by Catharine Kennedy
Faux graining is the art of illusion. Use this technique, and your choices aren’t constrained by what woods are available or what’s shown in the veneering catalogs (or your bank account); you are limited only by your imagination. With the use of simple tools and materials you can transform a modest piece of inexpensive furniture, such as this pine bucket bench, into a showpiece. It’s simple and fun – a great combination.
For this exercise, I built a traditional bucket bench using dimensional lumber purchased from a home center and a basic set of tools. (In fact, this project fits into the “I Can Do That” philosophy and tool set – see online extras for more on ICDT).
I got all the wood needed out of two 12′ 1x12s (which are, of course, 3⁄4″ thick and 111⁄4″ wide). All but the back piece and the lower rail are used at full width; the back piece and rail are ripped from a 1×12, which I did at the table saw. You could use a jigsaw for the rip, and run the shoe of the tool along a straightedge for a more-perfect cut. But no matter how you cut it, use a block plane to clean up the new-sawn edges.
For this project – with the exception of the sides – you can go ahead and cut all the parts to size per the cutlist.
For the sides, which are each 38″ in length, crosscut a 76″ piece of 1×12 and mark across it at 38″. That’s where you’ll lay out the curve cutouts for the feet, which is easier to do while the two halves are connected.
Blog: View a collection of antique grain-painted chests.
Video: Learn more from Catharine Kennedy on vinegar paint and faux-graining.
Blog: Find out how Glen D. Huey added “inlay” with paint to a table edge.
Model: Download a SketchUp model of this project.
To buy: Learn more about faux finishing in this video from F+W Media’s Artist’s Network.
Web site: Visit Catharine C. Kennedy’s web site to see her custom engraving work on tools and more.