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How to Make Faux Multi-Panels

The drawers in this table aren’t actually drawers at all. The illusion is created by attaching a false panel to the front of the table. Use these instructions to add this unique touch to any board.

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attaching a false panel to front of table
  • Time

    1 hour

  • Price Range

    $1 - $50

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Determine the Number of Panels

Determine how many faux panels you want to create in the board. The panel is created by making kerf cuts in a 3/8" board on the table saw.

determine how many faux panels are needed

Step 2: Mark the Measurements and Cut

Determine and mark the measurements where the kerf cuts will need to be made on the board. Avoid cutting through the 3/8" board. Set the table saw blade to cut 1/4" into the board. Make the cuts.

mark measurements where kerf cuts will be made

Step 3: Finish the Panel

After completing the two passes, do any necessary sanding and add drawer knobs to finish the panel. Attach the false drawer front to the table and the project is complete. The false drawer front method can be applied to larger pieces of plywood to create the illusion of paneling. Follow the steps for cutting kerfs into a board. Make sure the kerf cut follows the wood grain. For a rustic detail, add wood cleats to the plywood panel. Cut miters on the ends of each cleat for a finished look. Use a framing square to make sure the cleats are straight, then use two screws offset from each other in each "panel" to maintain the illusion. The screws will appear to be holding the panels together (Image 1). Tip: Another way to maintain the illusion of paneling is to darken the inside of the kerf with stain. Place the stain in a syringe and plunge into the kerf (Image 2).