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I have had very good luck using a technique demonstrated by Steve Weakley- a top notch figure painter.
Paint the desired "wood" piece flat white. Let it dry. Then take artists oil paints, colors such as burnt umber, raw umber, raw sienna paint over the white. Use a stiff brush, and remove most of the paint . As you do, the bristles of the brush will leave brush marks. You can "wiggle" the brush to give it varied wood grain. The light base will show through. This is really simple, and as you paint with the oils, you will see how you can make the wood grain. Once this is dry, you can always go back over and adjust any mistakes. You can coat with a dullcoat to give it the right sheen (or lack of). You can also go back and shade with a dark color to give depth around hardware. This works well for rifle stocks, etc. too.
Experiment- its hard to mess it up. Have fun-- Matt