Faux Plank Table Tutorial

Firstly, thanks to everyone for the lovely comments about my farmhouse dining table makeover.

I received lots of questions, one being how I scored the top to create the impression of old planks. Given the amount of interest, I though I’d post a quick and easy tutorial.

DISCLAIMER – I am not, nor have I ever been, a professional craftsperson (whatever that is).
The following method is simply the easiest and fastest process I could think of to achieve my aim.
Amateur?…probably. Effective?…definitely!

WARNING – Very unsophisticated, home-handywoman technique coming up.
If you’re a carpenter, please look away now!


You will need:

Ruler or Tape Measure


Spirit Level (or something long and straight to use as a guide)

Prick Punch (or something hard and sharp to use as a scorer)



The process:

1. Measure and mark out in pencil the lines on your piece of furniture. You can create as few or as many ‘planks’ as you like at even or odd intervals.
2. Line up the spirit level against your first line and drag the sharp tip of the punch along the line on the timber using the spirit level as a guide (just like using a ruler and pencil to create a line on paper – only you need to press quite firmly with your ‘pencil’ and hold the ‘ruler’ down hard).
3. Create a shallow score line the whole length of your item by moving the spirit level down as required. Now that you have a starting point, go over the line again (still using the spirit level as a guide), pressing more firmly this time.
4. Once you’re happy, move on, repeating the process until all of your lines are scored.
5. Fold a piece of sandpaper in half and run it along the length of each new score line to smooth out the new raw grooves and remove any possible splinters.

Fini! You are now ready to stain or paint your newly ‘planked’ piece of furniture!

Some tips:
– It’s pretty easy to get off line when scoring so you do kinda have to concentrate.
– The depth of your score will depend on the density of the timber and how hard you can push; softer timbers are much easier to score deeply.
– This effect works best when finished with a timber stain or painted then glazed. The lines can get lost in flat finishes.
– Make sure your spirit level or guide is completely straight. I know, duh right? Though if you’re using a piece of timber they can quite often be bowed. I’m just sayin’ – it doesn’t hurt to double check.
– For added character, I sometimes like to hammer in a row of nails at either end and/or in the centre.

I Learned a New Word

Okay, apologies to those of you clearly more learned (that’s learn-ed, like how fancy barristers pronounce it) than I, though I had never heard or seen the word ‘aesthete’ before yesterday.
Alright, this is the part where you can scoff at my ignorance – though please don’t :-)
Whilst scanning through a magazine I happened upon it and immediately stopped in my tracks (confession: a guilty pleasure of mine is spotting editing faux pas…I know, so sad). Surely that’s meant to say, ‘athlete’ or ‘atheist’ I thought, but no, they don’t work in the context of the sentence. Hmmm, what a mystery. So out came Mr Dictionary and guess what he told me (again, those of you who already know, don’t guess – just scoff):

aes·thete (noun) A person who has or professes to have refined sensitivity toward beauty, particularly in the arts or nature.
A person who affects great love of art, music, poetry, design, etc…

Well, how interesting. Of course, now I see it clearly does pertain to ‘aesthetic’.
My point….just wanted to share what I thought was a befitting description for all us design loving girlies!

Now, in the spirit of aesthetics, here are some lovely living rooms. I’m hoping to post some pics of my own next week….fingers-crossed!


Old Desk to Dining Table

This is one of my favourite transformations so far. Sure, it’s not very fancy and won’t blow your mind though I just adore the unpretentious lines and character-filled patina of this piece.
Here’s the table before, looking very lonely and feeling sorry for itself:

And now:

Originally a teacher’s desk, this old table was missing its drawer and had quite a heavily ‘distressed’ finish after years of service. I found it on eBay for $10 – score!

After an initial tidy up and light all over sand the drawer cavity was filled by gluing and caulking in a piece of scrap timber – much easier and faster than making a whole new drawer. Once dry, two drawer fronts (which I already had thanks to my junk hoarding!) were then glued and clamped over the timber infill to create faux drawers.
One coat of acrylic primer, two acrylic top coats, a light distress and then an acrylic seal coat followed by the addition of two turned timber knobs completes the look of the base.

The honey-toned timber top was badly worn and looked tired though I really wanted to retain its character so I needed to enhance and add depth to the patina. After a light sand, three score lines were added to give the appearance of old boards (you can read that tutorial here) then a diluted walnut stain was wiped on and allowed to seep into all the grooves, marks and gouges before being wiped off.

The stain helps mute the overall tone yet creates subtle variations which gives the timber a tactile appeal. Looking at beautiful old wood like this just makes you feel all warm and fuzzy!
The top was finished with two coats of danish oil. I can’t sing the praises of danish oil highly enough. It’s super easy to apply, provides a protective coating and gives a mellow lustre which is hard to achieve with regular sealers – love it!
Again, just cause I can, here are the before and afters:

Mirrored Furniture

Not far from my workplace is a gorgeous furniture store. Of course, I’d never actually purchase anything from said store (lovely as everything is) and must confess I really just went there yesterday to dream, sigh, stroke the furniture, study the furniture, then, let’s just say ‘borrow’ any good ideas for myself, when I spied a gorgeous rococo style mirrored dresser.

Done right, mirrored furniture can add a lovely sense of glamour to a space, and whilst it wouldn’t necessarily work well in my own little cottagey home, I do kinda like the idea of it. So, I studied the dresser in the store and convinced myself that, yes, I could DIY that (one day).

The Makings of an Entryway

Following is some information regarding costing and details of how I achieved the look in my entry.

Sorry, I can’t recall its name or brand (poor, I know) though it was purchased new from a home decorator centre. It was my favourite and the most appropriate out of all the thousands I looked at so fortunately, when it came to checking the price, I was pleased to find it sitting in the lowest bracket.
Mum and Dad (who informed me they were wallpaper hanging experts after going through the early 1980’s revival) helped me hang it one week while hubby was out of town. He got a pleasant surprise on his return – or so I like to think.
$120 (for two rolls)

I looked everywhere for ages to find the right table for this space.
The proportions needed to be ‘just so’. I was more than prepared to refurbish and modify a pre-loved one if need be, though eventually this brand new rustic weathered cedar console showed up on eBay. It was just right.

Wreath – Found at a post-Christmas sale at a furniture store – $8
Cases – They look like vintage chests though are actually new reproductions purchased from a discount clearance store – $18 (for both)
Large Wire Basket – I purchased this from a special boutique store using a gift certificate we received for our wedding – $0
Terracotta Pots and Plants – Just your stock standard cheap pots and plants from a local nursery – $30
Lanterns – Again, new from a discount clearance store – $15 (for both)
Wire Basket and Twine – I painted the basket (originally gold) after finding it at a local charity store and added some cheap hardware store twine – $7
Picture – The frame I already had (it’s actually from my bedroom when I was still living with Mum and Dad!). I just painted and distressed it then added some scrapbook paper – $1
Urn and Jug – Both found at local charity stores. The jug was purple and gold crackle so I spray painted it white – $6 (for both)

TOTAL $285

It could have been more thrifty without the wallpaper and with a cheaper table though they were perfect for the space and sometimes you’ve just gotta splurge a little (by ‘splurge’ of course, I mean be less cheap).

I can’t wait to show you some more spaces. The entryway is one of my only complete rooms so it will be fun to share all of the evolving ideas and projects I have planned and in-progress for the rest of my house. I’m really looking forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts and suggestions too!