Cosplay Prop Painting 101: Wood Texture

I've been asked quite a lot in the past about how I got the wood texture on my shield from Breath of the Wild.

Here is a quick and easy little tutorial to follow!

***Please keep in mind this tutorial is only to be followed after you have sealed your prop and have it all ready for painting

Tools you will need:

1. Chip brush - $1.25 usd

2. 3 - 5 cans of spray paint, varying from darker browns, tans, burnt red, and olive tones.

** Green tones should only be added if you want to make the wood appear " alive " or fresh. Other than that I recommend you stick to a brown / red color pallet. You RARELY find woods with vibrant greens in them. Always research the type of wood and colors in the grain of the wood.

For this pain job I used:

Grain: Also known as wood grain. This is will be the lines you will see in wood. Wood grain is the longitudinal arrangement of wood fibers or the pattern resulting from this. Its important to keep in mind the direction you want the grain to go and the different highlights and low light area's.

3. Gloves and painters apron ( if you don't want to get dirty )

4. Clear protective glasses. ( you NEVER want anything to get in your eyes. Not even paint particles flying in the air. )

Getting Started !!

Step 1: Base Coat

Spray your prop with the paint you choose as your base coat. This should always be a mid-way color from your dark and light grain. In this case my base coat was Kahki. When applying the base coat do it in a well ventilated area or outside to prevent from fume inhalation.

When applying your base coat you want to apply it in 2-3 layers. Follow the directions, and hold the can a 12-16". Dry and re-coat times are based on 70°F and 50% relative humidity. Each paint takes different drying times. I discovered for the Khaki it took a total of 25-30 minutes between coats to dry. So you will have time to either relax or work on other projects while you wait. Cover the entire area of the "wood".

Step 2: Adding the dark and light grain.

Now its time for your dark and light grain. Take that lovely chip brush and your darkest color for your dark grain and spray the brush lightly. You'll want to work quickly because the paint will want to dry quickly and you want it to be as wet and not tacky. Start from one edge and in a quick motion, stroke down to the next edge. The stroke does not have to be even and perfect because wood grain never is.

You do not need to wash your brush out. Instead you are going to continue spraying the paint brush and repeat the same steps all across the area. From there wait 5 -10 minutes before you move onto your next color. This allows for the previous coat to dry a bit. I personally go in this order as far as color goes. : Kona, chesnut, red rust, sand, chesnut.

Darkest brown -> Mid tone -> Second Darkest brown or Red -> Lightest color -> Mid Tone

Until the grain looks like the image below ( or to desired look ) . The bristles on the brush will start to clump but trust me this helps a lot.

Step 3: Finalizing the wood.

Now that you have your grain you will want to hold the same color you used as your base coat further away from the prop and lightly mist the color. This will help with blending the colors together. Once you've achieved your desired look let the paint dry for up to a minimum of 3-4 hours for it to dry enough to use. After that it's time to add in weathering details and any final additions such as metal paint to your prop before sealing the paint.

Weathering and shading:

Weathering and shading comes last and to be honest its not to hard. After your paint is dry to work with you will want to take a dark brown acrylic paint and paint in the area's you wish to shade. Then working quickly while the paint is still wet, dab or wipe away excess paint. Feather out the paint from the center. The end result should look like the image on the right. Don't rush this process if you have never done this. Its always good to practice on something else. Shading and Weathering is also best added in cracks and crevices of a piece.

Note: I achieved the texture on the back shown in the photo for a rough wood by using plasti dip as my sealer for the EVA foam ( DO THIS BEFORE PAINTING) and taking a paint brush and brushing strokes down the plasti-dip while it was coagulating and drying to get a rough texture. This created all kinds of ridges. The texture really popped after the painted texture.

If you've made it this far... YOU FINISHED!!!

Now its time for the rest of the details and your finished piece!