I did a faux painted table base awhile back. I thought I would do a step by step on the process. I used a 2k urethane, the process would be very similar for other topcoats.
Here is a picture of the base with just the white primer. I used a 2k urethane white primer for this one.
The first step was to mask off for the 4 way match faux veneer. I am matching an ebony veneer we used on a conference table.
The first step is to apply a fine texture using a flogging, scumbling or stipple effect with a gilsonite glaze. I use Sherwin Williams S64 stain base concentrate Gilsonite mixed with mineral spirits. After the glaze dries it is sealed with a thinned down isolante sealer so the next glaze step won't wipe it off.
The next step is to do a straight grain with a pencil liner brush. The glaze is artists oil colors mixed with mineral spirits. The grain color on this is Van Dyke brown and black. The thinner black lines were added with an airbrush. When it looks right the glaze is sealed and when the sealer is dry the masking is removed and the next area is masked off.
The process is repeated for each area of wood grain.
This is the end panel after both sections have been grained.
I wanted to add a faux raised panel on the sides so the first step was to faux paint the rails and stiles.
I decided on a faux birds eye maple panel for my raised panel. The shading was all done with an airbrush.
This is really not that difficult. A great book for technique is "The Art of Faux" by Pierre Finkelstein
This is a quartersawn oak piece I did for the Ponderosa Ranch at Lake Tahoe. The carved panels were duplicated from the originals by making a urethane casting and then faux painting them as well. The panels on the left and right are flat. The shadows are created with the airbrush. Here are a couple more...