Hey friends, it is Do from Do Dodson Designs and we are going to talk about this easy faux linen paint technique today! It’s one of the easiest and most popular ways to get the look of organic linen on wood furniture. 

Materials List:

STEP 1: Prep, Clean, Prime, And Repair Before Painting

Firstly, before painting furniture, it’s necessary to prep by cleaning the piece well inside and out with a good furniture cleaner to remove dirt, grease, and grime. Even the stuff you can’t see because we both know it’s there. This is also a great time to inspect your piece for damage, make repairs and clean the underside of that dresser! Remove the hardware if you plan on adding new pulls or knobs, and fill in the old holes.

STEP 2:  How To Create An Organic Faux Linen Finish

This technique is typically used on a larger scale, like walls, by mixing latex paint with a glaze to create a latex glaze mixture. Doing this allows the paint to be more workable for longer periods and extends the dry time. And believe me, you will need more time to perfect the faux linen look. When I say perfect, I don’t mean perfect. This organic look is appealing to me, but not for everyone, and it’s imperfect.

Apply Slick Stick over the wood to prevent bleeding through stains and wood tannins and to create a white base coat. I like to use a foam roller for this process because it’s quick and easy!
STEP 3: Faux Linen Painting Technique

I mixed equal parts of chalk mineral paint and the floetrol (glaze medium) in a plastic container and mixed well. The floetrol looks like a white, thick, milky semi-transparent substance that will extend the dry time of the chalk paint. At first glance, you may think it will change the color of your paint, but it won’t. Once it had dried, I saw no difference in the color.


Apply one good coat of the paint mixture over the Slick Stick with a paintbrush or roller. You’ll need a fairly thick coat of paint for the best results. I opted to brush it on with my paintbrush, but in hindsight, it would have been better to use a roller for a more even distribution of the paint color and to prevent brush strokes.


Using a stiff bristle brush, drag the wet paint glaze over the surface from one end to the other in a single motion on the first pass. You will notice that while dragging through the paint, the bristles on the brush will pick up paint. Have a rag ready to wipe the brush and remove the paint. The second pass will be in the opposite direction creating a cross pattern that resembles a raised fabric with a white background that gives this pattern depth. Continue dragging the brush over the paint, wiping away the excess on the brush until you get the look you want. You’ll need to work quickly because, after a few minutes, the paint will start to dry. Adding the medium to the chalk paint does extend the dry time, but you only have so long.

PRO TIP: When doing this technique for the first time, do the sides of the dresser first and the drawers last. I got better with the technique as I went, so doing the drawers last was a good thing. Also, lining the drawers up together will help give you a uniform finish when using this faux linen paint technique.

Protecting Your Faux FinishAllow the finish to dry completely as least 24 hours. You will need to apply a protective finish for protection and added durability, especially if your project will be susceptible to high traffic. Apply 1 -2 coats of a water-based topcoat.

To read the rest and learn more about the Strie Technique, hop on over to Do Dodson Designs blog here!

About the Author

Do Dodson Designs

Donna, also known as Do, is a decorative furniture artist, photographer, DIYer, author of Do Dodson Designs Blog. Do's true passion is attached to the paint brush and encouraging women. She has a successful online group where she teaches women how to merge their passion for furniture painting with business growth.

View All Articles