#4 Jeremy Jon

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 12:27 AM

Great post Jurgen, the marble effect works very well, nicely done!!

#5 lower99


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Posted 23 August 2013 - 08:41 AM

Hallo Jürgen!

Großartige Idee! Good idea!

Und sie funktioniert! And it works!

Mach ich auch so ähnlich.

Grüße aus Deutschland!

Greetings from Germany!

#6 b_lever1


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Posted 15 September 2013 - 06:46 AM

This is something I've been looking for need to make large wood effect for panel on the  inside of my custom van great Idea thanks for sharing

#7 Eshaver


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Posted 15 September 2013 - 07:23 AM

Now where is that Rolls Royce Silver Cloud kit I misplaced ?????????

#8 W-409


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Posted 19 September 2013 - 08:22 AM

Das ist ein Gutes Idee, Jürgen! B)  Ich muss das Idee probieren.

(That is a good idea, Jürgen! I must try that.


I have always used a method where I paint Satin Brown on the wooden area, and then brush paint some Clear Orange on it... That works somehow too, but your results are much better. Thanks for the great tip.

#9 peekay


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Posted 24 September 2013 - 09:18 AM

Thanks for that Jürgen, looks very convincing and I'll give it a go.

(That MKII Jag looks amazing! Would love to see more of it.)

#10 southpier


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Posted 24 September 2013 - 10:01 AM

Now where is that Rolls Royce Silver Cloud kit I misplaced ?????????


i saw it parked next to the Zeppelin Diner with some shady characters getting out.