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.

Hmm.. Metal, now that sounds interesting. I believe I have a metal shipment coming to my home next week!
Sharon Field  |  Sat Sep 25, 2010 at 5:09 AM
Tried this out today, and created 10 sheets of it, will start creating cards with it soon. It came out really neat, even though I substituted different glue and used only basic interior latex paint. Thanks so much for the tutorial and samples.
kristina  |  Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 11:38 PM
Glad it worked for you... looking forward to viewing your samples Kristina... Sounds as though you had fun!
Sharon Field  |  Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 4:14 AM
This is really fun. Love it.
steph  |  Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 11:47 AM
Awesome technique Sharon!
lisa808  |  Thu Sep 30, 2010 at 5:21 AM
2 questions

Would gesso work for this?

How about another color acrylic paint like blue? Obviously wouldn't look like a barn, but still could Neva cool background maybe sky?
Dawn brenner  |  Wed Oct 6, 2010 at 12:32 PM
Gesso.. dries clear, might work.. hmm. Other colors would work, no problem. Just keep in mind that the slick type paint (for fabric) separates more dramatically. I'm looking forward to seeing your expirments!
Sharon Field  |  Wed Oct 6, 2010 at 4:24 PM
"Now you get to watch paint dry" - this made me laugh!!! Great tutorial. Neat technique.
conductorchik  |  Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 12:17 PM
Sharon, I love the look of this technique! I had some issues with getting it going (mostly due to old glue, I think), so I put some hints on my blog post from what I learned. My sample is the gallery too.
Heidi Baks  |  Tue Nov 2, 2010 at 6:17 AM
Wonderful Sharon Your blog is always so inspiring

Lis  |  Sat Jan 8, 2011 at 7:05 AM
That is so awesome, I have never seen anything like that!!! I will have to give it a try!!!! Thank you for sharing!!!
tlaneh  |  Wed Jul 15, 2020 at 4:43 PM

Page 3 of 3 pages  <  1 2 3

You need to be logged in to comment


Splitcoaststampers's privacy policy