How to Do Fake Tree Bark With Spray Paint

by Kent Page McGroarty

Create life-like tree bark as a prop for a theatrical production, video or film shoot or other craft project. Spray paint is often used in set production, as it allows easy and even coverage of large props and set pieces. Look to images of real trees for inspiration for you project so you may make the piece as realistic as possible. Texture is also important in creating realistic tree bark, so it is helpful to photograph trees in your backyard or local park for additional research purposes.

Items you will need

  • Large piece of Styrofoam
  • Knife
  • Two cans of spray paint in brown shades
  • Dust mask
Step 1

Hack at a long piece of Styrofoam or similar craft material with a knife or scissors until you create the desired texture.

Step 2

Spray paint the Styrofoam using shades of brown that correlate with the type of tree you are trying to emulate. For example, palm trees have light brown, smooth, almost tan bark, while dogwood trees have dark brown, textured bark. Use two cans of different-colored paint one time if you want to achieve a mottled look.

Step 3

Allow the paint to dry completely before incorporating the bark into another project.

Tips & Warnings

  • Paper mache or PVC pipe can also be easily painted to create fake tree bark.
  • Wear a dust mask and paint in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhalation of paint fumes.

Photo Credits

  • Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images