How to Faux Stain a Plank Wall


I was invited to participate at Pinners Conference in Salt Lake City last November both as a presenter as well as with a booth for BB Frösch. It was an incredible experience—unlike any event I’d ever attended. If you haven’t been, I can’t recommend it enough!

When we showed up the day of set-up, we found that our booth space was void of the usual pipe-and-drape to divide our space from adjacent booths. Fortunately, our awesome friends, Mike and Sheila Jacklin from Cornerstone Technologies in Lindon, UT, showed up with an incredible 20’ wall and “wood” floor to give us an amazing booth space.


The wall was so amazing that I knew we could never go back to boring pipe-and-drape for future trade shows. We needed a gigantic wall for every show…and I knew just the look I wanted.

I explained to Mike that I wanted a wall comprised of varying width planks in bare wood so I could give it a BB Frösch faux stain finish. I LOVE the faux stain technique because traditional stain is less predictable, messier, and limited in colors.

Before I knew it, the guys from Cornerstone had my wall completely built and ready for me to give it my own touch.


One of four 5’ x 8’ sections

The entire 20’ wall is made of four 5’ sections that stand 8’ tall. Additionally, there are two smaller 4’ high walls that attach at the ends to provide stability. Here are the walls laid side-by-side on the ground (side walls not pictured.)


Each 5’ section is made of 19 randomly placed cedar planks (all 60” wide) in three widths:
(10) 1”x4”
(7) 1”x6”
(2) 1”x8”


I LOVE the choice of cedar for this wall because it has so much smooth, classic character without being rough or too rustic.

For the faux stain finish on two smaller side walls, I played around with Behr paint in various shades of white, gray, and brown to illustrate the possibilities of this technique. All paint was mixed with BB Frösch Paint Transformer

NOTE: This technique will NOT work if you don’t mix your regular latex paint with BB Frösch Paint Transformer first! You could use pre-mixed chalk paint, but it would cost significantly more, and you would be limited in color choice


To seal and protect, I waxed the short walls with BB Frösch Clear Premium Finishing Wax. (photo is the short wall prior to waxing, see end of post for waxed wall.)

I used the super-fast and super-easy faux stain technique I detailed in this post. I love so many things about this technique! Not the least of which…

  • NO mess or smell, like with traditional stain
  • FAST dry time
  • With traditional stain, the end result is unpredictable, depending on the type of wood underneath. With this technique, I pick whatever color(s) I want, and the results are predictable.
  • Even though for this project I began with bare wood, this technique also works on wood with an existing finish--just as long as there is a visible grain.

Before waxing, Jason made a quick pass with 400 grit sandpaper to gently smooth the surface.


For the four large back walls, I used the same technique as with the short walls, only I stuck to one color—Benjamin Moore “Mink.”Once all the sections were “stained,” I used BB Frösch Dark Premium Finishing Wax to seal and protect.

When all the walls were complete, we dragged two of them outside to take pictures with the gorgeous Utah snow.


Note: If these walls were going to remain outdoors, I would not have waxed them, I would have used a weather-proof sealer.

Isn’t the variation in grain stunning?!? I think it looks like a rich walnut.


I love how the side walls show different ways to “stain” the same wood for pretty much any look you want.


This project was so much fun that I’ve already got a wall in my home picked out to do this to. I plan to use it to stage all my furniture makeovers...

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