Painting a Plastic Deck to Look Like Aged Wood

The age old dilemma. How to get that wood deck on your beautifully detailed and weathered flat car, to look like real aged wood. I recently painted several wood deck cars and decided I needed to document my process.

This amazing Tangent flat car comes accurately detailed out of the box. I weathered mine lightly a few years back, but never addressed the deck. It's been waiting for me to finish it properly ever since.

I began this process by buying a "wood painting" kit from Vallejo. Vallejo Old and New Wood Affects

This kit provides all you need, however I've found that Army Painter Dark Wood works great as an accent paint.

All of the paint I used in this article is available though Amazon at the links above in the text.

Step 1:

I begin my process by painting the deck with Vallejo IDF Israeli Sand Gray 70.614. This does not need to go on 100% perfectly opaque. I wet my brush as I go, so the paint thins out in places.

When wetting my brush, I dip it in a cup of water, then wick most of the water back out on a paper towel. It should be moist, but not dripping.

Step 2:

At this point I determined that this car would need some masking to protect the non-wood areas. If your car has a full wood deck you can skip this step. You could also do this step as Step 1. In presenting it here in the order I did it in.

Step 3:

Here I added a wash of the Vallejo Dark Gray Model Wash 74.517. I applied this like the first layer of paint wetting the brush before application.

Step 4:

After allowing the wash to dry, I take a stiff uneven natural bristle paint brush, and apply Vallejo IDF Sand 71.141 in a dry brush style application.

Now I say dry brush style, as I'll wet the stiff brush again, then wick the water out again. This time you need it more dry than the first two applications, but the moist brush will help your dry brush application be more random here. Dip the brush in the paint, then take most back off on the paper towel. Brush lightly across the deck, in the direction of the wood grain. The point here is to make fine random and uneven lines across the deck.

Step 5:

As I proceed with the IDF Sand, I'll go back while it's still wet and do the same with the Army Painter Dark Wood. This let's the two colors blend, further enhancing the wood grain effect.

Any spots that get too dark can be lightly dry brushed with the IDF Sand. Likewise should there be large tan spots, direct the Dark Wood there.

At this point you should have a very convincing wood deck. Using the stiff brush allows for random streaks and scratches of color. Just be sure to keep moving on the direction of the wood grain.

Note: the Hardened Leather can be used to make rust pits in conjunction with the dark wood.

©2023, Joshua Baakko,