Staining Concrete to Look Like Wood
Faux finishes have been in use since ancient times. From their first appearance as plastered walls in Mesopotamia 5000 years ago, to more recent marble-look ceramic floor tiles, simulation is technique as old as construction.
Faux finishes are used to create touchable texture, replicate prized materials, and change colors. It’s a decorative practice so entrenched in design that we readily overlook it. The ongoing faux revolution continues today with high-tech printing, 3D rendering, and innovative materials that offer perks far beyond the real deal. The latest on the faux front? Concrete.
Concrete’s mailability makes it the perfect candidate to masquerade as a whole lineup of different materials. One of the most popular today is wood.
Crafting and staining concrete to simulate wood is a decorative technique that allows you to achieve the aesthetic appeal of wood but without some of the concerns, costs, or limitations associated with real wood.
Molding & Staining Concrete to Look Like Wood
Trueform has perfected the art of simulation through its pioneering Woodform Concrete®. Woodform occurs at the intersection of materials, tools, talent, and vision. Its material - glass fiber-reinforced concrete – is the ideal substrate for creating pieces with innumerable shapes and details. Live edges, bark, joinery, nails, and other attributes are employed during the mold process in order to achieve pieces that not only look like wood but feel like wood too.
Beyond the convincing shapes and 3D texture, our proprietary staining process is informed by both years of experience and the artistic direction of each individual piece. Our artisans “read” and respond to the surfaces they create – accentuating the wood’s natural grain and highlighting certain details in order to elevate their visual appeal.
Why Wood-Look Concrete Over Real Wood?Not only can concrete be shaped into any form, but it also offers some other compelling perks.
Imagine you are seeking a 14-foot long, 3” thick slab of solid wood to adorn your kitchen island. Then, imagine trying to find just the right slice of wood to achieve that look. As beautiful as natural wood is, it is inherently limiting because you are confined by what’s available.
Concrete is the great enabler because it offers designers a chance to overcome many of wood’s limitations. Woodform® is a modular, highly complex component system that enables the fabrication of a stunning array of shapes and designs. These components – or forms - include edge details, end grain textures, knots, seams and other features that were extracted directly from authentic wood pieces. Trueform has an extensive library of these components, which grow in number and variety daily. By carefully assembling these components, our artisans can cast and produce objects at precisely the dimensions, textures, and finishes desired.
Highly-sought-after exotic woods - especially those of the level of quality that are crafted into furniture or decorative pieces - can be both prohibitively expensive and difficult to find. If rare woods are financially out of reach, concrete can help level the playing field. Concrete can simulate those rare woods with stunning accuracy – meaning that you can complete your project without breaking the bank.
Concrete stained to look like wood comes in a wide range of styles, colors, and patterns, offering greater flexibility in design choices. You can choose from our standard wood colors, or, request a custom built piece. Create your own shape, texture, and coloring for a wood look piece that is entirely your own.
Excessive weight has traditionally been an Achilles’ heel of concrete. However, there are clever ways to significantly reduce the weight of concrete pieces to make them suitable for interior use. Consider a thick plank table. It can be quite heavy because it is constructed of solid slabs of wood. In contrast, a concrete table of the same perceived thickness can be fabricated with a hollow underside. Not only does this require far less material, but it reduces the overall weight by at least half. With the proper edge details, artisans can yield produce a thick plank look without all the extra weight. The same would apply to a rustic coffee table made of a solid block of wood. Despite having the same outward aesthetic, concrete fabricators would cast this object at about an inch thick throughout and hollow on the inside – dramatically reducing its weight.
A key benefit to faux building materials is that they are often designed to be low maintenance and resistant to common but important issues like rot, pests, and fading. Unlike some natural materials, they do not require repeated staining or polishing - which can save both time and money over the long term. Woodform® is quite easy to care for, especially when compared to natural wood. Cleaning with mild soap and water is all that is necessary to keep objects in good condition.
Wood is susceptible to wear, warping, bowing, bleaching, weathering, rot, and more. Concrete, on the other hand, is immune to these challenges. That makes it ideal for both internal and external environments. For those seeking a rustic look for their outdoor kitchen or bar without the worry, Woodform® is a highly attractive solution.
All Woodform® signature products and custom pieces are treated with our powerful sealer to lock in the finish and protect the surface from moisture and UV light.
Faux materials can be made from recycled or sustainable ingredients and efficient processes, contributing to eco-friendly building practices. Our process for creating Woodform® objects is eco-friendly for several reasons. First, only the exact amount of material needed to fabricate each piece is used. There is a near 1:1 ratio of raw materials to finished product. Second, our modular system enables us to re-use the same fabrication components for years. Both of these practices mean that we can create objects with little to no resulting waste. When you consider how much wood would need to be wasted or consumed in order to yield a large tabletop, concrete begins to emerge as a sustainable alternative.
Join the faux revolution. Add wood-look concrete to your design and get the look and the functionality all in one package. Learn more about Woodform Concrete today.