Footsore Flashback: a Guide to Painting Wood

Hi, I’m Paul, and welcome to the wargaming self-help group that is Sculpting, Painting and Gaming.

Today’s article is another of our Footsore Flashbacks, which we’ve dusted-off and polished-up for your miniature painting pleasure. Written by Spain’s Pedro Guerra Cernadas, it concerns painting wood. Wood is one of those oft overlooked topics; it seems so simple to paint that it never seems to garner as much attention as it should.

The truth of the matter is that it’s actually harder than it looks to get right, but getting it right is often the difference between having a ‘wow’ warband, and an ‘oh my eff-ing G’ warband.

But fear not, because once you’ve read Pedro’s article, you’ll wonder what all the fuss was about. One of the most popular articles on the Footsore Miniatures website, it’s a real gem.



Wood, metal, cloth, skin, facial hair and fancy shield designs are the main things you will need to paint in your Dark Age army.

Today I want to share with you my way of painting the wood items. All paints used here are from Vallejo. Let´s start:

1. First, apply a base coat of Old Wood (310) or Beige Brown (70.875).


2. Next, draw some thin lines to simulate the wood grain using watered down Hull Red (70.985) and Orange Brown (70.981).


3. Now apply a wash to the whole surface with Sepia Shade (73.200) mixed with some thinner to increase the transparency.


The spears are now finished, but we can continue working on the shields.

4. Highlight one edge of the planks with Old Wood (310) and apply Umber Wash (73.203), but only in the joins.


5. We can apply thin washes of Umber Wash (73.203) to change the shade of some of the planks. The more washes, the darker the plank will become.


6. Finally, we can represent some damage by painting some fine lines with a mixture of brown and black, and adding another thin line under it with Old Wood (310) to increase the volume.


Here are some examples of miniatures painted by using this method.




By changing the colours and washes mentioned here you can obtain different shades. If you want to represent some new, treated wood you can finish your work with a satin varnish.



About Pedro Guerra Cernadas

Hailing from Galicia, Spain, Pedro is a military history and modelling enthusiast. He started painting miniatures when only 9 years old, and hasn’t stopped since.




We’re currently open to submissions, so if you have an article about sculpting, painting or gaming, then please do send it our way. From historical to sci-fi, battle reports to painting tips, modelling to terrain and all points in between, we’d love to hear from you. See our submissions guidelines for more details.

About the Author

Paul L. Mathews
A born-again wargamer since 2015, Paul L. Mathews is now the editor at War Banner. He is also the head honcho at his own freelance enterprise, Tabletop Creative. A dull boy, Paul's interests include editing and staying up past his bedtime

1 Comment on "Footsore Flashback: a Guide to Painting Wood"

  1. Nice, that’s interesting to see how you paint wood. Thanks !

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