Faux Barn Board

by Sharon Field

Use white glue and a re-inker to create an interesting background.


  • Scrap paper to protect your work surface
  • Paint tray or plastic container to mix your supplies in
  • White acrylic paint
  • Medium brown dye re-inker (Soft Suede used here)
  • Toothpick or something to stir your ink/paint mixture with
  • Two to three foam brushes
  • White glue (Elmer's Glue used here - school glue will work just fine)
  • Light, neutral cardstock (Very Vanilla used here)
  • Heat tool


  1. Step 1

    Put a nickel size drop of white acrylic paint in your paint tray or plastic lid.

  2. Add 4-5 drops of re-inker, and mix well with a toothpick.

  3. Step 2

    Use a foam brush to apply the paint and re-inker mixture to the cardstock using a sweeping motion, allowing some of the base cardstock color to show through, and continuing in the same direction. The cardstock will curl because of the moisture in the mixture.

  4. Step 3

    Gently dry the cardstock using a pre-heated heat tool.

    Pre-heating your heat tool helps prevent scorching the paint -you can also allow the cardstock to air dry.

  5. Step 4

    Add about 1 teaspoon of glue into the paint tray, and working quickly in the same direction as the paint strokes, use a foam brush to apply a thin layer of glue to the painted cardstock.

    The cardstock will have a somewhat milky appearance.

  6. Allow the cardstock piece to dry just until it is tacky. You can speed it up with a heat tool if you'd prefer - just don’t let it dry completely.

  7. Step 5

    Add about a quarter sized drop of white acrylic paint to the paint tray. Working in the same direction as the prior brush strokes, use a foam brush to add white paint to the cardstock.

  8. Step 6

    Be patient - if you try to apply the paint before the glue is tacky, the piece will look have a mottled look and texture.

  9. Step 7

    It’s fun to watch the piece as it air-dries - you will see the paint and glue separate right before your eyes, like a mini science experiment.

  10. Step 8

    As it dries, add additional distressing with the pointed edge of a foam brush by lightly brushing it across the surface.

  11. To speed up the process, use a preheated heat tool, but be careful, the paint likes to scorch!

    As it dries, the cardstock will flatten out.

  12. Step 9

    The background is finished.

  13. Step 10

    Use the background on a finished card.


Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Faux Barn Board. Try this technique, then upload your artwork to the gallery. Show us your creations!

***Please note - Internet Explorer/Edge is not a supported browser, and will not allow you to see the videos. Please use Chrome, Firefox or Safari to view our tutorial videos.

Questions and Comments

We'd love to get your feedback or questions. Leave your comment below.

Fabulous technique. I hope to try it soon.
lacyquilter  |  Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 6:27 AM
I have never seen this done. I will try it out.
Pat Presley  |  Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 6:35 AM
How cool is that!?! I'm always on the lookout for new techniques, and this one it new to me! Great tutorial I'll have to try it soon!

Thank you!
flymombg  |  Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 6:38 AM
Approximately, how long does the technique take and could a person teach this to a small group (10) guests or so, without anyone losing too much patience. It is beautiful. I can't wait to try it.
Marly Schmidt  |  Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 6:42 AM
Very very cool. I can't wait to try this. Thank you for sharing.
SuAnne Pinoniemi  |  Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 7:27 AM
I love this!! I'll definitely have to give it a try. Great tutorial.
Beth S  |  Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 7:32 AM
merci md
md  |  Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 7:44 AM
Love this. I wonder if it will work on other surfaces.

Tinalouise  |  Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 7:54 AM
love it and so easy to do!
msdaiquiri  |  Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 7:57 AM
Never heard of "Slick" paint. I guess its different than your standard acrylics? Would my Tim Holtz acrylic and alcohol re- inkers work the same? Great camera technique to let us enjoy "watching paint dry." Cute!
Bernadet Rodakowski  |  Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 9:11 AM
Hi Bernadet!

Beate tried the Holtz acrylic and did not get the same results - probably because of the more matte finish of those paints.

The slick paint that Sharon used is made by Tulip and is glossy.
lydia  |  Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 9:16 AM
I love this technique! I also love the clock face on the finished card. Is it a stamp/sticker? If so, can you tell me manufacturer? Thanks.
Tracy  |  Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 9:17 AM
This is perfect for a masculine card. I can't wait to get home from work to try it.
SLP-luvspaper  |  Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 9:52 AM
THis is cool. It also makes me think that if you use darker re-inker and some verticalstrokes with the glue and white paint in addition to the horizontal ones, you could create Beech trees too. Also using pastel paint could give you the look of weathered beach furnature or an old victorian house. There are endless possibilities.
Debi  |  Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 9:54 AM
i wonder if you can use aleen's tack it over and over instead of elmer's and that will make it tacky a little quicker? absolutely love it! can't wait to try on some masculine cards!
Rebecca  |  Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 10:06 AM
Marly: you could easily do this technique with several stampers.. it takes anywhere from 10-15 minutes to dry dependent upon how much glue/paint they apply. Easily used to work on a project/finish the card as they set it aside.

Msdaiquiri: Slick paint is made by tulip and is generally found in local hobby stores around the fabric paint. It is definitely different than other products! You will achieve different results based on what paint/materials used. I found that the slick paint by tulip seemed to work the best!

Bernadette: I don't know if that combo of materials will work as I have not tried them... see my response to Msdaiquiri

Rebecca: I'm betting you cannot because that glue never really dries and it is very thick.. it is also more costly than plain old school glue. I tried to used this technique with Tombow Multi Adhesive and it did not work at all smile

Debbi: Not sure, sounds like it might work... hmm, great brainstorming!
Sharon Field  |  Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 11:05 AM
Tracy: The clock face is a rubber stamp from Stampin' Up! Called Sense of Time item 113804.. I'm an SU demo!
Sharon Field  |  Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 11:11 AM
Can't wait to get the paint and try this technique. The video is awesome. Love the ideas I get from this web site.
Gerianne  |  Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 11:24 AM
This procedure works great on wood also, I used it on a magazine table I bought at a garage sale, love it. ! ! !
joann Weidman  |  Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 11:39 AM
Lydia! Thanks so much for the tip!
Bernadet Rodakowski  |  Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 12:39 PM

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