DIY Faux Bois Vases
November 21, 2011
I’m not sure it’s readily apparent around here but I have big thing for faux bois. Truth be told I didn’t really know the fancy term for wood lookalike decorative objects until a couple years ago when faux bois starting showing up here and there and all around the design-osphere. I had to recall my long ago lessons from high school French to decipher faux bois meant ‘false wood’.
I’m pretty much obsessed with any decorative object that looks like bark, especially if it’s white, so I thought to myself why not make some faux bois vases for the holidays. For this project, I worked with two products I’ve combined in the past: glass and silicone. Remember these dessert stands? I still have them. I learned with that project that silicone and glass bond really tightly together. For Like Ever. In Hollywood terms, like Paul and Joanne and unlike Kim and Chris.
I used the same combination of products to create these fun ceramic look vases, but this time I used the silicone to create the bark like look. They turned out pretty cool.
To recreate a similar version, you’ll need four things: a glass cylinder vase, DAP household silicone sealant, frosted spray paint; and white spray paint or primer.
To begin, make sure your glass is free from any debris then free form your bark like design with the silicone. Use a cotton swab to clean up or correct any areas you want to redo. If you’re hesitant to make it up as you go, search for ‘faux bois’ images and you’ll come up with various sources of inspiration. The more imperfect your design, the more natural your “bark” will look in the end, so go for it. Imperfect is what you want.
Some asked why silicone and not hot glue for this project? A tube of silicone with a tip is easier to control, but more importantly, it adheres more permanently to glass. Hot glue will come off glass if pulled at or if it gets wet, but silicone will not.
Free form your design around the entire vase with the silicone, then allow it to cure for a full 24 hours. That’s the hard part, the waiting, but you must wait for that silicone to fully solidify.
After 24 hours, your vase is ready to be painted. Turn it upside down on a tarp and coat with 2 coats of quick dry frosted spray paint*. Once it’s dry, apply 2-3 light coats of white spray primer or paint. Keep your spray application light to avoid drips and allow to fully dry between coats.
*I’ve tried primer directly on glass before and with some (like Zinsser primer) it works okay, but I’ve found through experiments that a coat of frosted glass spray paint (which is designed specifically for glass) works best as your first layer for greater durability. After a coat of frosted glass spray paint you can choose any spray paint on top of that (brown or white). I chose primer instead of white spray paint only because it has a flat finish, but you could use satin or gloss spray paint and it should work just fine.
That’s all it takes to turn a basic glass cylinder into a faux bois ceramic look vase.
These bark like vases look great with any kind of blooms, from your spring tulips to your summer wildflowers, to branches or evergreens in winter.
Lovely for a mantel or centerpiece in any season!
A couple of extra giveaways are coming up this week, plus a few of my ideas for great gifts, be back soon !