How to Make Fake Grass Look Real (In 5 Easy Steps)

There are many perks that come with owning an artificial lawn.

While your neighbor is mowing his lawn at 8 AM on a Saturday, you’re sitting back and relaxing in the sun because your lawn stays fresh all year round!

Here’s the thing, though:

Artificial grass is great, but it does require some basic maintenance. In this article, our team of artificial grass experts will give you a few tips on how to make your fake grass look real.

How to Choose the Most Realistic Artificial Grass?

Before we go over our top tricks for keeping your artificial lawn looking great, let’s unpack a few things you should look for when selecting a realistic grass (if you haven’t done it already):

Blade Variation

When selecting your artificial grass, you should avoid a consistent blade length.

While you may think it might provide a manicured look to the grass, it reduces the authenticity in its aesthetic.

Instead, you get the visual effect of a green carpet, not a lawn.

By going with a variated blade height to your artificial lawn, you provide a visual simulation for freshly-cut grass. Look for artificial grass that features three or more blade lengths and thicknesses throughout the product.

This will give your lawn a textured look, making it seem lifelike!

Color Matching

It might surprise you to learn that artificial grass lawns come in a variety of colors and shades.

When you get a chance, look around your neighborhood for the best lawns, and try to emulate that color.

Nowadays, the wide variety of artificial grass available means you can choose a color that suits your backyard and local climate conditions.

But for maximum realism, we recommend going with a yellow-green color over a bright green lawn.

Low Shine

One of the biggest things that make artificial grass look fake is how shiny it is.

The height and thickness of the grass blades, as well as the finish used, will determine how light reflects off your lawn, affecting the look of your artificial grass.

If you’re living in areas that get fog, you will have different shine requirements from someone living in a sunny part of the country.

Flat blades reflect the sunlight in a way that creates a shiny or fake look to the grass. However, modern artificial grass technology uses an “M” shape to the grass blade.

In addition, you should look for grass that has a non-reflective coating on its blades, and avoid the ones that have a polished “shine”.

As a result, you get an authentic look to your lawn, avoiding blanket reflection that makes your grass look fake.

This can also help with keeping your grass cool on hotter days!

Coating and Materials

Choosing a grass made from good materials means it will look fresh and realistic throughout the years, and minimize wear-and-tear.

The innovations in coating technology in recent years led to huge visual improvements in artificial grass technology.

Today’s artificial grass features advanced design and construction with polyurethane and nylon materials. As a result, the UV coating on each blade resists fading in direct sunlight.

New coating technologies use polymer compounds to prevent reflection off the blades. Some manufacturers even use it to stabilize its products, keeping the grass uniform, even in the extreme heat.

Thatch

If you take a cross-section of any real lawn, you’ll see a brown layer just above the roots.

This layer is known as the thatching, which is what gives it that springy underfoot feel. And for your artificial lawn to feel realistic, it has to have the same effect.

Realistic artificial grass will come with thatching woven into the surface for a natural look and feel to the grass. Your installer can advise on the various types available for your lawn.

Thatching will also help with high-traffic areas on the lawn, preventing the excessive wear-and-tear of your artificial grass.

How to Make Artificial Grass Look More Realistic

Already own an artificial lawn? Not looking as fresh and as realistic as it used to?

Don’t worry! We’re here to help!

Simply follow this 5-step guide to refresh your artificial grass. It will be indistinguishable from the real thing in no time!

Step 1 – Use a Broom or Power Brush

You might not have to mow an artificial lawn, but it still requires some basic maintenance.

By sweeping and brushing your lawn, you can easily make it look realistic again. Plus, it’s easier way easier than mowing.

The first issue with artificial lawns is the matting effect created in high traffic areas. This happens when grass becomes flattened when it gets stepped on.

However, it’s possible to prevent and undo this with the right tools.

For starters, use a plastic leaf rake to clear away all the debris from the surface. It’s important to use a plastic instead of metal to avoid damaging the grass.

After this, brush the grass with a stiff bristle push broom. Be sure to cross-brush (i.e. brush against the direction of the grass) to make it stand up again.

On the other hand, a power broom can replace both these tools, and save you a lot of time and hassle.

Using a small but powerful motor, a power broom cleans and brushes your artificial lawn quickly and more efficiently, doing all the hard work for you.

It can easily clear away any small debris left on the surface, and prevent mold growth in your lawn.

The power broom makes all of this easy for you, and it will save you a lot of time and effort in the long run!

Step 2 – Choose a Good Infill

The infill is the “sand” equivalent for artificial grass, and creates the texture in your lawn underfoot.

After fitting your lawn, it is brushed into the surface to add to the thatching effect. It also helps keep the grass blades standing.

When it comes to choosing which infill to use, you have two options main options: Modern silica sand or crumb infill.

Silica sand makes the best choice for infill. This material has smooth sides, preventing damage to the artificial grass.

A crumb rubber infill, on the other hand, is generally not recommended for your artificial lawn; It gets hot fast, and can burn your feet on the lawn.

You’ll also end up tracking the tiny black crumbs everywhere around your home. Recent studies also show they can pose some health hazards to your respiratory system.

Our team always uses and recommends silica sand. If you have pets, consider opting for an anti-microbial infill. This will soak up and neutralize any odors left from your pet’s waste.

Also, silica coated sand visually blends into your grass, adding to the realism. Without the right infill, your lawn will look dull and unhealthy.

Step 3 – Remove Debris and Weeds

Yes, it’s true! Even though you have an artificial lawn, it’s going to get a few weeds growing in the turf from time to time.

Seeing a weed pop up on an artificial lawn is a bewildering experience – but it happens.

When weeding your lawn, make sure you don’t just pull the weed out with your hands. Many times, you’ll snap the top, and the roots survive. As a result, the weed grows back.

Pulling out a fresh weed may also damage the lining and infill in your artificial lawn. We recommend using a weed killer to kill off the weed before pulling it out.

This method prevents tears in your lawn, and ensures you kill the weed from deep in the root.

Step 4 – Add Florals and Patio Furniture

An artificial lawn is no good when you can’t enjoy and decorate it!

In most installations, we’ve found that adding tables, chairs and flower pots will greatly enhance the look and realism of the backyard.

On the flip side, the pressure from pots and furniture on your grass can cause it to flatten over time.

To prevent this, we recommend moving your ornaments, florals and furniture around every month or so.

Don’t forget to brush and maintain your grass too!

Step 5 – Use an Artificial Grass Scent Spray

There’s nothing like the smell of fresh cut grass! And the great news is, you can enjoy the same with your artificial lawn too.

To keep your grass smelling good, pick up pet waste and rinse pet pee off the lawn as soon as you discover it.

After you wash away the remaining stain or debris with your garden hose, use a scented artificial grass spray.

There are several products available from premium brands. Some of these sprays will not only leave a fresh cut grass smell to your lawn, but can also prevent further odors and mold growth.

You can also make your own sprays at home. A half vinegar, half water solution can help kill bacteria and neutralize foul odors, while an essential oil solution can leave a fresh fragrance to your grass.

This might not smell very realistic, but it will do the job in a pinch!